Getting over Max Cooper

Marcelle Karp

Book - 2022

Sixteen-year-old Jazz worries when her best friend Macy displays obsessive behavior over an ex-boyfriend.

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Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Karp Marcelle Checked In
Young adult fiction
Romance fiction
New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons [2022]
Main Author
Marcelle Karp (author)
Physical Description
279 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 12 and up.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Inhibitions are cast aside and lifelong friendships are tested in Karp's theatrical debut. Jasmine "Jazz" Jacobson has spent her summers visiting Fire Island's Fair Harbor since she was two years old. For Jazz, summers on Fire Island mean freedom and, now 16, she can't wait for the upcoming season, during which she plans to scoop ice cream at the snack bar, work on a photography project to expand her Instagram following, bike along the beach with best friend Macy Whelan, attend wild parties, and embark on her first-ever romance with handsome photographer, Leo "McDimple" Burke. In reality, though, Macy's preoccupation and increasingly all-consuming pursuit of Max Cooper, her "non-boyfriend boyfriend" and last year's hookup, turns Jazz's initially carefree vacation spent getting closer to Leo into a boundary-crossing summer in which she helps prevent Macy from doing something she'll regret. Supporting characters' plotlines occasionally overshadow the protagonist's arc, and situations regarding drug dependency and unreciprocated romantic advances are left unexplored, but Macy's all-or-nothing attitude and Jazz's determination to pull her back from the edge of obsession add intensity to this otherwise breezy debut. Karp's intricately detailed locales and companionable cast effectively capture one unforgettable, whirlwind summer. Most characters cue as white. Ages 12--up. (Apr.)

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Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up--After a dull sophomore year, aspiring photographer Jazz can't wait for her summer on Fire Island, NY, especially so she can see Macy, her best friend. Before Macy arrives, Jazz meets Leo, a cute fellow photographer. Macy arrives preoccupied with a former hookup, but Jazz is more concerned with her crush on Leo and the idyllic summer she has imagined with Macy. Through some early morning photo sessions, bike rides, parties (including casual drug use and drinking), Jazz gets closer to Leo, while Macy tries (in vain) to see her crush, Max. Macy's substance use increases as her obsession over Max strengthens. However, the obsession plot grows unsatisfactorily: Jazz is somewhat clueless about Macy's destructive behavior and increasing meanness. Max makes only brief appearances before the final third of the book. Macy rarely acts as the best friend Jazz has idealized, and little sympathy for her is generated. When Jazz does finally grasp the severity of Macy's behavior, she acts as a good friend would. However, the book offers no real discussion of Macy's mental health issues, and Macy is shuttled home off-page. The story arc of Jazz and Leo's romance engages, but it isn't enough to make up for the lack of character development, overuse of slang, and generally sluggish plot. While Jazz, Macy, Max, and Leo present as white, their friend group's diversity feels a little tokenized. VERDICT Perhaps a quick beach read, this book lacks plot and characters to set it apart. A secondary purchase.--Kate Fleming

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A story of first love, flawed friendship, and small-town summers. Spending the summer in Fair Harbor on Fire Island has been a long-standing tradition for 16-year-old Jasmine Jacobson and her New York City schoolteacher mom. When Jazz isn't working on Galentines, her summer photography project, and posting to her Jazzmatazz Instagram and Tumblr accounts, she spends her days scooping ice cream at Crabby's and riding bikes all over the island with her best friend, Macy Whelan. The freedom of the island provides ample opportunity for frees, or supervision-free parties, and Jazz, Macy, and their close-knit circle of summer friends are often found drinking, smoking weed, and hooking up. Jazz is crushing on Leo "McDimple" Burke, a fellow photographer and a new face in town, and Macy is still obsessing over Max Cooper, last summer's "non-boyfriend boyfriend." Macy's fierce loyalty to those she cares about both impresses and frightens Jazz; Macy's win-at-all-costs approach, especially when it comes to the unrequited and unwelcome pursuit of a love interest, adds some serious notes to the narrative. All of this plays out against the warm background of a summer at the beach, with sunset gatherings, family hangs, and shared histories. A sense of nostalgia and wistfulness for the innocence of childhood is woven throughout and adds a further dimension to the story. Central characters read as White; there is ethnic diversity in their friend group. A quintessential beach read. (Romance. 14-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

