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Can True Love Survive High School?Dating Game #3
By Natalie Standiford
LITTLE, BROWNCopyright © 2005 Parachute Publishing, L.L.C.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneNever Been Kissed
To: hollygolitely From: your daily horoscope HERE IS TODAY'S HOROSCOPE: CAPRICORN: Whatever little scheme you're cooking up in that brain of yours? forget it! I'm telling you, it's going to blow up in your face. Are you listening to me? Hello? To: hollygolitely From: piedpiper Re: come visit? Hollster, Heads up? sterling quad's spring blowout is three weeks away. why don't you haul your busty little self up here for it? I'm sure curt and jen won't stop you. it's a huge party all weekend. You haven't visited me once yet and my freshman year is almost over! bring mads and lina if you want (if their jailers will let them out). I miss having you around to make me feel superior. Love, the pipester
Holly Anderson forwarded the e-mail to her best friends, Lina Ozu and Madison Markowitz. The Pipester, aka Holly's older sister, Piper, was a freshman at Stanford University. Holly would have visited her at school a long time ago? Palo Alto was only about an hour and a half away from home? but Piper had never invited her before. Typical of Piper to make it seem like Holly had neglected her, rather than the other way around.
Ding! An instantmessage. Mads had already gotten the e-mail.
mad4u: I'm there! But I have to ask m.c. and the overlord first. Piper is right when she calls them jailers. Free the carlton bay two!
By that she meant herself and Lina, the only two fifteen-year-olds in Carlton Bay, California who weren't allowed to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. According to Mads, anyway. Holly's parents, Curt and Jen, were more permissive.
hollygolitely: bet your parents will give in if lina's say yes.
Another IM came in, this time from Lina.
linaonme: I already asked sylvia. She said we'll see. Should have gone straight to dad. mad4u: we have to go! krazy kollege weekend! I'll die if I miss it! hollygolitely: you've got 3 weeks to find a way. mad4u: I'll find a way. Btw, have u seen those ads for kiss me stinky? I want 2 c it so bad! linaonme: starring liam price! Yum! hollygolitely: me 2. Let's go 2gether. It's too chick-flicky for rob. mad4u: stephen too. Also 2 dopey for him.
Kiss Me, Stinky was a new movie that had just opened at the Carlton Bay Twin. Rob Safran, a hunky swimmer, was Holly's boyfriend and Mads had just started seeing the brainy, serious Stephen Costello. Lina didn't have a boyfriend. She was in love with Dan Shulman, their Interpersonal Human Development teacher. Maybe if Liam Price, the latest teen heartthrob, went to their school she'd forget about Dan. But Holly doubted it. To Lina, Dan was almost as unattainable as a movie star, but that didn't stop her from building her world around him.
hollygolitely: ok, we'll all go together. Deal? mad4u: deal. linaonme: deal. What's up 2nite? mad4u: homework. hollygolitely: fowlers coming over for drinks. With britta. I'm going 2 try 2 find a boy 2 match her with. linaonme: good luck. R u sure she likes boys? hollygolitely: pretty sure. I think she prefers amoeba, tho.
"Britta has just struggled with Calculus this year," Peggy Fowler said. "Haven't you, honey? I think she got an Aminus on the last test."
"An A-minus doesn't cut it at Harvard," Gordon Fowler said.
Holly sipped her iced tea and smiled and nodded at the Fowlers. They were sitting in front of the big stone fireplace, now filled with vines and flowers for spring, in the great room of the Andersons' comfortable contemporary house. Eugenia Anderson, Holly's mother, had put out some cheese and olives and vegetables to have with cocktails. She wore her favorite long, red, embroidered caftan with flat gold slippers, her straight dark hair chopped at her pointy chin. Holly's father, Curtis? dressed in his usual expensive golfwear, his round, ruddy face hearty with cocktail camaraderie? shook martinis. Holly sat on the couch, bare feet tucked under her, in jeans and a t-shirt. She didn't see any reason to get dressed up for the Fowlers.
Across the coffee table from her, the Fowlers sat lined up in a row, Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. Baby Bear, or Britta, a junior at the Rosewood School for Alternative Gifted Education (RSAGE), where Holly was a sophomore, was almost as tall as her father. She had his big bones and abundant curly brown hair, her mother's large brown eyes, and a reticent, shy manner that wasn't much like either of them. She wore small, silver-rimmed glasses and a long-sleeved flowery dress. Holly would have bet cash money that Britta's mother had picked it out for her.
"I don't want to go to Harvard anyway," Britta said.
"Oh, that's right," Peggy said. "You want to go to Stanford." She pronounced "Stanford" as if someone had offered her a dirty diaper with her drink. "With all the jocks." Then she glanced at the Andersons, remembering that Piper, their older daughter, was a freshman at Stanford. "Don't get me wrong, it's a great school. I just don't think it's the best place for Britta."
