The wayward girl in this novel outdoes the sexuality of the lass in Orrie Hitt’s Wayward Girl. Mainly because this is a 1972 book where such explicit fiction no longer landed the publisher and writer in jail; and these books were written with a downscale market in mind.
Since Terry Southern’s Candy, the adventures of a newly sexually active girl were rope for plotlines. In the case of this novel, the heroine of the story is 13-year-old Maxine, a seventh-grader in junior high who feels cursed by her large breasts, the breasts of an 19-year-old. he books opens with her trying out for the lead part in a school play — the character is 13 and while Maxine is that age, the drama teacher awkwardly tells Maxine that she looks “too mature” for the part. Maxine knows what the teacher means.
Boys and men notice her in public, thinks she’s older, compliment her “rack.” She feels like a “freak” and wishes she had small breasts like her friend.
One day a man around 25 — ancient, she thinks — talks her into his car on a pretense of finding and address. He tells her she’s a hot “groovy chick” and talks her into taking some drugs and, drugged, Maxine allows herself to be deflowered in the man’s car. She fights, some, but is also excited and curious. It’s a strange experience for her, and she does not know if she liked or hated it.
The next is a 9th grader on a motorbike, and this time it isn’t so bad and she likes it…and so begins her adventures in sex, as she goes from man to boy to men of various ages. All the time, she confides to her best friend, Trudy, a girl with tiny boobs, who has nothing good to say about men and boys.
Later, near the end, Trudy informs Maxine that she’s been in love with the big-breasted girl all along, and hen Maxine, at her tender age, and after many empty sex encounters, find tenderness and love in the lesbian arms of Trudy…
While no gem, The Wayward Teenager isn’t as bad as some of the crap published in the 1970s. It is readable, but also serves as a good example of how sleaze lit changed as the court cases and U.S. culture and society’s attitude toward what was obscene in writing changed.
Dank Blue/Illicit Library published a lot of down market titles for the adult bookshops with cheesy b&w illustrated covers, often dealing in “risky” and “taboo” subject matter. We will be looking at some others in the future.
Wayward Teenager might be hard to find in paperback, or expensive, but The Olympia Press has it available as an ebook and Kindle.