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teen fiction

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Friday Fiction: Why am I too young?

why am i too young cover

Why Am I Too Young?
Young
1985

Yet another familiar trope in the world of teen fiction: the older boy. Our protagonist, Callie, is crushing hard on the new super sexy lifeguard. Callie starts obsessing over the guy. This little obsession starts to cause problems, meaning she turns into a mean girl to her friends and family. By the end of the book, Callie starts to get it and finally does a nice mea culpa to her bestie and actually notices the age appropriate guy, who was trying to get her attention this whole time.

Mary

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Friday Fiction: An X-Rated Romance

An X-Rated Romance
Sunshine
1982

The reason I picked up this book is, of course, the cover. Creepy doesn’t begin to describe the ick factor about the title and cover. Note the sexy teacher’s expression. <shudders> Sara, our teen protagonist, has a huge crush on Mr. Garfield. She and her bestie, Emily have decided to up their game with a seduction. (The concept of seduction was still vague for these girls.) This, of course, requires planning a way of getting Mrs. Sexy Teacher out of the way. Unbelievable shenanigans follow: de-pantsing, mild stalking, ridiculous dieting, and rubber bands in a salad. Note: When looking for a review, I stumbled upon the site Lost Classics of Teen Lit and then proceeded to spend too much time reading and sifting through this site. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

By the way, the copy I had checked out was taped and processed within an inch of its life. There was a date due sheet and an envelope. The first checkout on the card was 1986. My personal feeling is that teen fiction should be as current as possible. Even if you are a conservative weeder, I can’t believe this paperback relic survived automation and RFID and no one thought maybe it was time to let it go.

Maybe the audience of 40-something librarians will revive this “classic.”

Mary

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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

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