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Creedle, Laura. The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily.

5Q * 4P * J * S * NA (a)

Creedle, Laura. The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, December 2017. 352p. $17.99. 978-0-54493205-0.

Sixteen-year-old narrator Lily Michaels-Ryan has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She breaks things, cannot manage to be on time, does not pay attention to instructions or finish assignments, and runs away from frustrating situations, usually ending up at her best friend Rosalinds house. Rosalind and her vegan parents accept Lily just as she is, while Lily's mother wants to make her more "normal." Lily misses her father, a medieval scholar who could not finish his graduate work and left the family five years earlier for life as a goat farmer. She is further irritated by her younger sister, Iris, a gifted student who does everything right. Sent to detention for breaking a sliding wall divider, Lily sits next to accomplice-in-destruction, Abelard Mitchell, who has Asperger's syndrome accompanied by genius. Lily recognizes the scar she inflicted when she hit Abelard with her lunchbox in the first grade. Impulsively, she kisses him. They begin texting, using quotes from famous 12th-century letters and progressing into a full-fledged tender, if difficult, love.

This first novel by Creedle, an author with ADHD, is amazing. Funny, poignant, genuine Lily takes the reader into the brain of a neurodivergent young woman who has a great deal to offer. Abelard makes readers question the wisdom of the world's expectations of conformity. These young people are different, and readers will like them the way they are. Entertaining and endearing, The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily calls for a sequel.--Laura Woodruff.

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Author:Woodruff, Laura
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 1, 2017
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