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Friday Fiction: The Unchosen

unchosen teen romance book

Unchosen
Gilbert
1963

The Unchosen is our protagonist Ellen’s description of her group of close friends. One is the “not too attractive” brain, named Kay and the other is Debbie who isn’t much for good grades and is sporting an extra 10 pounds or as our protagonist calls her “a big doll with flaxen hair”. All three young ladies seem to have missed the boat with the cool kids. They are desperate to become one of the “in” crowd and are ready to make a plan! They have ideas ranging from making a list of suitable potential boyfriends to strategically get themselves into the popular crowd. You can guess there is a mixed bag of results, some are cringe-worthy.

I actually think with my light skimming this was a little more substantive since than the typical teen angst of this period. Although this book was outdated for my 1970s teen years, I still would have read it. (In fact I might have, since a lot of this book feels familiar.)

Does it have a place in a modern teen collection? Probably not. It might work with some modern teens, if you give them a good sell. I also think those readers my age and older might get a kick out of this little period piece from our collective past.

Mary

 

unchosen back cover

unchosen text

 

4 Responses to Friday Fiction: The Unchosen

  • I’d forgotten about this book. I recall reading the hardcover edition. Here is more about the author (real name: Mildred Gilbertson): http://w1.loganberrybooks.com/books/authors/nan-gilbert.htm

  • I graduated from high school in 1965. I am certain that I read this book. 1962-63 was tenth grade, the year I began writing fiction. Being “unchosen” and feeling left out was a prime concern. I wrote a story about a girl who is excluded from a secret sorority. I have no doubt that it was derivative of this book. (I myself was a combination of the overweight girl and the bookish brain.)

  • The characters as depicted on the covers appear to be examples of “Hollywood Homely” (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodHomely);I don’t see a case of acne in the bunch. 🙂

  • I collect old children’s books and I have this one. It’s not so terrible. I remember one of the girls was obsessed with her dog and getting her bred (why weren’t these girls popular again?). The girl with the extra 10 pounds ended up losing it by doing a very light daily exercise she read about in a book. And I think the third girl ended up getting serious with a guy and dropping the other two. I thought the outcome was fairly realistic considering the girls’ friendship seemed mainly based on the fact that no one else wanted them.

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