Love on the Computer!

Programmed for Love coverProgrammed for Love

A couple of people sent me this book after seeing it around the web. What is not to like? Cosby sweater? check. Edgy technology? check. A secret admirer? check. Clearly we have all the ingredients for a kick-ass teen romance right out of the mid 1980s time capsule.

Katie has a secret computer pen pal called STX1150 (band reference? Greek mythology reference? Virgin Islands Airport reference?) Of course, they write each other very cool letters back and forth. Naturally there is also a real life boy called Bobby that is super interesting too. What will Katie do?



Programmed for love back cover

Programmed for Love description

Programmed for Love exerpt


  1. Sweet Dreams romances! I used to read those all the time when I was about 12. They were all over the library’s YA paperback section. And they were way better than those stupid Sweet Valley High books. (Now you can tell exactly how old I am.)

    1. So did I. My junior high library had some, but they were always checked out! I only ever got to borrow about two of them! I had to buy most of them. I also read First Love from Silhouette, remember those ones? And I read a few other romance series that weren’t as popular: Magic Moments, Caprice, Wildfire. Most of these didn’t last long.

  2. Marion Crane is the name of Janet Leigh’s character in Psycho.

    I’m guessing that Bobby is STX1150. I’m pretty sure that this would be an in-school intra-net (is that the right word?) rather than the real internet, because 80s.

    1. *slaps forehead* Of course! I kept thinking that name sounded familiar – and somehow ill-suited to a teen romance heroine – but I could not remember why!

    2. That was my guess. Pretty sure STX1150 isn’t going to be a creepy 50 year old hebephile in a book like this.

    3. If STX1150 ISN”T Bobby, I’d be shocked. There seems no other way for this story to go.
      Not a very deep mystery, when you can figure it out from the back cover!

    4. The equivalence of STX1150 and Bobby was my instant assumption as well, but because of the technology. It’s a well-worn trope.

      1. She was on the cover of “the Last Word” by Susan Blake if my googling meant anything. She also was on the cover of “The Secret of the Dark” by Barbara Steiner.

  3. Ahhhh, gotta love those good old cheesy 80s teen reads. I think I might bring some of the titles that have been featured on here with me next time I go on a beach trip, if I can find them for cheap 😀

  4. Would love to find one title I used to read (I think it was Sweet Dreams) about a girl who travels to Florence, Italy. As frothy as these books were, I was inspired by many of them. When I did get to Florence and crossed the famous Ponte Vecchio, I thought of that book.

  5. It’s fun to see a story where the teacher is gently encouraging the kids not to be afraid of computers. And how the text has to include a description of the computer, because this new gadget is so exotic.

  6. oh, give your address and phone number to a perfect stranger online! just LOVE how this book undoes all of the internet safety lessons we provide to our students!

    1. there was no internet in 1985. The students knew that their “pen pals” were students from another class period. She just didn’t know who, from her large school, this was. She assumed it was someone she didn’t know at all.

  7. Oh my gosh! I really, really liked this book when I read it. I must’ve read it right after it was published. I was 14 during most of 1985 and had really low self-esteem regarding my looks. I had taken a computer class the year before but we learned boring code, never doing anything like this. I wished for this to be a thing… wanting someone to fall in love with me based purely on my personality. Obviously I still remember this book clearly. My best friend and I read all the Sweet Dreams books we could get our hands on. Thanks for the memories!

  8. “Then I decided it would be more fun if you were all anonymous, so now you each have a number.” We’ve come a long way. Number 6: Who are you?
    Number 2: The new Number 2.
    Number 6: Who is Number 1?
    Number 2: You are Number 6.
    Number 6: I am not a number, I am a free man.

    1. Or possibly, “You are, Number 6”. That is to say, Number 2 was telling Number 6 that he (Number 6) is Number 1.

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