THE LOSER by Elizabeth Allen
Kirkus Star


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At one point, at a play try-out, Dietz, a high school junior, comments that ""young people don't try to act young, they try to act old."" This is a significant aspect of the teenage characters in this book, who are neither the small-scale adults nor the completely sheltered poppets isolated in their world who populate so many of the books for adolescents. There is nothing very unusual or startling about either the setting or the conflicts of this book, but they are given a fresh feeling in a natural approach to the characters. The basic conflict is the balance between conformity and non-conformity, and it develops during Dietz' brief romance with Denny Hawks, a Harvard flunk-out masquerading as a drop-out. It is one of the strengths of this story that both the girl and the boy are touched upon more than superficially, and that their relationship is considered not as a problem in etiquette, but as an element in their own maturation. Teenage girls should find this book entertaining and are likely to discover more than a touch of the familiar.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1965
Publisher: Dutton