Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I love all the hot pink it's very eye-catching, the back cover isn't very good though.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Johanna is a good girl, who wants a bad thing. That bad thing is Reeve. Johanna's dad died in an accident and soon after her mom slowly fades away. Her sister isn't really there for her emotionally, especially after having a miscarriage. Johanna volunteers at a hospice and holds peoples hands to comfort them as they pass on. This is the one thing Johanna wants for herself, the one thing she craves. Everyday she seems to venture off into "Joyland", the place where her and Reeve are together, even if it's only in her head. Everyone, including Reeve herself tells Johanna she's trouble. Johanna thinks Reeve is just misunderstood. When Johanna ends up tutoring Robbie, Reeve's brother, she ends up getting further involved in Reeve's life then Reeve would like. Can a love push through all the obstacles they both must face? Can Johanna be the one to save Reeve?
This was a good story about abuse relationships, where everyone is a victim and an abuser. Johanna abuses her friend Novak, Novak's boyfriend abuses her, Reeve abuses people, people abuse Robbie... it's on and on. This isn't just a book about physical violence though; it is emotional and mental violence too. This book doesn't put glamour on abuse it simply paints it how it really is. I think this is an important novel for teens to read, it could help them see things in a different light. Maybe, make them realize that they are being abused in someone if they are in a bad relationship like those in the book. I liked the scenes of "Joyland" and how they progressed as Johanna did throughout the book. It seemed a little bit unrealistic how much confidence Johanna got after talking to Reeve for awhile, but I guess it can happen if you really want something bad enough. Some scene will make you wince, or shake your head and think "it's so obvious what she's doing to her" but this is all the price of love. I recommend that if you read LGBT lit you take the time to read this. I am sure I will never forget this novel. All in all this was a good LGBT novel, by one of the top names in the genre.
"I'm wearing ultra-lowrider camo pants that barely cover my crack and if she looks she'll see the strap of my thong."
"Reeve goes in my ear, "Tell her he has herpes."