by Deborah Hautzig ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 21, 1978
From an author young enough to get it right without trying, a contemporary story of a friendship between two girls, Val and Chloe, and of Val's secret uncertainties about her own place in the sexual scheme of things. Val and Chloe meet when they are both out-of-place New Girls at a private Fast Side high school, and Val is intrigued with the more confidently nonconforming Chloe from the start--intrigued with her name even before they meet. Disdain for the other, richer girls brings them together at first, and after they become good friends Val recognizes a special ""current"" between them at certain close moments. At a time when Val has a lot of questions about sex anyway--how often do normal people have it, what exactly is an orgasm, do you think homosexuality is a sin--she starts entertaining daydreams about Chloe, and worrying that she does; neither her mother nor a teacher she consults (both hypothetically) can tell her if acting on such desires would be ""perverted,"" though they are reassuring about just having them. Then, sleeping over with Chloe who is upset about her father's recent death, Val reaches out to comfort her. . . . Later Chloe's mother finds them together, presumably asleep, and Val flees, ashamed, only seeing Chloe weeks later when they both decide (for no one else can) that what they did was okay, and that they'll always be friends but not ""lovers."" With so much of Val's life and thought suddenly related to sex (however accurate and common that might be), this seems a thinner book than Donovan's I'll Get There It Better Be Worth the Trip, which it parallels in many ways. But unlike I'll Get There. . . which is now almost a decade old, this doesn't gloss over the crucial scene, leaving readers to wonder what happened. (Not much does really but it is unambiguous.) And despite the paucity of other sorts of encounters, this has neither the tone, the flatness, nor the ulterior motivation of an ""issue"" novel. Val and Chloe are alert, attractive, very real individuals; their New York milieu and different New York backgrounds are a natural, dimension-giving part of their story, and Hautzig seems so close to the scene that girls everywhere will seize upon her honest, faultlessly nuanced reflection with gratitude and delight.
Pub Date: Aug. 21, 1978
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1978
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