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LES WANTS the girl. He thinks she's amazing, exotic, perfect. But he doesn't know how to talk to her, kiss her, or make her realize that he's the best and only guy for her in the whole wide world. Once he masters these things, she'll be his! Easy-peasy, right? The gulf between dreamgirl and realgirl is explored and made somewhat less vast in this bawdy yet romantic not-quite-coming-of-age. Teens will relate to 14-year-old Les's hilarious and squirmy longings, and the fulsomely awkward efforts he puts forth to make his real life match his fantasies. The story also portrays the perils of unexamined hero-worship, and the strength and humanity of people that may seem plain and boring, but who stand up for what is right when called upon to do so. It is a tale both hilarious and thoughtful, in which, to paraphrase the old Rolling Stones adage, one boy figures out that even if you indeed can't always get what you want, if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need.
On the dock of a lake in a tiny town at the corner of Nowhere & Nowhere, he sits counting the seconds until his high school graduation--at which point Arthur M. Flood intends to leave his hick life far behind in the brown Kansas dust. That's the plan. Until . . . up from the lake's muddy depths swims a girl. She's not a mermaid, but she is the one who shakes up Arty's life, makes him mad and mad for her, and helps him find a pathway to his past, his future, and where his heart truly lies. Teens will recognize their own emotional landscape in this steamy, funny, coming-of-age tale in which the heart tries to hide, only to be utterly exposed by love and lust, lost and found. From the Hardcover edition.