Cover image for Love, Sara
Love, Sara
Lundgren, Mary Beth.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2001.
Physical Description:
199 pages ; 22 cm
In a series of emails and journal entries Sara, a high school junior with a history of sexual abuse and foster home care, reveals her feelings about herself and two friends who are headed for destruction.
Reading Level:
580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.3 4.0 54123.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.1 8 Quiz: 33340 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"From the computer files of Sara J. Reichert:
My life, from the last day of summer vacation,
to almost spring of my Junior year.
No matter what you might have heard,
this is the real story."

Love, Sara is the story of two teenage best friends, Sara and Dulcie. Sara, the narrator, comes from a troubled family and has been sexually abused by her father. After a string of false starts she finally lands in a foster home where people genuinely care about her . Dulcie, who had been adopted as a baby by a close-knit, middle-class family, finds her own life spinning out of control when she and a popular football player fall in love. When his wealthy, bigoted parents learn that Dulcie is pregnant, they throw him out of the house. Without resources, the two come up with a desperate plan. And it is Sara, with the help of her foster mother, who must race against time to try to prevent her friends' impending suicide.

This fast-paced and powerful novel is told through e-mail exchanges between the two friends, through Sara's journal entries, her school essays, newspaper clippings, poems, and quotations. With vivid characters, Love, Sara is unique in its narrative form and honest and forthright in the themes it presents.

Author Notes

Mary Beth Lundgren is the author of the picture book, W e Sing The City , illustrated by Donna Perrone. This is her first novel for young adults. She lives in Cape Coral, Florida.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Through a series of e-mail exchanges, diary entries and fiction penned by an intelligent narrator, Lundgren (We Sing the City) shapes a fast-paced and emotionally layered novel about a troubled high school junior living with a foster family. Gradually, readers learn that Sara Reichert was sexually abused by her father and other men, then was shuffled from home to home. Now, having lived with the stable Carol and her two children for nearly four years, Sara is finally feeling somewhat grounded and has her first real friends. Even so, she's haunted by her past, and unable to discuss her feelings except in the stories she writes for her Honors English class. Meanwhile, her best friend, Dulcie, and Dulcie's boyfriend are in a dramatic Romeo and Juliet-like relationship. When Sara first decides to join their suicide pact, then rejects it, she doesn't know who to turn to for help. The narrative starts slowly, but Lundgren smoothly incorporates the various storytelling devices and keeps the narrative going apace. Sara addresses her journal entries to Toulouse-Lautrec (because "You were an outsider too") and her stories add texture and complexity as the plots and metaphors subtly reveal events from her past. Lundgren captures powerful emotions in brief exchanges and the turn of a phrase. Ages 12-up. (Oct.). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Through journal entries and e-mails, readers are introduced to Sara, whose voice is alternately light and weighty, as she tells of her slow growth into her new foster home. Sexually abused by her father, Sara was taken from her family and has learned not to trust anyone except her best friend, Dulcie. She has been moved in and out of various homes until landing with Carol and her two children. Sara and Dulcie's frequent e-mails are full of typical teen angst about love and school, clothes and complaints. The normalcy reflected here is balanced by journal entries addressed to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, in which Sara reveals her internal struggles. English assignments included in the journal along with teacher comments elucidate that pain and hurt from her past that form the basis of her mistrust and alienation. Even as readers see her beginning to heal, events conspire to push her into believing that there is no hope for her. As the book races to the end, they will be on edge wondering if the strengths she has gained will be enough when pregnant Dulcie and her boyfriend, who has been disowned by his wealthy family, are killed in an accident. Sara is an unreliable narrator at times, and readers will need to pay close attention to subtle hints about what is going on. While lacking emotional depth and complexity, the fast-paced narrative and teen voice provide plenty of appeal, even for reluctant readers.-Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.