Monday, January 18, 2010

My Darling, My Hamburger

During my late elementary school and early middle school years, I remember constantly flipping by this book in the scant young adult collection, curious about what it might be about, but repelled by its weird title. The author, Paul Zindel, is probably best known for his play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, but also dabbled in writing young adult novels (also with usually weird titles). My Darling, My Hamburger explores the relationships and friendships of four teens in their senior year of high school. Typical teen problems are examined like insecurity, romance, family problems, and teen pregnancy. I found most of the characters to be sort of flat, stereotypical/stock characters (the pretty girl, her fat friend, the awkward nerd, the cool guy, etc) and would've liked more character development, but the story is definitely more plot driven (by the "unexpected" pregnancy).
The book is probably not very relevant for today's teens (considering teens are much more sexually active, the legalization of abortions, etc.) however, when examining the book from its publication date of 1969, it was probably groundbreaking in its subject matter.
On a scale of teen fun, I'd say reading this book is probably better than actually having an abortion, but you will probably fantasize about punching every character in the face. Not recommended for: the not so easily fazed fans of Gossip Girl, or foodies who think there might be an appearance of a hamburger somewhere in this book.


  1. I'm amused that you found this book so bad -- my sister loved it and was always trying to make me read it, but I'd been seriously underwhelmed by one of the author's other books (The Pigman) and never bothered. Glad to see I didn't miss much!

  2. It may not have been as bad when it was written, but it just did not hold up well over the years in comparison to newer titles that deal with similar issues, in my opinion. The flat stock characters were probably the worst part.