At some point in our lives, we have all wished that we could send a message back in time to a younger version of ourselves. Maybe it would be a warning, or piece of advice that would have made life much easier. In Gimme a Call, author Sarah Mlynowski describes such a scenario, in which 17-year-old Devi is suddenly able to call 14-year-old Devi on her cell phone. Once older-Devi (she uses the name “Ivy” to avoid confusion) manages to convince younger-Devi who she is, they get down to the business of improving Ivy’s, and therefore eventually Devi’s, life.
First on Ivy’s list of changes for Devi: turn down Brian when he asks her out. Otherwise she’ll waste three years of high school with him and lose all her friends. Then, work on improving her grades and increasing her extracurricular activities, not only to be accepted at a top-tier school, but also to get a scholarship. Ivy spent too much time with Brian to worry much about schoolwork, and now her college plans pale in comparison to her brainy older sister’s.
As their plan unfolds, everything that Devi does manifests as a change in Ivy’s reality. In order to maintain the structure of the story, Ivy’s memories don’t change, just the world around her. Unfortunately, some changes do more harm than good and before too long Devi isn’t sure she likes having to do all the hard work while Ivy reaps the benefits. Logically, she will benefit in the long run, but since when do 14-year-old girls think logically? Not to mention that Brian seems like a great guy, despite what Ivy says.
Will Ivy’s plan to create a better life work? Or are things just as bad as they were before, only in a different way? And will any of it matter if she can’t convince Devi to stick to the plan and not give in to Brian’s charms?
Check the WRL catalog for Gimme a Call.