I Am the Cheese
by Robert Cormier
Amy Hertz. Beautiful, voluptuous Amy Hertz. The thing about Amy is that she doesn't really seem to have any deep-seated issues or concerns. We don't really get to know her on a profound level. What we do know highlights her free-spirited nature and depicts her as the perfect foil for Adam. (Check out the "Character Roles" section for more on that.) As Adam puts it, "She was lightning, he was cloud" (10.17).
When Amy and Adam meet, she comments on their meet-cute and immediately starts calling him "Ace," which perfectly fits her spunky personality. What kind of girl can make fart jokes (10.18), then immediately pronounce the word nonchalant "the French way, without sounding the t" (10.21)? A cool one, that's who.
Amy is a "wise guy" (10.5). She's mischievous and thinks that everyone else takes life too seriously (10.4). As much as we admire this bravado, when contrasted with Adam's life, we wonder if maybe she just doesn't get it. Adam has no choice but to take life seriously; for him, serious things lurk everywhere.
Amy is important for Adam. He often says that he loves her and the thought of her keeps him going. She even makes him want to write poetry (10.17)! If that's not love, we don't know what is. So even if she doesn't understand (or even know about) Adam's serious issues, maybe that's just what Adam needs – a distraction from reality (whatever that may be in this book).