I Think I Love You
Petra and Sharon are David Cassidy's biggest fans. Literally. They read every single word of every single issue of The Essential David Cassidy Magazine, and they know every lyric to every one of his songs. Yes, Petra and Sharon know that all the other girls in their school love Cassidy, too, but not the way they do. It doesn't matter that they're in Wales and David lives in Hollywood. They know they are the ones for him.
Petra's mother does not approve of music not by Wagner, so when Cassidy announces that his final London concert is coming up, Petra knows she has to come up with a good lie if she's going to make it there. Little do she and her other 13-year-old friends know that that concert will make history for its dangerous crushing, multiple injuries, and death of a fan. Even though Petra and Sharon still enter the Ultimate David Cassidy Quiz (with the grand prize being a trip to the set of "The Partridge Family"), Petra understands that the romance is over. She sinks back into life in Wales, gaining, losing and gaining the same friends over and over again, lugging around her embarrassing cello, and trying to figure out boys --- the real-life kind.
Years later, when Petra is middle-aged attending her mother's funeral, it seems that the romance is over yet again. Her husband has left her, and her own daughter, now 13, doesn't understand her. Wondering where she's going to find her identity, Petra stumbles across her former self, which turns her back to Cassidy land.
A second story thread is interspersed with Petra, as we learn who is responsible for producing The Essential David Cassidy Magazine. We see the adults who struggle to understand why young girls go crazy for superstars and who try to remember the superstars whom they adored way back when.
Though it feels like the premise for a teen chick-lit novel, I THINK I LOVE YOU is far more than that. It delves deeply into celebrity obsession, adolescence and motherhood. Using David Cassidy as a link between the two Petras she presents, Allison Pearson creates a story about feeling like an outcast and growing into oneself, without letting the things that made Petra who she is go away. Though the ending is so perfectly tied together that it seems like a movie, the book is still an enjoyable read.
Most writers are told to create their own famous people, slang and era, rather than risk seeming dated. Pearson, in her choice of David Cassidy as superstar, uses historical details and '70s flavor to ground her story, and even I, a reader born in the '80s, can identify. It seems that being tied to a certain time makes a story timeless. Anyone who has ever loved a celebrity they've never met will appreciate this book.
Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez (firstname.lastname@example.org) on March 28, 2011
I Think I Love You
- Publication Date: February 8, 2011
- Genres: Fiction
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Knopf
- ISBN-10: 1400042356
- ISBN-13: 9781400042357