Sarah's Stars

Sarah Mlynowski. Gimme a Call
Delacorte Press $22.99 ISBN 978-0-385-73588-9 256 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 16

“No! Wait! Okay, I know I sound psycho. But…Devi?”

“Yes,” I say. Psycho? The girl is certifiable. “That is still my name.”

“Right. See, I was at the mall and I dropped my phone into the fountain. And I had been thinking about all the things I would tell myself in the past. And now I’m talking to you.”

“What,” I say slowly, “are you talking about?” I would hang up, should hang up, but she sounds so familiar.

“Don’t you see?” she says, sounding like she’s bursting with excitement. “I’m pretty sure I’m you. In the future.”

It’s not until she gets to the mall that Devi realizes all of her regrets. Instead of spending her senior skip day having fun with all of her friends, she’s returning a gift she bought for her now ex-boyfriend. Soon, it all starts piling up. Because she dated Bryan for most of her high school life, she lost touch with all of her friends, and she didn’t try hard at school. Now she’s friendless, boyfriendless and off to community college. If only she could tell her younger self to avoid Bryan and work harder at school! And then, after she drops her phone in the fountain, she realizes that the only number that will go through is…her own…three years ago! Now Devi is trying to convince her younger self to avoid the cute boy that wants to date her like the plague, to sign up for extracurricular activities to pad her college applications and to solve some of her friends’ problems. But younger Devi soon finds herself swamped, and Bryan sure is cute. Will Devi be able to change her future and her past?

Sarah Mlynowski is a great writer, I’ve found. She always manages to hit the mark between sassy and serious, funny and heartfelt. Both of the Devis are interesting characters to read about because they are both the same person, but vastly different in worldview and priorities. And while the book never sets out to change the world, it still packs a hearty punch of heartwarming messages. It was intriguing to read how the younger Devi’s actions would affect the older Devi’s reality, and it’s a healthy reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (i.e. When Devi cheats at the lottery and her parents end up divorcing). After all that, a cast of multi-faceted characters, an entertaining plot and a sweet ending kept me hooked for the rest of the story.

I give Sarah Mlynowski’s Gimme a Call four out of five stars.

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