I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson
Published by Alfred A. Knopf ISBN978-1-4000-4235-7
When you hear the title of Allison Pearson's new novel, I Think I Love You, you know right away that David Cassidy plays a role in the story.
Petra and her best friend Sharon are thirteen years old in 1974, and David Cassidy mania is in full bloom. They live in Wales, and when they find out that he will be playing a concert near them, they buy tickets for the show. Of course, Petra will have to lie to her very strict mother about where she is going.
Pearson does a terrific job taking the reader right back to her teen years, wanting desperately to belong in the popular girls' crowd, being insecure about her looks, whether she has the right clothes, will a boy ever want to date her? All those feelings come rushing right back.
Petra has to deal with Queen Bee Gillian, whom every girl will recognize right away, with her manipulative ways and hurtful, cutting comments. Gillian does her best to cause problems between Petra and the sunny Sharon. And when a boy whom Gillian likes likes Petra, the claws really come out.
While that story is familiar, it is the David Cassidy angle that makes this story unique. Petra and Sharon know EVERYTHING about David, and when a David Cassidy fan magazine offers a trip to California to meet him on The Partridge Family TV show set, they team up to win the trivia contest.
The novel also follows Bill, who wants to be a rock magazine journalist, but ends up writing for the David Cassidy fan magazine, in the voice of David himself. A pivotal section of the story occurs at the concert, which Bill has to cover. The crowds push forward, and several girls are injured; one girl is killed. (That incident really occurred at the concert- I remember reading about it when it happened.)
Fast forward twenty-fours years later: Petra has to deal with her mother's death, and her husband leaving her for a younger woman. Her husband even has the nerve to bring Petra his dirty sheets to wash- he doesn't have a washing machine on his houseboat- and she does them! Oh, Petra.
Going through her mother's things, she finds out that she and Sharon won the David Cassidy fan contest 24 years ago; her mother hid the letter from her. Petra calls the magazine office, and all the stars align, because the magazine's boss thinks it would make a terrific human interest story to take them to Las Vegas to meet David Cassidy.
Readers will no doubt relate to Petra, with all of her insecurities. And reading this novel made me want to dig out my old Partridge Family albums (yes, I had them all) and The Partridge Family Season One DVD (yes, I bought it). Pearson has a transcript of the fascinating interview she did with Cassidy for The Daily Telegraph in 2004 in the back of the book, which inspired the novel. Now all I have to do is find Cassidy's 2007 memoir, Could It Be Forever? My Story. Cause that has got to be one juicy read.
This book will appeal to all the women who loved David Cassidy as a young girl, or any woman who fondly remembers her tween celebrity crush. And just try to get that song out your head.
Rating 3.5 of 5 stars