Dear Big V by Ellen W. Leroe
Publication Date/Version: September 2009/Hardcover
Publisher: WestSide Books
Age Group: 14+
Received From: BookDivas
Courtney Condon, a funny, off-beat junior, is caught smack in the middle of the war between the Lewds and the Prudes at Delaware-Valley High School. Court's the founder of an abstinence club at Dull-Val. But when she's assigned an Op Ed piece for the school paper that forces her to work with Lance, the major "player" and hottest guy at school, this up-close and personal contact with Lance throws her into a Whirlwind of Confusion over her chaste ideals. Meanwhile, Courtney's staunchly devout, strict-Catholic mom is pushing her own form of prudishness to the point of alienating the entire family, especially when Mom catches Court in a lip-lock with Lance in his car, right in her very own driveway!
Courtney's caught in the middle of a battle between the Lewds and the Prudes at her school after a not-so-subtle attack by some members of the abstinence group she formed. Although she wasn't involved, she's still getting a lot of flak for it. And with the Op Ed piece, her values are tested when she's paired with Lance. She's in for quite the ride.
Ellen W. Leroe did a wonderful job of creating a book about abstinence and being true to yourself without one bit of preachiness. A lot of books of this subject matter push abstinence too much, and sound more like a textbook than a novel, but Ms. Leroe refrained completely from that. She involved humor and really got into the head of a teenage girl fighting with her values.
The characters in this book, although not all lovable, were great. It was easy to imagine each one, as every school has someone who fits the descriptions. Courtney had a wonderful sense of humor, and I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud a couple times. Lance, the ultimate player, seemed likable, but revealed his true self. I'm glad this wasn't another case of bad-guy-turns-good, but was instead something much more real-to-life.
Courtney's struggles were believable, as were her desires to let go of her chaste ideals. In the beginning she may have been a bit uptight, but she developed into a more understanding character. Even Courtney's mom wasn't too bad when her learned her reasons.
Overall: Funny. Quick read. No preachiness whatsoever. Good values.
My Advice: If you're struggling with yourself, or looking for a funny take on abstinence, pick up a copy at your local bookstore. Those who are unsure about the book should pick it up at the library. Definitely worth reading.
Cover: Good colors. The girl, however, irks me. She looks way too young to be a high school junior.