SUMMER GIRLS, LOVE BOYS And Other Short Stories by Norma Fox Mazer

SUMMER GIRLS, LOVE BOYS And Other Short Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If the title turns you off, the first story, cast as a series of unsent letters to a boy the girl writer is stuck on, will confirm the worst. It's pure teen-romance drivel. The title story is tuned to the same wave-length, though less sappy and possessed of more elements: 15-year-old Mary's doting older parents, her weak stab at independence, a charming boy who gives her rides on his motorcycle but openly admits his love for another girl, the boy's attractive father who eventually shocks Mary by kissing her, and her aching, on her sadder-because-wiser sixteenth birthday, ""to still be fifteen--oh! To still be fifteen!"" The other entries are so obvious and one dimensional that capsule summaries miss no nuances: A hostile teenager, talking to a shrink, works out her feelings about her little sister's death. A homely good-natured girl marries a spoiled, handsome, unemployed neighbor who needs taking care of when his mother dies. A college dropout in 1949 finds sisterhood and solidarity working in a factory--and loses interest in the radical boy her move had been meant to impress. A weepy girl who has lived in the shadow of her ""perfect"" older sister finds the sister weeping on the night before her wedding, in fear that her husband-to-be will discover her imperfections. ""I was stunned by the thought that Elena's perfection had been as much a burden to her as my crying had been to me,"" says the narrator--and the other stories make their points with the same unmodulated banality. Mazer's earlier short story collection, Dear Bill, Remember Me, was about ordinary people's ordinary relationships. These are ordinary in the most limiting sense.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Delacorte