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Hey, Dollface (Lions) [Paperback]

Deborah Hautzig


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Book Description

25 Mar 1982 Lions
Val and Chloe don’t fit in at their fancy private school in Manhattan. Together, they ditch school, visit cemeteries and thrift shops and have sleepovers during which they confide all their secret thoughts. Lately, Val has all kinds of questions. Especially about sex. So Val turns to the two people who have always given her the most honest answers possible: her mother and Chloe. Unfortunately, not even Val’s mother—an adult!—has all the answers. Val starts to think that maybe she’s not "normal" at all. Because she has some other feelings for Chloe. Feelings that she never expected to have. Would Chloe think those feelings were wrong? And her biggest question of all: How do you separate loving someone as a friend and the other kind of love—or do they cross over sometimes?

Acclaimed author Deborah Hautzig’s 1978 novel is an unforgettable exploration of friendship and love—and all the invisible lines that come with them.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tracks; New edition edition (25 Mar 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006719643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006719649
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,893,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Deborah Hautzig lives in New York, New York. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters! 5 Dec 2001
By Susannah M. Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I can't believe this book is out of print, and I can't believe it was published in the 1970's. I read it as part of a review I'm doing on gay and lesbian fiction for young adults, and it is definitely one of the best I've read. I was a little disappointed with the lukewarm ending, but over all, the book's vermisimilitude is very impressive, and the courage of its message is considerable considering its time. The characters are the most believable I've encountered in most YA literature.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Mom bought this book for me! 13 July 2005
By Olivia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My Mom bought this book for my when I was 12. This remains one of my favorite books, and I don't think any other book has become such a part of my identity. I think this book addresses the issue of friendship in girlhood, gay OR straight. If I ever have a daughter, I will pass my treasured copy on to her!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Pivotal Book From My Adolescent Years 26 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was 15 when I first read this book (back in 1980) & it affected me very deeply. Until then I thought I was the only girl like me in the world & that I was somehow defective. Reading "Hey, Dollface" was a soul-satisfying revelation & gave me hope for my future. Truly, one of the ten most influential books of my life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 70's setting, but timeless questions 10 Feb 2014
By E. M. Bristol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was first published in 1978, which I didn't realize when I ordered it. It reminded me very much of books by Norma Klein, which I read growing up in the eighties (they also featured upper-crust Jewish teens who have interactions with liberal adults). However, it has aged gracefully, due to the fact that there are almost no pop culture references and the focus is on two adolescent girls' friendship and the narrator, Val's, confusion when she starts wondering if she feels anything more for her best friend, Chloe. The girls' activities: gossiping about classmates; hanging out in coffee shops and thrift stores; and indulging in minor adolescent mischief, are pretty much the kind of things teens have done for decades. Some of the attitudes could be described as dated, but I think that would depend on where you live.

Val and Chloe bond over being the new girls at their private single-sex school. They feel like outsiders among their debutante-to-be classmates, although gradually, they're revealed to be pretty well off. They both want to be artists when they grow up, and they both have a lot of curiosity about sex and romantic relationships. Over the course of the book (it's quite short), they will deal with the death of a loved one, attention from much older guys, and their mutual attraction. Val is lucky enough to have sympathetic adults to turn to, in order to help sort out her feelings, but she finds that they aren't as comfortable about giving her advice as she expected. In the end, it's up to her to decide what to do.

I really liked Val's relationship with her mom, though because of the time period, Mom is smoking like a chimney while she and Val have their heart-to-hearts. I thought the friendship, with all its ups and downs, was very believable. However, I was hoping for more of a plot; it seemed like things just randomly happened to the characters, rather than their having goals they wanted to accomplish. Also, while it was a relief not to have a "Mean Girls" character whose sole purpose is to make the protagonist miserable, it seemed odd not to portray the reaction to these two girls by their peers. Still, it was overall, a sweet book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not progressive enough 8 Jan 2014
By Sadie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I suspected immediately this story did not take place today because of the names of the characters. Valerie, Patty and Lori were all names from my own generation when I was a teenager in the 1970s. In fact, this book was first published in 1978. Knowing that helps. The things teens worried about 50 years ago are quite different than today. Today, teens wouldn’t give a care in the world about staying a virgin until marriage, much less pass on using tampons just to make sure of it. The cover has been modernized. Where wide-legged jeans were all the rage in the 1970s, the girls on the cover are wearing skinny legged. So, it looks like they’ve re-released this book to find a newer audience. And, that is where the problem lies.

Val and Chloe are new to their private school and forge a bond because they feel like they’re outsiders. Val suddenly becomes obsessed with sex. It seems to be all she thinks about. She definitely had a better relationship with her mother than most teens in the 1970s, because she doesn’t mind asking frank questions about sex. Well, mostly about whether or not her mother believes that homosexuals are perverts. Although the story makes it clear that Val likes boys, she is also thinking a lot about her best friend, Chloe. Chloe is touchy feely, which makes Val wonder if maybe Chloe might like her more than just a friend. When Val’s mother says she doesn’t know the answer, Val talks to one of her teachers, who says the same thing. The message here is that homosexuals are thought of as being perverts, but some adults in the 1970s wanted to keep an open mind about it so didn’t say they weren’t, but wouldn’t take a stand and just say no. Mostly, those with the open minds were teens and not their parents or teachers. But, homosexuality was still a taboo in the 1970s even if young people were starting to become more accepting.

Here’s the problem as I see it. This book sends the wrong message for 21st century teens, who are all a lot more used to acceptance, tolerance and diversity than anyone 50 years ago. The message was pretty progressive for the 1970s, but is practically the dark ages compared to the open minds of today. For instance, Val wonders if it’s normal for a straight person to have homosexual thoughts. That would be a bisexual, but the term bisexual is not mentioned at all. At the end of the book, it was made very clear that both Val and Chloe were straight and had no intention of following up on their feelings for each other. In fact, Chloe couldn’t wait to date the first boy that came along when her mother realized she might be “that kind of girl.” If a teenager is wondering about her sexual orientation and reads this book, she may be even more confused and think that her feelings toward the same sex are not real and all she needs to do is start dating boys. She may also wonder if people will think she’s a pervert because that’s the question posed throughout this book. A question that is never answered.

I applaud the author for writing this book in 1978. However, the publisher should not be putting in on the market in 2014. Dragging yesterday’s philosophies about homosexuality into the future will just cause more confusion for any young teen who is trying to figure it all out. There are better books out there for that.
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