Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wildfire #77 Dating Blues and #78 Brian's Girl

77. Dating Blues, Maud Johnson, 1986

For Beth-Ann Hughes, who just turned 16, "dating blues" used to mean "no dates."  But after great-looking Kenny and upperclassman Curtis start asking her out, Beth-Ann knows that having lots of dates—with the wrong boys—can be even worse!

Her best friend tells her she's too picky; there's no such thing as a perfect boy.  Then Beth-Ann meets Tony and she knows that isn't true.  Tony is perfect—but does he care for Beth-Ann as much as she cares for him?  Beth-Ann is finally in love, and everything should be wonderful.  So why is she still feeling those dating blues?

I find it interesting and a bit shocking that Beth-Ann's mom and her best friend, Fran, blame Beth-Ann for each failed date.  In one case, the boy expects Beth-Ann to sleep with him.  Beth-Ann refuses.  Fran chides Beth-Ann for breaking off the relationship, "Boys talk.  He could ruin your chances with other guys if he told them you were no fun."  Huh?  It sounds like Fran thinks Beth-Ann should have put out so that she would get more dates. 

This is a good to very good book.

78. Brian's Girl, Diane Hoh, 1986

Kate Ryan is Brian Donahue's girl.  Or at least she thought she was.  When Brian comes home from college for a visit, he devastates Kate by telling her he's in love with someone else.  But Kate isn't down for long.  She launches an all-out campaign to win him back.  

Adam Tranter, a new guy at school, is attracted to Kate, and he fits right into her plan.  She needs someone to make Brian jealous, and it doesn't hurt that Adam is cute and fun to be with.  Kate doesn't like using Adam, but she has no choice.  This is war!  

Suddenly everything is upside down.  Brian isn't the boy on her mind—Adam is—but he's not even speaking to her anymore.  Has Kate let her obsessive love for Brian ruin her chance for a romance with Adam?

Kate is prone to violent thoughts.  On page 20, she wants to shoot Brian's new girlfriend.  On page 39, Kate reflects that she would "cut her throat" before showing tears.

I enjoyed seeing how Kate gradually comes to figure out what she really wants.  This is a very good book.

1 comment:

Tai said...

According to Wikipedia, "Dating Blues" was Maud Johnson's final book before she died in 1985. It was published after her death. She was a terrific, romance writer and one of my favorite authors in the Wildfire series. I haven't read "Dating Blues" yet, but in "A Kiss for Tomorrow" there is a scene where Johnson has the main character wonder if the boy she likes would have made love to his ex-girlfriend instead of kiss the way they had. When I read that, I was like "Scholastic was mighty liberal in 1982." LOL!