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Sylvia Gunnery.
Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic-TAB, 1986.
166pp., paper, $3.50.
ISBN 0-590-71619-0. CIP.

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14

Reviewed by Michael Freeman.

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

At first glance, and second, the plot outline seems trite. Bright, beautiful Elizabeth, high school senior, falls for Cass, hard-drinking, vocational school, motorcycle freak. Her conservative parents block the relationship at every turn. Life-long friend Woody, a font of common sense, abets Elizabeth in her nocturnal escapes to tear around town with Cass, where she glories in the short symbolic freedom of the cycle ride. Every time her plans go awry, Woody appears, somewhat miraculously, to rescue her. Suspense builds as graduation and the senior prom approach. Will her parents finally accept Cass? Will well-meaning Woody get a date?

Sylvia Gunnery, a Nova Scotia school teacher, raises the story slightly above the soap opera level through her keen ear for teenage dialogue, and her knack for realistic characterization. Unfortunately, the denouement sinks into a morass of melodrama as it takes a final, seemingly meaningless, tragedy to resolve the comparatively trivial conflicts of the plot. Recommended, with reservations.

Michael Freeman, Bathurst Heights S.S., North York, ON.
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