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Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)

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FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF NEED AND CAPTIVATE People keep changing who they are & defining themselves by their own choices, and that's cool most of the time, but not all the time. No, it's not cool all the time at all. Belle is closing in on her last few months of high school and things are much better than they were before. Well, almost. Belle's not too FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF NEED AND CAPTIVATE People keep changing who they are & defining themselves by their own choices, and that's cool most of the time, but not all the time. No, it's not cool all the time at all. Belle is closing in on her last few months of high school and things are much better than they were before. Well, almost. Belle's not too sure about all the sureness that other people seem to have about things like labels (popular, slut, jock), change (college, real adulthood, new friends, lost friends), and love (oh yeah, that). Not to mention, there's THE BIG PROBLEM with Tom and other-well, unexpected-surprises. If you want to read more about Belle, check out Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend from Flux. Praise for Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend "From the first sentence of Carrie Jones' novel, I could tell that here was a bright new writer who was going to set the world of young adult letters aflame." -Kathi Appelt, award-winning poet and author "Provocative...The author's poetic prose ably captures her heroine's emotional upheavals." -Publishers Weekly "Jones offers an atypical perspective of the coming-out story by legitimizing the love that is not lost, but changed, when young people grow up and apart." -School Library Journal


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FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF NEED AND CAPTIVATE People keep changing who they are & defining themselves by their own choices, and that's cool most of the time, but not all the time. No, it's not cool all the time at all. Belle is closing in on her last few months of high school and things are much better than they were before. Well, almost. Belle's not too FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF NEED AND CAPTIVATE People keep changing who they are & defining themselves by their own choices, and that's cool most of the time, but not all the time. No, it's not cool all the time at all. Belle is closing in on her last few months of high school and things are much better than they were before. Well, almost. Belle's not too sure about all the sureness that other people seem to have about things like labels (popular, slut, jock), change (college, real adulthood, new friends, lost friends), and love (oh yeah, that). Not to mention, there's THE BIG PROBLEM with Tom and other-well, unexpected-surprises. If you want to read more about Belle, check out Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend from Flux. Praise for Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend "From the first sentence of Carrie Jones' novel, I could tell that here was a bright new writer who was going to set the world of young adult letters aflame." -Kathi Appelt, award-winning poet and author "Provocative...The author's poetic prose ably captures her heroine's emotional upheavals." -Publishers Weekly "Jones offers an atypical perspective of the coming-out story by legitimizing the love that is not lost, but changed, when young people grow up and apart." -School Library Journal

30 review for Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo.com Since her then-boyfriend announced he was gay several months back, things have finally started to settle down in Belle's life. Her relationship with Tom is going strong, her best friend Em's all lovey-dovey with her boyfriend, and even Belle's mom has found a man she adores. The classmate who attacked Belle last year has been transferred to another school, and the freedom of summer is fast approaching. Still, Belle can't help worrying that life can't pos Reviewed by Lynn Crow for TeensReadToo.com Since her then-boyfriend announced he was gay several months back, things have finally started to settle down in Belle's life. Her relationship with Tom is going strong, her best friend Em's all lovey-dovey with her boyfriend, and even Belle's mom has found a man she adores. The classmate who attacked Belle last year has been transferred to another school, and the freedom of summer is fast approaching. Still, Belle can't help worrying that life can't possibly be as good as it seems. Tom hasn't made the move to go all the way yet, and she can't stop fretting that there's something wrong that she isn't seeing. Unfortunately for Belle, it turns out she's right--but it's not something with Tom. First, to Belle's dismay, her seizures start happening with no apparent trigger. Then Em makes a life-changing discovery and swears Belle to secrecy. Belle sees her dreams of an easy transition to university with friends and boyfriends falling apart. As she struggles to figure out what's true, and to deal with her growing uncertainty, she is forced to question the things everyone takes for granted. Why do difficult things happen to people she's sure are "good?" Is the boy who attacked her really all bad, or is it okay for her to feel sympathy for him when she hears his father hitting him? What's the real story behind the snarky remarks and angry accusations of her long-time nemesis, Mimi? And most importantly, can Belle be "popular," loving, and "good," and stay true to herself all at the same time? LOVE (AND OTHER USES FOR DUCT TAPE) has the same charm and emotionally wrenching honesty as its prequel, TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (EX) BOYFRIEND. Belle is an engaging narrator, struggling to do the right thing even when she knows not everyone agrees on what that "right" thing is. Her reactions to the changing circumstances around her are believable, and readers will eagerly follow her every step of the way. The other characters, both teens and adults, are equally well-drawn, in many shades of gray, never black and white. The book raises many hot topic issues, from teen sex and pregnancy to gay rights, but it keeps them personal and real, without any preaching or judgments. Ultimately, this is a story about Belle defining who she is and who she wants to be. It's a journey every teen must take, and this novel should be equally universal in its appeal. Highly recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Rating C+ Review Warning: If you're the kind of person who hates to read a book, and not read any really great stuff until page 256 (of 284), then don't read this book. Let me give you a little break-down of how this book goes, for reference:Pages 1-42: Introductory scenes to remind us of characters and relationships and events that ocurred in Tips... and set up the scenario/scene/timeline for Love... Pages 43-82: Set up of the "big hook"/problem of this book Pages 83-256: Belle thinks a lot about Rating C+ Review Warning: If you're the kind of person who hates to read a book, and not read any really great stuff until page 256 (of 284), then don't read this book. Let me give you a little break-down of how this book goes, for reference:Pages 1-42: Introductory scenes to remind us of characters and relationships and events that ocurred in Tips... and set up the scenario/scene/timeline for Love... Pages 43-82: Set up of the "big hook"/problem of this book Pages 83-256: Belle thinks a lot about the problem(s) in this book, thinks some more, some interesting kissing, etc. Pages 256-275: Climax Pages 276-280: Resolution-ishThe book doesn't sound that great, right? Well, here's why I gave the book this rating: I am somebody who can fall in love with characters and can stand to read about them doing not too much of anything. Granted, I think that Belle was way too whiny in this book (instead of just being honest about stuff, she whined and complained and internalized and freaked out about stuff), and I think that this book was a vanity piece because Jones loved these characters, she saw an idea for a climax via a country music video (which she admits on her website) and she filled the bulk of the book (the "rising action") with whining. But I really, really like Tom. And the hook of the book could have been so awesome--and I wanted to read that. Sure, I wanted way more in the way of resolution--I wanted to know what Shawn thought about "the problem" and how it worked out, etc., but that's probably why I sent an email to Carrie Jones asking, "Can you please write another book so I know how things turn out?" That's how much I like these characters. Also, she does a better job of making Dylan less of a gay charicature. (Plus, I gave her a decent score because she did the repetitive writing thing, thing, thing a lot less in this book.) Recommendation Fans of Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend could probably enjoy reading more about these characters. Otherwise, don't bother.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    I really did like this book but I have to I agree with the other review that stated that nothing seemed to get resolved. It is like the last chapter was left out. I would give a 4th star if there were closure.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2,5/5 Heads up! SPOILERS! I'm sorry to say that this book has been kind of a disappointment to me which is really sad because I loved the prequel. It actually started out pretty good: it had the same unconventional indie-style as the first book and tons of great characters, especially Em and Tom. But I just couldn't bring myself to like Belle anymore. She's selfish, self-centered and a bunch of other egoistic things. That actually becomes a pretty important theme towards the end but by then it was 2,5/5 Heads up! SPOILERS! I'm sorry to say that this book has been kind of a disappointment to me which is really sad because I loved the prequel. It actually started out pretty good: it had the same unconventional indie-style as the first book and tons of great characters, especially Em and Tom. But I just couldn't bring myself to like Belle anymore. She's selfish, self-centered and a bunch of other egoistic things. That actually becomes a pretty important theme towards the end but by then it was too late and I was already really annoyed by her. Belle keeps worrying about every little thing and to be honest, I would almost call her depressed. She's picking everything apart and even if something happy or beautiful happens she's incapable of just taking it this way and enjoy it. And worst of all, after establishing that Belle is kind of selfish and has to let things go, the story ends just there, with her being all happy with who she is now. But the actual story got no conclusion, which sucked because that was what I really wanted to know since I was a little annoyed with Belle (despite the fact that there was a lot of Tom ;). And that's a shame because the plot definitely had potential. I just don't think it was fair to the other characters to have this sort of an open ending. That's probably a matter of taste though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    The sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend, this book brings us back to Belle, Tom, and their tiny Maine hometown. The good news is that this book presents an interesting look at all forms of love (including sex) and their sometimes unplanned consequences, including teen pregnancy. The themes are truly good and using Belle again as a reactionary character to difficult circumstances is interesting and effective for exploring these themes. Unfortunately, the writing just isn't as good. It a The sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend, this book brings us back to Belle, Tom, and their tiny Maine hometown. The good news is that this book presents an interesting look at all forms of love (including sex) and their sometimes unplanned consequences, including teen pregnancy. The themes are truly good and using Belle again as a reactionary character to difficult circumstances is interesting and effective for exploring these themes. Unfortunately, the writing just isn't as good. It almost seems like Jones is trying a little too hard to recapture the tone she nailed so perfectly in Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend, and in the process ends up repeating herself over and over again in terrible teenage angst. The timing in this story is also off, and it seems like things move along far to quickly for the four days or so in which the book is set. Still worth checking out, but be warned about the decline in quality.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Devyn

    Jones does it again, bringing back the beloved cast of characters. This time around Belle has found her true love, however she is having trouble accepting that Tom is not Dylan (her gay ex-boyfriend). The men in her life have left her Dylan has a boyfriend now and her Father passed away in war. Belle must learn to deal with her issues; as well as the issues around her and realize that she is not the only person in the world with problems, she needs to trust the people around her and most of all s Jones does it again, bringing back the beloved cast of characters. This time around Belle has found her true love, however she is having trouble accepting that Tom is not Dylan (her gay ex-boyfriend). The men in her life have left her Dylan has a boyfriend now and her Father passed away in war. Belle must learn to deal with her issues; as well as the issues around her and realize that she is not the only person in the world with problems, she needs to trust the people around her and most of all she need to learn how to trust herself. Jones only proves again that 'real life issue' books are alive and and doing well. Teens can easily relate to the problems in the book—which is the key to success.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Very underwhelming sequel. The whole book is muddled and the characters don't seem to make a lot of sense (Mimi, Eddie, and Tom in particular). The opposition between Belle wanting to have sex with her boyfriend and Em being pregnant is didactic -- just a "actions have consequences" lecture thinly wrapped in plot. And several plot lines that actually have you interested are not resolved (her seizures, why Tom doesn't want to have sex with her, why he flirts with Mimi, why Mimi is such a raging b Very underwhelming sequel. The whole book is muddled and the characters don't seem to make a lot of sense (Mimi, Eddie, and Tom in particular). The opposition between Belle wanting to have sex with her boyfriend and Em being pregnant is didactic -- just a "actions have consequences" lecture thinly wrapped in plot. And several plot lines that actually have you interested are not resolved (her seizures, why Tom doesn't want to have sex with her, why he flirts with Mimi, why Mimi is such a raging bitch). I really loved "Tips on having a gay ex boyfriend", but I will probably recommend that others give this a pass unless you were a die hard fan of the first one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Another great one by Carrie Jones. This one deals with different, edgy issues, again tastefully done even if I don't necessarily share the same moral values as the protagonist. Things that made this book quirky and fun. 1. Tom makes things out of duct tape. 2. Belle lives for her friends but is constantly having them accuse her of being self-involved. 3. The evil boy next door ends up being not so evil. 4. Em, the observant, picture taking best friend who sees all kinds of things in others, doesn't Another great one by Carrie Jones. This one deals with different, edgy issues, again tastefully done even if I don't necessarily share the same moral values as the protagonist. Things that made this book quirky and fun. 1. Tom makes things out of duct tape. 2. Belle lives for her friends but is constantly having them accuse her of being self-involved. 3. The evil boy next door ends up being not so evil. 4. Em, the observant, picture taking best friend who sees all kinds of things in others, doesn't understand herself. 5. Lots of references to Postum. 6. A popular protagonist who labels everyone but refuses to let anyone label her (even in a good way).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This book, the sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (Ex)Boyfriend, made me feel like I was in high school again. It was funny and sad and wonderful. And I was reminded that the tiniest sensory details can make a book shine. The rip in the vinyl seat of a pickup truck. A crack in the sidewalk that looks like New Hampshire. I was sad when this one ended. Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape) is what a young adult novel ought to be. Challenging and thought provoking, and always real and accessible. I teach This book, the sequel to Tips on Having a Gay (Ex)Boyfriend, made me feel like I was in high school again. It was funny and sad and wonderful. And I was reminded that the tiniest sensory details can make a book shine. The rip in the vinyl seat of a pickup truck. A crack in the sidewalk that looks like New Hampshire. I was sad when this one ended. Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape) is what a young adult novel ought to be. Challenging and thought provoking, and always real and accessible. I teach middle school, and this is the kind of YA novel that my 7th grade readers aren't ready for just yet -- more of a high school title -- but it will be well worth the wait.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justina

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Carrie Jones and I loved the book that came before this one (Tips on having a Gay Ex-Boyfriend) a TON too! That one was happier, I think, but this one dealt with heavier teenage issues. Either way, I would really really love for her to write another book about Belle, aka "Commie", and Em, (& Tom & Eddie & such.) Tom is the boyfriend every girl wishes for... besides, I love the duct tape thing. He's right, it does help make him manly. I know I would flinch if someone ri I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Carrie Jones and I loved the book that came before this one (Tips on having a Gay Ex-Boyfriend) a TON too! That one was happier, I think, but this one dealt with heavier teenage issues. Either way, I would really really love for her to write another book about Belle, aka "Commie", and Em, (& Tom & Eddie & such.) Tom is the boyfriend every girl wishes for... besides, I love the duct tape thing. He's right, it does help make him manly. I know I would flinch if someone ripped a piece of it off of my arms!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Yay! Belle is just as awesomely amazing in this book as she was in 'Tops On Having A Gay (Ex-) Boyfriend'. This book was better though. I like the plot a lot more. I wasn't as "Aww poor Belle!" as the last book. For many reasons (most of them you have to have read the book to know) I reccomend this book. Yay! Belle is just as awesomely amazing in this book as she was in 'Tops On Having A Gay (Ex-) Boyfriend'. This book was better though. I like the plot a lot more. I wasn't as "Aww poor Belle!" as the last book. For many reasons (most of them you have to have read the book to know) I reccomend this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sherrill

    Belle, Tom, Emily, and Shawn. Senior year just got a little more interesting. Most of us have been there. The drama, the fun, and the worries about yourself and your best friend. Another good book by Carrie Jones.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

    Perhaps the most frustrating "what? you're making this a series?!?!" There is absolutely no need to continue this story.. and Belle's whining about her gay ex-boyfriend (did he ever really love me?) and the fact her current boyfriend hasn't said "i love you" yet gets a bit tedious. Perhaps the most frustrating "what? you're making this a series?!?!" There is absolutely no need to continue this story.. and Belle's whining about her gay ex-boyfriend (did he ever really love me?) and the fact her current boyfriend hasn't said "i love you" yet gets a bit tedious.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ernica

    1.would love.to read spinoff book in.emily's point of view but i can probably guess what will happen. 2. no emily - belle is not selfish if she put your needs before hers. 3. this was totally forshadowed due to the walmart trip and playing with the little girls afterward. 4. ... 1.would love.to read spinoff book in.emily's point of view but i can probably guess what will happen. 2. no emily - belle is not selfish if she put your needs before hers. 3. this was totally forshadowed due to the walmart trip and playing with the little girls afterward. 4. ...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    This was a good teen book and a quick read. It wasn't a book that is going to stick with me forever, but it was definitely worth reading. The lists within made it pretty fun. I did wish that there were actual chapters, but I'm not sure why. This was a good teen book and a quick read. It wasn't a book that is going to stick with me forever, but it was definitely worth reading. The lists within made it pretty fun. I did wish that there were actual chapters, but I'm not sure why.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mehvash

    The main character at times got really annoying. For example: her lists, and the fact that she would have "bad" thoughts about other but as soon as she did she would start hating her self for having it. The book did contain a great message. The main character at times got really annoying. For example: her lists, and the fact that she would have "bad" thoughts about other but as soon as she did she would start hating her self for having it. The book did contain a great message.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This book was great. I wasn't too pleased with the ending because of one of her friends. If you read the book you would understand. Anyway, this book had it's happy and sad moments. Just like any book should, and it actually sounded like it could happen. This book was great. I wasn't too pleased with the ending because of one of her friends. If you read the book you would understand. Anyway, this book had it's happy and sad moments. Just like any book should, and it actually sounded like it could happen.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

    I thought it read like a slightly grittier, whinier version of a Sarah Dessen novel. I found the characters more annoying than lovable, but it was still an okay read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paola Piliado

    This book made me feel like a teenager again. And the finale just made it more real: it left me all worked up but nothing happened. Still a one-afternoon-read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Zeringue

    sdngkjashfogh;s I WANT TO READ IT AGAIN. FUCK LIFE.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elle Warner

    This was a good sequel, but i accidently read this book before the first one. Though i was still able to catch on to what was happening really quickly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    Not as good as I was hoping it would be...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heather Perkinson

    Sequel to "Tips on having a gay (ex) boyfriend" Sequel to "Tips on having a gay (ex) boyfriend"

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michaella

    this book was super good(; really completed the first novel.... the author does a really good job at always leaving the reader thinking...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay, so I’m really confused by the lack of resolution of any and all of the plots. I’m trying to understand if Carrie is implying that it comes full circle with the sirens and the waiting and waiting for Tom to show up and the commentary on Eddie’s dad coming home drunk. Am I supposed to believe Belle was finally letting herself fall for someone with her abandonment issues and then Eddie’s dad kills Tom or? I don’t want to think that, but I’m not sure what else to think.........

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vonda Bohling

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Brenwell

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