I THINK I LOVE YOU Allison Pearson

by: Allison Pearson

Poignant, funny, joyful, profoundly moving and uplifting, I Think I Love You captures deliciously what we learn about love, life and friendship when our teenage (and our grown-up) emotions run riot. Remember when the man of your dreams was waiting for you between the pages of Jackie? Remember when your signature scent was a heady mix of joss sticks and ª†White Musk ªÆ? This hilarious and heart-warming novel takes you back to the days of lip-gloss, unrequited love, teenage crushes and Anne French cleansing milk. We enter the world of two unforgettable friends: Petra and Sharon, in 1970s South Wales, who live for David Cassidy. His fan magazine is the girls ªÆ Bible and they memorise every word that he sings and writes, in the hope of becoming the future Mrs Cassidy. But whose words are they? Perhaps David ªÆs letters and what lies behind them, belong to someone else. The secret lies with Bill Finn, reluctant pop journalist, whose job it is to compile the Ultimate David Cassidy Quiz. Top prize: the trip of a lifetime, to meet your one and only love. Over two decades later, bruised by grief, Petra is living with her thirteen-year-old daughter, who has her own teen crush. By sheer chance - or by destiny ªÆs twists - Petra discovers that the questions which obsessed her back in 1974 are suddenly very much alive. And Bill, successful in business but never in love, has some confessions of his own.
496pp, 129mm x 198mm, Paperback, 2011


“Pet and me are going to Los Angeles to hang out with David on the set of The Partridge Family,” announced Sharon with total conviction in her voice.

“What do your get if you win?” asked Olga, who had just got back with Angela from the snack machine and handed out the cold drinks and the chocolate.

“I know I’ve seen David’s signet ring mentioned somewhere,” said Sharon, ticking another mag off our master checklist.

At break time, Sharon and I lay in the dappled shade, propped up on our elbows, scouring the magazines she brought into school in a carrier bag. We were getting very close. Only four answers out of the forty still eluded us. 

So, secretly, we watched the rugby boys from under the cover of the trees. I was still madly in love with David and counting the days till I met him in London: what I couldn’t know was that things would soon change. 
Summer took us by surprise. The candles on the horse chestnuts flared overnight. Gillian’s group had already left the science corridor and moved to its meeting place beneath them, at the far end of the playing fields. It was the best spot to pretend to be ignoring the boys from. With superb disdain, we watched -  or deliberately looked away- as the lads booted the balls over the posts, ducked and dived and generally pretended to be Barry John or Gareth Edwards, who had gone to school in Pontardawe, just a few miles up the road. Only the year before, our local hero had scored the greatest try in all rugby history at Cardiff Arms Park. Many centuries later, creatures in far galaxies would still be hearing the shout of joy our town gave that afternoon in 1973. Ours was a small country, and a poor one, but when I was a child we always felt rich because men like Gareth Edwards were on our side. Until the day he died, my father loved to quote the match commentator, imitating the exact quiver of pride in his voice: ‘If the greatest writer of the written word had written that story no one would have believed it.’  

The Ultimate David Cassidy Quiz dominated our lives in the days leading up to White City, Sharon and I gave every spare minute we had to it. We dragged all our scrapbooks and shoeboxes out from under her bed; the layer of dust on them felt like suede. Spring was going absolutely nuts that year, bustin’ out all over like the song says, and the weather was so warm the little heater that smelt of burnt hair had been put away. Both windows in Sharon’s pink room were thrown wide open and we stripped to our cap-sleeved T-shirts, kneeling on the carpet as we combed through thousands of cuttings, some of them as familiar as our own family photographs. I like to think of us going about our task like an army which knows it is in a state of battle readiness. So this was it, the moment we had been training for. Our devotion to David was being put to the test. We would vanquish our enemies, like Annette Smith who told Jackie magazine she had 9,345 pix of David. Huh. Those of us who were in possession of every single issue of The Essential David Cassidy Magazine, including the rare limited edition special commemorative  birthday supplement of April 1973, had nothing to fear from show-offs from Sevenoaks, wherever that was. Defeat was unthinkable. Mrs Lewis brought us Lucozade and Jacob’s crackers and cheese to keep up our strength.  

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