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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Loves Me Love Me Not
by Per Nilsson
Age Range: 14+
A 16-year-old Swedish boy sits alone in his room surrounded by all the objects
collected from a short-lived relationship with ‘Heart’s Delight’ – a beautiful redhaired
girl whom he met on a bus. Gradually, one by one, he destroys all the items
that are connected with Ann-Katrin – he tears up his bus pass from their first
meeting, drops the pot plant of lemon balm she gave him over the edge of the
balcony. A record that contained his favourite song is thrown in the air like a frisbee
and the Swiss army knife goes over the balcony too.
The novel is cleverly set out like a film that has been edited and re-shot, scene by scene. As he plays the film of his past over and over in his head, memory and reality blend into one story, the final showing. This is a bitter-sweet story about first love and heartbreak. An ideal coming-of-age book for young boys, the narrative is short and sharp conveying all the emotions that the boy goes through as he struggles to make sense of everything and finally move on with his life.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)