Author: Beth Kephart
Published: September 2007
Like a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, Elisa ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her school. But when Elisa falls for Theo Moses, things change fast. Theo asks for verses to court the lovely Lila a girl known for her beauty, her popularity, and a cutting ability to remind Elisa that she has none of these. At home, Elisa’s father, the one person she feels understands her, has left on an extended business trip. As the days grow shorter, Elisa worries that the increasingly urgent letters she sends her father won’t bring him home. Like the undercover agent she feels she has become, Elisa retreats to a pond in the woods, where her talent for ice-skating gives her the confidence to come out from under cover and take center stage. But when Lila becomes jealous of Theo’s friendship with Elisa, her revenge nearly destroys Elisa’s ice-skating dreams and her plan to reunite her family.
When I got this book in Booksale, I was charmed by the notion of a girl who writes love letters for boys and the fact that she is getting paid to do so.
I vividly remember the days when I used to write poetry too. My classmates in high school – up until in college – would approach me, state their love affair and I would compose a poem in a jiffy. No money involved. I was more than glad to help, because writing was, and is – still my passion.
Samples of Love letters written by protagonist, Elisa:
I came to the track meet to see you run, and it was like watching the lead bird in a migrating V. You were something else. Again.
Last night, I left my window open and a firefly flew through. So much light and all I could think of was you.
You’re the pink quartz in the sunlight, all sparkly and alive. You’re the feather that the bluebird leaves behind.Have you ever watched a leaf fall from a tree? It falls upward first, then it drifts toward the ground, just as I find myself drifting toward you.
My rating for Undercover: 4 stars!