Monday, April 30, 2012

THIS is Romance? How to Kiss a Guy

THIS is Romance?

Backcover blurb: Determined to shed her serious, shy reputation, Naomi Peters auditions for the starring role in her high school's production of "Beauty and the Beast"--and gets it! Acting brings out a side of Naomi she never knew existed and so does Dylan Russo, the male lead--but is the romance destined to last once they're off stage? 
 
The Deets:
1st Published: 1995
Author: Elizabeth Bernard
Page count: 181
Series: Bantam Love Stories Book 3

The Heroine: Naomi Peters, you're basic shy studious student who really wants to bloom and become the prom queen 

The Hero: Dylan Russo, who (surprise!) rides a motorcycle, is brooding and 'dark'.  Also he's 'handsome' in a cat like way :smacks forehead:

Adult Supervision: Naomi's mom (takes her 40 pages to show up), Judi (I'm honestly not sure on this one)...and that's literally the entire list. Mind you Naomi's mom shows up half a dozen times to say things like 'That's nice dear' and 'You're home early'.

Motley Group of Friends: Amanda (the obligatory best friend), Josh Dickerson (the 'so-so' boyfriend kind of ), Max Munoz (the not gay friend dating Amanda), Dave (drama club president), assorted people in the drama club...the list is rather lengthy actually

Locations: Paul Revere High School...no state, city or anything else given
Precursor to Love: All Girls Want Bad Boys, Cool Bike, Always Someone Better, Can't Catch Up (which is true of all the books),

Not Meant for Kids:  There's a lot of theatrical crying going on here, but very little else.

Hallmark Moment: For Naomi?  Page 13--when she first sees him. Seriously she can't stop thinking about him after that.

Dear Person who may answer this (note: totally taking liberties with these letters)

Dear Jake: I really like this guy, but our friends just won't leave us alone time for me to get my feminine wiles happening! Oh what should I do?

Jake: Dear JH, Shut up and tell him already.  Men aren't psychic.  If he's not a wuss then he'll spend time alone with you.

Dear Jake: I'm a frosh and this guy who's already graduated high school wants me to go out with him but I'm afraid he wants things I'm not ready to give. Is he the evil predator I think he is?

Jake: Dear LM, very likely yes.  Also its illegal for you two to date without parental consent and what parent would consent to--oh wait.  You're in Texas.  I'm sure your dad will have a handle on this.

Dear Jenny, I kissed my best friend's long term boyfriend while she was away, but it totally meant nothing!  We swear!  Should we tell her?

Jenny: Dear DB, yes. If she finds out somehow else, well I hope you like being best friendless.

Dear Jenny, I'm lonely and want a date for the school dance, but the only guy to ask me is someone I would never consider dating...but I can't be alone! What should I do?

Jenny: Dear HB, could you be more selfish? Don't string a guy along just because you're lonely.  Also what's wrong with a group of friends going together?  Stop being indecisive. 

Overall Opinion:  I know I read this one back in the day, but even then I wasn't that interested in theater (kind of in the backstage crew...which is now a point of hilarity as the vast majority of my friends are/were into theater).  Naomi kind of got on my nerves this new reading with how wishy-washy she seemed. 

There's a scene near the end that many romance readers would recognize--Naomi is supposed to be telling her milksop boyfriend Josh the kiss-off, but instead ends up wussing out.  The new guy she now loves, Dylan spots them and immediately deduces she's an idiot and runs off.  Naomi STILL does not tell the milksop the whatfor, tries to explain herself to everyone else and yet after she tearfully admits her love everyone forgives her.

We had a word for her in HS--idiot (they have a new word for her in my sister's generation of HS, but I won't repeat that here on this blog).  She literally falls in love with Dylan the second she meets him, she angsts about her feelings for him vs. her feelings for the milksop and yet she can't work her way up to anything resembling a conversation with either one about her confusion. I just can't with this girl.