"They have a good microbiology department," Britta said.
"What if you get into Harvard?" Gordon said. "Or Yale? Are you telling me you'd turn them down for Stanford?"
Holly sucked a slice of lemon out of her glass and gnawed on the rind. If she had to sit there and listen to another minute of this she'd scream. She was looking forward to college as much as anyone, but the Fowlers were so obsessed.... Poor Britta, Holly thought. She really needs help. Why didn't Jen jump in with some kind of trivial social news? That was her specialty, and she normally didn't let dull conversations drag on this long without interruption.
"I worry about Britta," Peggy went on, as if Britta wasn't sitting right next to her. "Do you know she's never been out on a date, not once? Ever? And look what a pretty thing she is." She lifted one of Britta's curls as proof of her prettiness. And she is pretty, Holly thought. Or she could be, if she loosened up a little. But how is she supposed to do that with her parents on her back every second?
"It's a shame, really," Peggy said. "Holly, how old are you now?"
"Sixteen," Holly said.
"Sixteen," Peggy said. "So she must have been out on at least one date by now, hasn't she, Jen?"
Jen cast a cool glance at Holly. "Ha! One date! The girl's been a boy-trap since she was twelve."
"Hello? I'm sitting right here," Holly snapped.
"Just look at her!" Jen added.
Everyone stared at Holly, judging her boy-trapping qualities. She had long, wavy blond hair and a full red mouth, but Holly knew what Jen was really referring to when she called her a boy-trap. Her breasts, which were a little on the big side. Okay, a lot on the big side. They used to embarrass Holly, but now she wasn't bothered by them? except when someone very rudely drew attention to them. Her own mother, of all people, should know better by now.
"She's a looker, no doubt about it," Gordon said.
Holly officially wanted to die. Or kill her mother. Or both. Usually Jen was more of social smoothie than this. She must have had a little too much wine already.
"Well, I don't see why Britta shouldn't have a boyfriend, too," Peggy said. "It's part of high school. She's only got one more year left. As long as it doesn't affect her grades or any of her other activities." She stared at her daughter, thinking this over, still playing with Britta's hair. "It's not that boys don't like her. I think she's afraid."
Britta pushed her mother's hand away from her face. "I'm not afraid. Do we have to sit here and talk about this in front of everyone? It's none of their business. And it's none of yours, either."
The room went silent. Holly was afraid to move anything but her eyes, which darted from Britta to Peggy to Gordon to Curt to Jen. Everyone was frozen in an awkward moment. Somebody do something!
"Peggy, remember Martha Bray, that skinny girl from St. Elizabeth's?" Good old Jen, right on time. She and Peggy had gone to a fancy Catholic boarding school together. "I saw her name in the paper the other day. She and her husband own a vineyard up in Napa."
"Martha Bray?" Peggy tried to remember. "X-Ray Bray?"
While they yammered away about prep schoolmates and the men mixed more drinks, Holly nodded at Britta. "You don't really want to sit here and listen to this, do you? Let's go up to my room."
Holly had to agree with the Fowlers on one point? Britta needed something to get her out of that house and away from them. And a boyfriend was just the ticket.
"My parents are unbelievable pains," Britta said.
"And mine aren't?" Holly said. "Britta, you need to relax. You need some distraction from all the pressure you're under."
"Sometimes I think so, too," Britta said. "But who has the time?" When she wasn't doing schoolwork she was padding her college transcript with activities like basketball, internships at hospitals and laboratories, volunteer work at a nursing home, violin lessons. Experience with boys would not help her get into college, Holly knew. But college was just four years of your life. It wasn't everything. And anyway, didn't they say it was good to be well-rounded?
"You make time." Holly sat down at her computer and logged onto The Dating Game, a Web log that she and Lina and Mads had started. It began as a school project, a survey of the sexual attitudes of their fellow students, and morphed into a matchmaking site with personal ads, quizzes, questionnaires, and an advice column.
"Want to fill out one of the matchmaking questionnaires?" Holly asked. "Just for fun?"
Before Britta had a chance to answer, Holly filled in her name, age, and other vital information. "Gender ... grade ... Are you a virgin?" Holly assumed the answer was yes.
"Okay," Holly said. She pulled up an extra chair and patted the seat. Britta obediently sat down. "Have you kissed someone of the opposite sex?"
"No," Britta said.
Holly's head wanted to shake in disapproval, but she checked it. Seventeen years old and never even kissed a boy! This was an extreme case. "I guess I can skip these," she said, pointing to the questions about going to second base, third base, and so on. Next came the inkblot test. Holly showed Britta a symmetrical black blob and said, "What's the first word or image that comes into your mind when you look at this?"
Britta peered at the blot. "A poorly dissected frog." "O-kay. What are your dating requirements: Cuteness? Brains?"
Britta suddenly looked horrified. "You're not going to fix me up with someone, are you?"
