Monday, June 25, 2018

She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)

36750127Hood, Ann. She Love You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)
June 26th 2018 by Penguin Workshop
ARC from ALA Midwinter

It's 1966, and Trudy Mixer is having a hard time at the end of the school year. Her best friend, Michelle, is morphing into a lipstick wearing, Twiggy haircut sporting cheerleader, her father is so involved in his work that he doesn't spend much time with her, and her Beatles' Fan Blub has gone from being the biggest group in the school to having only four members. Not only that, but a substitute teacher uses her real name, Gertrude, and people start calling her that all the time. There's a brief moment of light-- the Beatles are performing a concert in Boston, not too far from her home. Her father has to travel to Japan on business, but Trudy convinces her mother to drive her, and even gets her to practice, since driving stresses her out. When her mother breaks her leg and has a cumbersome cast on her right foot, Trudy must reassess her strategies. There is a new girl in town, Penelope, who has moved from California and spells of Patchouli, and she claims that she is going to the concert with a high school boy, and they intend to take the bus and then the subway to the concert. Trudy rallies the three remaining members-- Jessica, Nora, and Peter-- and uses the summer to obsess over the Beatles' music and make plans for the concert. As president of the FIRST fan club in Rhode Island, Trudy is sure that the group can manage to meet Paul, and soon finds out that her friends all have their own reasons for wanting to make a personal connection with the Fab Four.
Strengths: While there are still students who adore the Beatles (my own daughter included!), I don't think they understand the real impact of the group on popular culture in the 1960s. We have needed this book for a LONG time, and Hood includes so many details about modern day culture that I was definitely transported back to the summer of 1966.Trudy has a typical, middle class suburban lifestyle-- the hard working, quiet father, the Arpege wearing mother who dabbles in reading The Feminine Mystique but still churns out meatloaf, and the bedroom with mint green dotted swiss and a record player. In everlasting middle school (or junior high) fashion, her friends are changing and developing interests that don't match hers. The social issues of the time are worked in very cleverly through the experiences of the other children and include the "hippie" counterculture, the conflict in Vietnam and its effect on the families whose sons were fighting, and the general change in the feeling in the world that is so evident in the evolution of the Beatles' music and wonderfully summed up by this line "Psychedelic was part of the way the world was changing, and it made me feel nervous." (Page 154 of the uncorrected advance proof.) This is a beautifully written and vivid paean to a bygone era that is ingrained in the public consciousness and needs to be explained to younger people.
Weaknesses: I was so caught up in the details (Liddle Kiddles! Melamine dishes! White Pages from other cities in the library! Up the Down Staircase!) that I missed the character development in Jessica and Nora, and was a little surprised at Peter's feelings for Trudy at the end of the book. There were a few minor historical errors, but no 12 year old will catch them, and they all involved things that were just a year or two off.
What I really think: This transports readers to a very particular time and fully invests them in Trudy's quest to meet Paul McCartney. It is a wish fulfillment novel in the very best sense. I cried at the end, but then I was always a girl who loved George best! Definitely purchasing at least two, if not three, copies. Plus one for my daughter for Christmas!

Blog Tour!
June 18 – BookHounds YA – Favorite Beatle and why
June 19 – In Wonderland – Favorite Beatle
June 20 – It’s Just About Write – Author Guest Post: If it starts with the Beatles, what makes boy bands and the stories they inspire still so popular today all these decades later?
June 21 – Dotters Daughters Picks – Author Q&A

June 25 – Ms. Yingling Reads – Review
June 26 – Sweet Things – Review + Creative
June 27 – Book Nerds Across America – Favorite Boy Band  
Ms. Yingling


  1. This might be a book to give to the kids so they can sample the flavor of that decade. I'm intrigued enough to take a look. Wonder what happened to Melamine?

  2. I would enjoy this book, as I was 15 and the Beatles certainly contributed to a huge shift in pop culture. I loved Paul McCartney and still do.

  3. Sounds like a fun book about one of my favorite bands and time periods. Thanks for sharing this one with us. PS--I love the graphics on the cover!

  4. Very cool. I love the Beatles. My four-year-old sings their songs daily. I am going to have to get my hands on this book!

  5. My husband is a HUGE Beatles fan. While he mostly reads adult nonfiction and adult fiction (he's an English professor), I'm tempted to just get this for him just for an enjoyable personal read on the side. Besides, we have at least 2 middle grade readers at home who will enjoy it, too. Thanks so much for sharing!