Update as of October 26, 2012. Just want to publicly state that since reading this book (in late 2011) I have had to make a decision about my personal opinion on pulling fanfiction to publish for money. And I have come down on the side of Not Okay. Hard. This book came out before the Twilight fanfiction fandom exploded with greed and as I hadn't been able to read it as a fic, I bought and loved the book. Today, I would not have bought it. This practice has broken the fandom in two, and has broken long-standing friendships into pieces. I will not change my original rating, nor my original review, because I *did* feel all those emotions. This is a hard thing for me to do, as I want to stand up for my friends. But... Friends can be friends, even if you do not agree on how they act. Since reading this book, I have had the opportunity to read it as a fanfic. Sadly it made SO much more sense when it was about Edward and Bella. ***Original reviewThis is the kind of book everyone should read at least once. It speaks of truth, commitment, standing up for your friends. Of doing what is right, even if that doesn't always mean easy. It speaks of the destructive power of peer pressure and the positive power of love. Oh, boy, does it ever speak of love. Below are the moments where I stopped, took a deep breath, and sighed. Even cried. Debra wrote: "True love, the kind that lasts forever, is very rare indeed." “And that ring deserves another sixty years and more of love on it.” "Love was the only song he knew how to play." "And I will never, ever lose count." Because when words are put together, just so, they speak to something deeper within us, and this is why storytelling in the book-form is so important. These kinds of ideals get lost in screenplay writing where they later are turned into filmmaking and terrible acting. A book like Poughkeepsie? Ideals both soar and teach. It tells us that standing up for the weak is right, that giving freely of your time and smiles are simply things that you do if you want to be a human being.You stand up for your friends. You stand up for your friends. You stand up for your friends. You stand up for your friends.I believe I will be reading this book not once, not twice, but as many times as I can, also out loud to my nieces. And I will especially point out the importance of having a friend like Mouse - or the importance of BEING a friend like Mouse. Blake, Cole and Beckett, you will all stay with me forever.Livia, you are the power of woman. The infinite strength of feminine. Poughkeepsie, you did not disappoint. You are a beacon of light.Debra, you own my heart.