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Item - Spring Break!


Series: Pick Your Own Dream Date — no. 2
Author: Singleton, Linda Joy
Illustrator: Correz, Peter (photographer)
Date: 1994
ISBN: 1565651448 / 9781565651449
Length: 126 pages
Number of Endings: 17
User Summary: It's spring break, so you and some friends set off for the beach in search of shallow wish-fulfillment!
Demian's Thoughts: Much to my surprise, this book is actually a sequel to the first one; it clearly takes place at a later point in time since it mentions that two characters have broken up with their boyfriends from the previous volume. For some reason, I had expected the two titles in the series to be completely separate and distinct. Although making this book such a clear sequel strikes me as potentially unwise, it actually does a fairly decent job of maintaining continuity with the many possibilities of its predecessor. There are quite a few possible glitches, but I suspect the author figured that boy-crazy middle-schoolers wouldn't be terribly concerned about story integrity. She was probably right. In any case, apart from the change of scenery, this is pretty similar to the last story, full of flat characters and stereotypical girliness. Even when the book tries to be a little outrageous (as, for example, in its portrayal of hippies), it seems pretty ordinary. I do have to give a little credit for the creation of Psycho the pig, though. Despite this amusement, I think I cringed at this book a bit more than I did at the last; it probably has something to do with the overused phrase "beach hunks." Like the other book, "But Wait!" boxes are used to allow the reader to second-guess herself; this time around, three such opportunities are offered, and they seem just as senseless as before. Anyway, I'm not terribly disappointed that only two books exist in this series; I don't think the world needs any more books like these. They're really an exercise in wasted potential; human relationships are fascinating things, and using the gamebook format to examine the many ways that they can potentially unfold is an interesting idea. Of course, you can't really expect to be emotionally moved by something with pink and purple hearts on the cover. Best to stick with Life's Lottery for the time being.

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