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Literature / I Think I Love You

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I Think I Love You is a novel by Allison Pearson, told in two parts. The first is set in 1974 and follows 13-year-old Petra, who is obsessed with David Cassidy, and Bill Finn, who has a job he hates writing "David's" letters for The Essential David Cassidy Magazine. The second part is set in 1998 and follows 38-year-old Petra, reeling from both the death of her mother Greta and her divorce from her husband Marcus, as she reunites with her old friend Sharon and travels to Las Vegas to meet her teen idol.

I Think I Love You contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Published in 2011, set in 1974 and 1998.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Greta feels that she has married below her station, and she never lets her husband forget it.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Carol knots her blouse to show her stomach, even though she gets in trouble with the teachers for it.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Petra's thirteen-year-old daughter Molly constantly fights with her. Petra tells herself it's progress, as she was too scared to stand up to Greta at that age.
  • Celeb Crush: Molly is in love with Leonardo DiCaprio, but not nearly as desperately as Petra was with David Cassidy. Petra thinks it's because Molly is happier - she doesn't need to escape into celebrity fantasies, like Petra did.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Bill is said to look like Jeff Bridges.
  • Commonality Connection: Petra and Sharon's friendship is based on their shared obsession with David Cassidy.
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  • Disneyland Dad: Marcus claims he's too broke to pay Petra's maintenance, which doesn't stop him from lavishing expensive treats on Molly.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Bill's first reaction to Cassidy's picture is "She's not my type."
  • Ear Worm: To Bill's annoyance, he finds himself unable to get the songs out of his head, singing them to himself even when he's off work. He tries to hide this fact from his girlfriend, who thinks he works as a serious rock journalist.
    Long after he had forgotten all of Tennyson and Keats, he would be able to give a confident rendition of "How Can I Be Sure."
  • Go to Your Room!: Petra's mom punishes her for sneaking off to the David Cassidy concert by shutting her in her room for three days and leaving food outside on a tray.
  • Grandparent Favoritism: Molly and Greta had the loving, uncomplicated relationship that Petra and Greta never did. After Greta's death, Molly is able to simply grieve, while Petra's grief is mixed with anger.
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  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Petra, who comes from a working-class Welsh background, is attracted to cultured, unavailable, English men.
    Where was the thrill in conquering those who wanted you? She couldn't see the point. Pain and joy braided tightly together, that was what Petra craved.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Petra is so sick of having her name compared to the dog from Blue Peter that when Bill says, "Petra as in the Blue Peter dog?" she says, "Petra as in the Baader-Meinhof terrorist."
  • New Media Are Evil: Petra's mother believes that if you watch TV for long enough, television rays will destroy all your organs.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: Molly has covered an entire wall of her bedroom with Leonardo DiCaprio. To Petra's annoyance, she uses Sellotape, which damages the paint.
  • Premature Birth Drama: Molly was born at twenty-nine weeks, and she and Petra spent about four months in the neonatal care unit. She needed steroid injections to make her lungs grow faster.
  • Tears of Joy: Sharon cries at the concert.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Carol is already a grandmother by her late thirties, having gotten pregnant at sixteen.
  • Time Skip: Of twenty-four years.
  • Titled After the Song: After The Partridge Family's only number-one US hit.
  • Unwanted Glasses Plot: Petra only wears glasses in school for the blackboard, even though she's Blind Without 'Em and has gotten in trouble by smiling at strangers before.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Bill writes Petra a love letter consisting of David Cassidy lyrics.
  • Yoko Oh No: Sharon's mom hates Linda McCartney for marrying Paul because "He was mine, you see."
  • Your Makeup Is Running: On the day of the concert, Sharon wears mascara for the first time in her life. She cries when she hears that Petra entered Gillian as her partner for the David Cassidy Quiz instead of Sharon, making her look like a baby playing with charcoal.