Sunday, 17 April 2016

Not Another Teen Book Review: Best Friends by Alice Adams (Dolly Fiction #52)

Not another teen book review is a semi-regular feature on this blog that comments on mass market fiction from the 1980s & 1990s that featured teenage characters and teenage themes ... and were lapped up by eleven year olds. This time around I am talking about Dolly Fiction, a series from the early 1990s.


One example of a daggy
Dolly Fiction cover
In the late 1980s/early 1990s Dolly Magazine loaned its name to a series of teen romance novels published by Greenhouse (now Pan Macmillan), one that rivalled the popular Sweet Dreams romance series that had come out of the United States, but with a uniquely Australian bent. The series focused on teens, social dramas and of course, puppy love. The series was popular enough to last until December 1993 and over one hundred titles were published under the imprint. I read a few of these as a pre-teen, mostly I borrowed them from the local library or purchased them from secondhand book stores--at first they were always a bit secondary to my beloved Sweet Valley books, later on, they just seemed a bit daggy, also once a title was sold out it was never reprinted. The series has copped some criticism for the fact that no heroine was ever left without a partner. (Find more information here.)

Best Friends is about computer nerd Rachael who falls out with her three best friends after she wins a computer competition at school, wins the affection of popular Jeff but finds herself falling for Luke, a boy from her computer club. The whole thing is standard teen fare, set during an era where computers were still new and scary, and no one had mobile phones or the internet. There is a strong focus on the importance of friendship and embracing each other for their differences, which adds a bit of depth to the novel.

About the Author: Alice Adams wrote multiple titles in the Dolly Fiction series and as there is no information about the author available, it is likely that the name is a pseudonym. There is a slight possibility, however, that this author is the same person.

Random Trivia: The covers of the books featured models who had appeared in Dolly Magazine. Somehow, the same model and photo ended up on She's a Rebel Dolly Fiction #8 and Chasing Fame Dolly Fiction #111. See photos below: