1 out of 4 stars
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Teenage love is difficult under the best circumstances. What happens when you are in love with someone from a school across town? Does not seeing each other every day make the relationship more difficult? Loving Aretta by R.W. Mathis is the story of two young teens who have fallen for each other, yet attend schools across the city from each other. This is a fictional young romance story.
The two main characters of the book were very likable. Aretta lived with her mother and younger sister. She was responsible for taking care of her sister after school and at any other time her mom deemed appropriate. She seemed like a normal fifteen-year old who did well in school and normally stayed out of trouble. Aretta was a determined young lady whose character showed a lot of strength. I think that she handled most situations in an adult manner, although there were times that she behaved as one would expect from a young teen. Matt was also a very responsible and hard-working young man. He was a good student and helped his dad with many of the household chores. He was a strong, moral young man who loved deeply.
I did not like many of the characters in the book. Although I am sure some of the behaviors are very common for teens, I found them disrespectful and lacking in moral character. Cheryl and Melanie were only focused on their wants and desires. I felt their characters were a bit unbelievable, because they were virgins, but constantly enticing boys without their clothes on. Most teenagers are not that forward. I also did not like Aretta’s mother. She seemed to be very selfish and childish. When she did not get her way, she punished Aretta.
This book has very little depth to it. The whole story is about Matt and Aretta and the across town relationship. Matt was always being chased by other girls at his school. He was presented with many opportunities for sexual exploits. The book was 615 pages, but the story could have been told in 200 pages or less. The majority of the book was explicit sex scenes that were unnecessary and really did not add to the story. The grammar, punctuation, and spelling were terrible. This book needs to go through many edits before it would be worth reading. The grammar, punctuation and spelling took away from the story. I could not find many of the words that were used in the dictionary. It appeared that the author was trying to sound out words and was spelling them as they sounded. “An” and “and” were often interchanged in the book. Contractions such as “you’re” were generally spelled as your. I struggled getting through the book. Because of the lack of editing and the continual use of explicit sex scenes that had little added value to the story, I rate this book 1 out of 4 stars.
This book appears to be meant for a younger reading group, teens to young adults. However, because of the language and sexual content, I cannot recommend it for that age group. I am not sure it is really an acceptable book for most ages, although adults who enjoy explicit sexual content with very little depth to the story, may enjoy this book.
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