Eighteen-year-old Erica Arrendondo is a serious student with her sights set on a career as a veterinarian. Then, after his mother dies a sudden, accidental death, Erica's boyfriend, Danny, turns to drugs and alcohol to escape his grief. As his life spins out of control, Erica struggles to help Danny get back on track. After a tragic turn of events, Erica finally realizes that she can't save Danny, and that she is losing herself in the process of trying. Thus begins the difficult task of finding the strength and will to put her own life back together.
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Grade level: 9 and up
Lexile count: 720
AR 8.0 IL: UG BL: 4.5
But What About Me? has also been translated into Chinese (not available through New Wind Publishing).
School Library Journal wrote:
This book shows the truth. A relationship where one person is caught up in the life of the other. A relationship where a young teen thinks she's in love. But What About Me? reminds young girls what a REAL relationship is and not just what a young girl thinks. Yes the feelings may think you’re in love, but always remember use your head! — Linda
The book was awesome....i loved the action. and it just left me in awe. — Pedro
Erica is a typical teen girl. She sticks up for her boyfriend, even when she starts to doubt him. She lies to her parents about their relationship, but it all comes out in the end, as all secrets do. Since I teach eighth grade, I felt the need to share this book with my students. I always tell them to not get hooked on one person,to look around, and not become too serious. This book shows exactly what could happen to anyone. — A customer
This is a great book for jr/sr high students. It lets them know about real relationships. All of Marilyn Reynolds' books are great reads for students. — Sheila
Midwest Book Review wrote:
Grade 9 and up. This sensitively written problem novel deals with a young woman's struggle to stay true to her own goals and values while trying to save her boyfriend from himself. Erica Arrendondo, 18, is an excellent student who volunteers at the Humane Society, plays volleyball, and desperately wants to be a veterinarian. Her boyfriend is spiraling down a path of self-destruction and pulling her along with him. Topics such as keeping parents unaware of sexual relationships, the trauma of rape, the stress of college applications, the rewards of volunteerism, and the threat of AIDS are all gently interwoven into the main story of the trials of young love. The characters are compelling and the novel itself almost impossible to put down. The writing is superb and the realistic tone sets this book alongside the best of the genre. This fifth entry in the series about students at Hamilton High is an excellent addition to any YA collection.
Erica pours more and more of her heart and soul into helping boyfriend Danny get his life back on track. But the more she tries to help him, the more she loses sight of her own dreams. It takes a tragic turn of events to show Erica that she can't "save" Danny, and that she is losing herself in the process of trying. Finally, Erica is forced to wonder, "But what about me?" She begins the difficult task of putting her own life back together again. But What About Me? puts real-life problems of acquaintance rape into a candid fictional format that can grab the attention of teen readers the way no amount of simple lecturing can ever do.