What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. YA novel teenager w/divorced mother dyes hair purple [s]

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message 1: by Corina (last edited Jun 20, 2016 10:33PM) (new)

Corina | 3 comments Coming of age novel, written no later than 1991, probably from the late '80s. Paperback, probably bought for a dollar at the school-wide book sales of cheap YA paperbacks.

Protagonist is a young teen, living with her recently divorced mother, possibly in Manhattan. The mother is starting to date again, which the girl isn't happy about. The girl has an older male friend who is like a father figure and mentor to her. He turns out to be gay, or HIV+, or maybe just dying of cancer. In any case, he has surprising struggles that wake her up some to bigger issues. At some point, she dyes her hair purple.

That's all I remember, and some of those details are hazy.

I would have thought I'd imagined this book, except for a vivid memory of dying my hair purple with Manic Panic when I was 11, for a "dress as your favorite book character" day in school. I got in trouble because clearly you aren't supposed to emulate punk rock book characters at that age, and was made to wash it out. I also remember defiantly telling my teacher the name of the book to prove I was following the rules for "favorite character" day. I think the title was at least three or four words long. No one had ever heard of it then, even. I've set children's librarian friends to search for it, and no one's ever found it since.

Crossing my fingers someone on here has read this!

message 2: by Tab (new)

Tab (tabbrown) | 4885 comments Now That I Know Now That I Know by Norma Klein ?

She lives in Manhattan. Also, (view spoiler)

Do you remember the cover? Why did the girl dye her hair? For attention, by accident, to copy a musician, etc?

message 3: by Lorna (new)

Lorna | 176 comments Could be Long Time Between Kisses, by Sandra Scoppettone.

message 4: by Kris (new)

Kris | 33443 comments Mod
Long Time Between Kisses by Sandra Scoppettone for Lorna's suggestion.

message 5: by Corina (new)

Corina | 3 comments Lorna, I think that might be it!!!!!

How did you know it? Bless!

Lorna wrote: "Could be Long Time Between Kisses, by Sandra Scoppettone."

message 6: by Lorna (last edited Jun 22, 2016 07:27PM) (new)

Lorna | 176 comments Yay! Happy to help.

message 7: by Lorna (new)

Lorna | 176 comments Anyway, I remember because the story begins with her premiering her new hairstyle (super-short as well as purple), and gets the same reaction you did. Her BF breaks up with her over it. In Manhattan, or maybe Greenwich Village, not in the country or a suburb! And she was 15 or 16, not 11. And in the end, she changes back to a "normal" color and starts letting it grow out. Couldn't understand why people in NYC reacted that way.

message 8: by Corina (new)

Corina | 3 comments I got the book off Amazon and just reread it after 27 years! It's pretty cheesy but was great to revisit. I got into punk rock when I was 12 and punk subculture has been a huge part of my life--it's funny to look back at this novel that was clearly judgmental of that culture but was one of my first hints of that world! I'm remembering now why I was so thrilled with this book--it's set in the artistic, Bohemian world of Greenwich Village of the late 80s. Even though the characters are a little vapid, the setting was enough for me when I was a kid. Thanks again, I was so excited to find this again!

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