371N: Vintage teen romance – California in the 1950s or early 1960s, boy next door, high school (Solved!)

Hoping for some more of that Bookstumper magic to strike again!
I loved this book in the mid-1970’s! It was old-fashioned even then, so I think it was written in the late 1950s or early 1960s, probably pre-Beatles.  I guess it’s what they used to call a “junior romance” and what we would describe as Young Adult today. I read it many times as a pre-teen, mooning over the sweet “boy next door” romance, and waiting for my own love life to begin. By the time I was actually dating in the late 1970’s I was too old for this book, so I’m sure I was reading it around 1975 or 1976, before I had moved on to Barbara Cartland’s historical romances.

It’s the story of a pretty and popular high school girl in a typical white, middle-class California family and her male buddy, as they begin to date. He woos her with many fun outings, fancy restaurants (I remember she saves her cocktail umbrellas and swizzle sticks) and a boat trip to Catalina Island.  Her name might be Lori?? I definitely remember she has an older sister named Andrea, because I fell in love with that name for a while. 
Our romantic heroine finally declares she’s won over by her suitor, just in time, as he empties out his pockets and reveals that he’s down to his last pennies. He spent all his savings in his pursuit of her heart.
In the meantime, she has given a starring performance in her high school play, with all her family attending to see her.  This is quite a success for her, because although she is bright and talented, she’s lackadaisical and  usually doesn’t stick with anything. There was some sort of trickery involved with her date and the whole family being in on some conspiracy to encourage her to stay with the play all the way to its performance time.  I believe they try to make her jealous by raving about another girl who is a wonderful actress, and arouse her spirit of competition.
I particularly remember the trip to Catalina and the trickery about the school play, and all the dating souvenirs. 
This is not a Beverly Cleary book, although it’s in the same family. I’m sure hoping someone else remembers this!  Thank you.

2 thoughts on “371N: Vintage teen romance – California in the 1950s or early 1960s, boy next door, high school (Solved!)

  1. Beth DeGeer

    I think it’s SOMETHING FOOLISH, SOMETHING GAY by Jane and Glen Sire. This is also a nostalgic favorite of mine.

  2. Lisa Kelly

    YES!!! YES!!! Solved!

    Thank you, thank you, that’s the one! I’m so happy someone else recognized (and also loved) this book. Thank you, Beth DeGeer, and for such a quick answer to my query.

    It was written in 1958. I wasn’t too far off with the girl’s name: Laurie. From the book’s entry on FantaticFiction.com:

    Meet: Laurie Merritt–16, a blonde doll, and Sammy Hastings–17, a crew-cut type. They: live near Hollywood and are going steady; cruise around in a cherry-colored jalopy; have marvelous times together–from high school proms and elegant dates along Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, to chili and pizza, summer jobs, picnics, and cramming for exams..


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