Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Wind Blows Backward by Mary Downing Hahn

Lauren quietly slips through her high school classes, trying not to draw attention to herself. When people do notice her, it's usually to make fun of her squeaky voice or her good grades. Lauren and her best friend call Spencer the Prince of Jocks because he plays sports, gets good grades and dates beautiful girls. Lauren and Spencer used to be friends back in middle school - bonding over a love of science fiction - but since then they've barely even spoken. That's why Lauren is so shocked when Spencer does start paying attention to her again, but that shock turns to excitement and happiness when they start dating. But she soon learns that Spencer is hiding a troubled, reckless side of his personality and she starts worrying about Spencer's life - and her own.

This is the first non-ghost story of Mary Downing Hahn's that I read, and I was really glad that I didn't miss the supernatural stuff. Lauren sometimes seemed so naive and oblivious to the warning signs that Spencer was throwing up all over the place, but I had to keep reminding myself she was blinded by her first real emotional relationship. There's a lot of angst in this book and while some of the references (and the cover) reveal its early-90s publish date, the storyline is still one that would resonate with teens today.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters
Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

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