My phone buzzes, a text from Ravi. Dammit. My drama- free night is interrupted by a boy . Come out on your deck yo. I get up off the couch and go to the floor to ceiling screen doors of our house--at night, you can't really see what's on the deck from inside the house, so I press my face against the loose mesh screen and see Adera facing the moonlight taking selfies, plus Ravi sitting beside Nate on the steps of our damp deck, smoking cigarettes and finally, Leo, crouched in the sand, facing my house, shooting my friends. Leo taking photos of Adera and Ravi and Nate. "What are you guys doing out here?" I ask, trying to be casual, while inside I'm doing somersaults. Leo McDimple is on my deck, at my house. I slide the screen door open and then shut it behind me. It's hotter out on the deck than inside my house, which is unusual for Fire Island, where the tem- perature usually drops to the sixties at night. The boys are in T-shirts and shorts, except for Ravi, who isn't wearing a shirt, which, hello, brave--the mosquitos are out too, and I slap my exposed neck, manna for them. "This one wanted to come here," Adera says, pointing at Leo. Adera is exquisite in a simple tank dress, white against her dark skin, formfitting, accentuating her curves. "I was telling Leo about the view from your top deck, but he doesn't remember it, so we figured we'd come check it out," Ravi says. When we were all in elementary and mid- dle school, Mom would have parents come over with their kids, and the parents would go to the upper deck and drink and smoke while the kids stayed here on the lower deck, playing in the sand and running in and out of the house, letting bugs in. "See, I don't remember bath time and you don't remember the deck, so we're even," I say to Leo. "I don't think so, babe. I seriously do not think you can compare a view of a sky with a view of me . . ." Leo stops talking, spins around, his fist closed at his mouth. Did he just call me "babe"? Everyone starts laughing and poking fun at Leo for calling me "babe." And he gives everyone except me the middle finger, and we laugh even harder while Ravi meanders down the steps of my deck to the bay water and starts splashing about. "Where's Macy?" I ask as I sit beside Adera on one of the chaise lounges. "I don't know," Adera answers, moving her legs, making room for my butt. "She didn't open my Snaps." So it's not just me. Macy's blown off Adera, too. "Yeah, this whole roll just kind of happened," Ravi explains as he comes back onto the deck and sits on the floor oppo- site me and Adera. "These guys were at my house and Adera came over . . ." That's typical here; everything is so casual. It's so much better just showing up at someone's house than waiting to be Snapped. "What happened to the boy?" I ask Adera. She tsks. "Girl, he blew me off." I scowl. I was so excited for Adera to be in like with someone who liked her back. "And may I remind you, he"--she points to Leo, speaking in a low tone "wanted to come here ." And then she whispers, "No mention of Alice, at all." I nod, absorbing the information. Cautious in my urge to be enthusiastic. "So, can I see this famously epic view?" Leo asks, the air thick with things flying across our eyes. I swat at whatever it is that lands on my forehead. "Yeah, sure, let's go up--maybe you'll remember it," I say generically to everyone, even though I really want to be in- viting only Leo upstairs. "Can we smoke up there?" Nate asks, in a Russian accent, which of all the accents he takes on is the best I've heard so far. "No, dummy. My mom will lose her mind if she catches us." Nate tsks and says something about how I'll never stop being a Goody Two-shoes. I don't take my preference for following the rules as an insult. Ravi says, "Yeah, cool. You bring Leo upstairs. We're gonna take the boat out and smoke a bowl." Adera nods her head, indicating that I need to take advan-tage of this moment; yes, I can interpret that much from a mere chin cocked at a certain angle, eyes wide open, nose doing a twitch. Leo looks at me. "I'm game if you are." I nod, because of course I am game. Excerpted from Getting over Max Cooper by Marcelle Karp All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.