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Home » The Vine

The Vine: October 19, 2012

Submitted by on October 19, 2012 – 12:02 PM13 Comments

About 15-20 years ago I read a young-adult book about a high-school romance that I’ve been trying to remember the title of ever since.

It was about a boy who became interested in a girl because he kept seeing her name on the due-date cards of all the books he checked out from the library (so…it’s a little out of date). As someone who’s always been an avid library user, I always thought that would be the perfect way to meet someone.

I also remember that he was a year younger than her, which caused trouble at school for some reason. I think there may have been a scene where they took a break from working on homework together to make out, and set a kitchen timer to limit how long it would be.

If anyone knows this book it would be wonderful to see if I can find a copy again!





  • Kari says:

    Not sure about the library card part, but I know there was a kitchen timer makeout thing in Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice by Paula Danziger.

  • Julia says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s “Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?” by Paula Danziger. I don’t actually remember the library book part, but I absolutely remember the “younger man” part and the kitchen timer make-out session.

    It’s still in print, so you should be good to go!

  • Leigh says:

    Oh no! That actually rings a bell but definitely not a loud enough one for me to place it. I will keep thinking…that library thing definitely stuck with me too!

  • Katie says:

    Yep, I definitely remember the kitchen timer in Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? (it kind of scandalized me at the time!) but not the library card thing.

  • Gilda says:

    Yep, it’s Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? When Zach (Zack?) moves to town and hasn’t made any friends yet, he checks out books from the library and he often sees Lauren’s name, so he decides he wants to meet her. Also, it has an awesome feminist subplot about Lauren’s domineering father, her submissive (and miserable) mother, and her college-aged sister who has dared move in with her boyfriend.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Definitely Malpractice. I remember the whole “guy’s a YEAR YOUNGER!” thing was a big scandal.

    All of Paula Danziger’s dad characters were Archie Bunkers with out any redeeming lovability. I wonder what was up with that.

  • Lindsay says:

    I cosign the above suggestions!
    Did the readers just solve this mystery in less than 30 mins??

  • clobbered says:

    Not what you asked, but the library card plotline you describe also features in the movie Whisper Of the Heart, whose screenplay was adapted from a manga by the great Miyazaki

    It’s a sweet little movie.

  • Ellie says:

    Thanks so much, you guys are amazing! (And amazingly fast!) I’m definitely looking forward to re-reading this one.

  • Sarahnova says:

    Oh my God, I totally read that one! Was Lauren obsessed with pistachio nuts, or did that come from another book altogether?

    I also remember the trauma of her older sister Melissa STOPPING WEARING A BRA. For a while I had the vague impression that this was some kind of final stage of growing up – you got bras, then you ditched them again. I really wasn’t quite sure why.

  • Claire says:

    Oh my god, I was obsessed with Paula Danziger’s books when I was 10/11/12. She wrote a bunch of stuff that came out when I was that age, like the Amber Brown books, but then I started to get into her young adult stuff and was totally confused by all the weird politics in it since it was so before my time (there was some uncle who moved to Canada to avoid the draft, oh the horror.) I have not thought about her books in a million years. This may call for a trip to the library.

    @Sarahnova, I think Danziger wrote book called Pistachio Prescription.

  • courtney says:

    late to the party, but I was just thinking of Danziger’s The Cat Ate My Gymsuit the other day, which (I believe) is the first in the trilogy about that awesome Lauren character. I LOVED those books! although, as others are pointed out, there’s a certain amount of cultural translation that’s required in order to enjoy them. (I believe a batik-fabric top features prominently in one plotline, for example.)

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