Katie Fitzgerald's Reviews > Dear Bill, Remember Me? and Other Stories

Dear Bill, Remember Me? and Other Stories by Norma Fox Mazer
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Oct 14, 2016

bookshelves: did-not-finish

Read Up on Fong Mountain on 10/29/12.

"Up on Fong Mountain" is a YA short story by Norma Fox Mazer, which was originally published in 1976 in a collection called Dear Bill, Remember Me? and Other Stories. The main character is Jessie, whose teacher has given a class assignment to keep a journal for 4 months, from February to the end of the school year. At first, Jessie believes she has nothing to write about, but when she starts dating BD, suddenly she begins to confide all her innermost feelings to her journal, talking about the highs and lows of a relationship where she is not always treated as an equal.

As a former journal writer (I got out of the habit before the end of college), I am a sucker for stories written in diary format, especially if they involve secret writings about boyfriends, as that was my main writing topic during high school. This story, though older than I am, still feels like a realistic portrayal of adolescent relationship angst. Jessie goes through the same experiences as many teenage girls in first relationships. She likes kissing, but doesn’t want to go further, and she likes BD, but not as much as she likes being free to make her own decisions. The arguments Jessie and BD get into, about everything from their ancestors’ behavior to correct grammar usage, are like many of the arguments I had with my first boyfriend. Mazer really captures the awkwardness and uncertainty of high school love stories, especially those that don’t last, and almost nothing about the story is so dated that it would keep today’s teens from seeing themselves in it.

This story would make a fun addition to a study on fictional diaries, which are a hugely popular genre these days. It’s also a great pick-me-up for girls going through break-ups with boyfriends who just weren’t right for them. It gives hope that things really do work out for the best, and reminds us that poor romantic matches are a part of growing up.

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Reading Progress

10/14/2016 marked as: read-excerpt
12/18/2016 marked as: did-not-finish

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