I have been lucky enough to have a weekend of beautiful weather as well as great reading. I just finished the wonderful The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman. I think I can best illustrate why I liked the book so much with a quote. The two main characters, June and Wes, who are 17 and in love, are watching a meteor shower and she says "You will always be the first boy I ever loved. And I will love you forever, even if we are living on opposite sides of the world. Even if someday we hate each other, I will always love you." (Hautman 280)
On one hand she sounds awfully pragmatic for a teen in love, but that is one of the best things about the book and June, she is complicated...one moment she is caught by the chest pain you get when you do not know when you will see the person again, other times she is swept up in doubts, and others she just admits that they may not last forever. On the other hand, she has just verbalized the power of first love, pretty wise.
Too often adults brush off teen love, because from our superior position as experienced adults we know it is not likely you will end up with your first high school love (though it has been known to happen, my own parents are an example). But that first love is real and true most especially when you are immersed in it. This book really could be a love story about people of any age, but there are the normal teen hindrances such as curfew, limited cell phone minutes, and no car. The descriptions of June and Wes's feelings as they fall for each other will take you back to your first love...I mean it.
The Big Crunch is also the best title ever...it refers to the scientific theory that after the universe stops expanding it will start contracting, resulting eventually in a big crunch after which there will be another big bang and it will all start over again. Maybe Pete Hautman and I just have similar ideas about how to descibe love, but I think the view of first love as a big crunch is universal.
Bottom Line: Read this book. It is perfect for spring.