Gonzalez, Julie. Imaginary enemy.

Author:Marler, Myrna
Position:Young adult review - Brief article - Book review

GONZALEZ, Julie. Imaginary enemy. Random House, Delacorte. 336p. c2008. 978-0-385-73552-0. $15.99. JS *

This book reads a bit more like a memoir than a novel. Loosely plotted and somewhat episodic, it traces the maturation of Jane Venezuela White from about six years old until she's 16. From the time she learns to write, whenever trouble comes her way, often the result of her own choices, she scribbles a letter to Bubba, short for Beezelbub, and blames him. She keeps all these letters in a blue folder stuffed behind her school papers. Jane narrates episodes from her elementary school years, her relationships with the eccentric but interesting and lovable neighbor family, her first kisses, her first real boyfriend, the making of girlfriends, her attitudes towards school and teachers, and her relationship with her parents and neighbors. None of this is earth shattering; it's mostly the chronicle of an ordinary girl's experience growing up. Over the course of the years, she slowly matures and turns from a brat into a competent and caring young woman.

What distinguishes Jane is her letters to Bubba...

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