"Of course. What did you think we were doing?"
"I'm not ready," Britta said. "I don't want to go out with some strange boy I don't even?"
"Relax. We'll deal with that part when we get there. Now just answer the question. Hypothetically. If you went out with a boy, what would you want him to be like? It's a perfectly reasonable question."
"Okay." Britta stared at the screen. "Brains, definitely. Sense of humor is nice. A good heart. I don't care about money or athletic ability or music. Honesty, yes."
"And looks?" Holly asked.
"Well ... yes. Okay. Looks are good. And a sense of responsibility."
"Any dealbreakers?" Holly asked, going over the list. Britta chose drugs and bad skin.
"Now," Holly said. "Let's go through some boys' questionnaires and see if there's anyone you like."
They scrolled through the boys who had signed on to the site looking for matches. Britta found something wrong with every one of them.
"Too stupid? I know, he's in my French class. Too dull. Too full of himself? you can tell from the picture ..."
"Girls!" Jen called up the stairs. "The Fowlers are ready to leave!"
Britta stood up, shrugging. "Oh well."
"You're not getting off that easily," Holly said. "Don't worry, I'll find somebody good for you. You can't tell everything from these questionnaires, you know. You've got to take a chance and meet a person face-to-face."
"It's just? I don't know," Britta said. "What if I really like someone and he doesn't like me back? I don't think I could stand it."
"It can be rough," Holly said. "But it's worth the risk. Don't worry, Britta? someone will like you a lot. I know it."
Excerpted from Can True Love Survive High School? by Natalie Standiford Copyright © 2005 by Parachute Publishing, L.L.C.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am in love with the book series! Can True Love Survive High School, was amazing. It showed how it could and also couldn't I can't wait for the next one to come out so I can see what happens with Holly and Rob, and Madison and Sean..will Sean know Jane is cheating on him?! I can't wait!
Using a clever technique of adding emails, chat logs and online quizzes inside the book, the author makes a rather well known story of teenage romance fit more into this wired world. The main characters are constantly trying to get in touch with each other to discuss the boys in their life and try and figure out what they want in a relationship and in their own lives. This book would be a nice read for a girl in middle school who's starting to get interested in romance but might not be ready for a book with a lot of focus on the physical aspects of romance. Instead she can read this and think about how she and her friends talk and what is it that she wants in a romance. Though it is a shame that this book doesn't represent any forms of relationships other than the classic heterosexual which excludes many teenagers who are questioning their own desires.
Were your parents high school sweet hearts? Well that's exactly what Britta and Ed want to be in Can True Love Survive High School? by Natalie Standiford, the second book in The Dating Game series. In this teen drama Madison, Holly, and Lina are best friends in high school, and start a dating website for their school. It begins as a school project, but everything gets a little out of hand when they attempt to help a girl out who has never been on a date, who's name is Britta. Thanks to their website, Britta finds her 'true love' who she wants to elope with after only knowing him for a couple weeks. Besides trying to stop the out of control engagement, Holly must try to keep her boyfriend, Rob, and keep up with Lina, who has a fan club for one of her teachers. 'Fan club' is a pretty loose term considering that Lina is in love with her teacher and thinks that they should be together. Lina takes her obsession to great lengths when she plans to hide in his closet at a party, and surprise him after everybody has left. Can Holly stop Britta from getting married, and will Lina and her teacher end up together? Although this book is fiction, it is far from unrealistic. Natalie Standiford has done an excellent job of depicting high school, and the many challenges one faces there. Although I did not read the first book, The Dating Game, I still found this installment and the third, Ex Ratings, very enticing. One of the many things I like about this series is that you don't have to start with the first book for it to make sense. Each book provides enough background information on the characters so that you can pick up the last book, which I also read, and it will still be an excellent read, as well as understandable. This book is full of unsuspected twists and turns that just keep adding to the excitement. For example, when you think that Britta and her boyfriend and having a nice, normal relationship, Britta breaks the news of her plans for marriage to Holly by saying, 'He said we should get married, the day after I met him¿He said it was the only way we could be together. And it is. I'm going to do it. I'm going to marry him.' (p.119) So, if you're a teenage girl looking for a great page-turner, I would definitely recommend this book to you.
love this series it so good.
THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. ONCE YOU START READING IT YOU CANNOT STOP. IT HAS EVERYTHING: DATING,FRIENDSHIPS,CUTE GUYS,PARTIES...EVERYTHING!!! SO IF YOU LIKE ANY OF THE BOOKS SUCH AS GOSSIP GIRLS, THE A-LIST OR ANY OTHER BOOKS LIKE THIS...YOU'LL LOVE THIS ONE! (P.S. IF YOUR A PERSON WHO LIKES BOOKS WITH A LOT OF 'SEXUAL ACTION' THEN I 'WOULD NOT' RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.