Help A Bitch Out

Help a Bitch Out: Using Romance Novels for Makeovers

Bitchery reader Sarah (not me) asks for help with a makeover story.

Back when I was in Junior High (the 80’s) I read a book about a high school girl who decides to make herself over, using two books for inspiration. The first book is a “How to get a guy in 10 days” sort of deal. The second is a romance novel swiped from her mom.

I remember much hilarity as this smart girl tries to revamp herself, and to understand her world in terms of the romance novel and the advice book—and the discovery that, if you pick and choose wisely, they both might have something to offer.

Other details escape me, though I recall a lot of jokes about the romance novel going “crazy with the fire imagery.”

I’m asking about it not only because it’s making me nuts, but also because it occurs to me that you and your readers might get a kick out of the book.

Anyway, thanks, if you know anything about this one!

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Help a Bitch Out

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  1. 1
    sazzat says:

    I know I’ve read this.  I’m thinking it’s Seven Days to a Brand-New Me by Ellen Conford.

  2. 2
    Janice says:

    What sazzat said. That’s the same book I was thinking of when I read this question.

  3. 3
    Charity says:

    Yes! That’s it. I read it many, many times in junior high/high school. Seven Days to a Brand-New Me by Ellen Conford. She also wrote Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate and the strangely titled The Alfred G. Graebner Memorial High School Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    That’s totally it! You guys are masterminds.

    Or, you know, something….

  5. 5
    R.M. Koske says:

    I remember enjoying that book, and the funny thing is that I most recently ran into it and re-read it at my parents’ house.  Apparently, my father bought it a thrift store and liked it enough he kept it.  When he saw me holding it, he told me it was a good one.

    I love it when folks break your expectations.

  6. 6
    willaful says:

    Hey, “Alfred G. etc” is a hilarious book! Nice little romance in it, too.

  7. 7
    EmmyS says:

    I never read this one, but have fond memories of Hail, Hail, Camp Timberwood and Dear Lovey Hart, I am Desperate. It’s too bad most of her older books are out of print – I’d love to reread them. Guess I’ll check the library.

  8. 8
    Jennifer says:

    I loved that book. Ellen Conford could really rock it.

    Capcha for this one: boy87. Oh yes.

  9. 9
    sazzat says:

    I LOVED Hail, Hail Camp Timberwood.  Fun story, great message, late seventies fashion details that are really amusing in retrospect.

  10. 10
    Castiron says:

    I loved Seven Days to a Brand-New Me, and I enjoyed a lot of Conford’s other books too.

    Speaking of makeover books, has anyone else read Neil Selden’s The Great Lakeside High Love Experiment?  This is one of my guilty pleasure books; I still reread it now and then.

  11. 11
    Sphinx says:

    Oh my God.  I just had such a flashback, y’all: remember Nickelodeon’s Saturday Matinee?  They DID “Dear Lovey Heart, I am Desperate”.  I remember distinctly that Lovey Heart misguidedly advised a girl to go on a crash diet, and the girl nearly died because she had undiagnosed diabetes.  And this memory all came back to me IN ONE PIECE.  Now I wanna go to Best Buys and see if they don’t have the boxed DVD collection of “Salute Your Shorts”.

  12. 12
    Kerry says:

    Wait, it was Nickelodeon that did the Sunday Matinee that was adaptations of recent children’s lit? I thought it was ABC. I remember the freakiness of “Step on a Crack” and “The Treasure Trap.” Am I the only one recalling 1970’s kid lit bought to the small screen?

  13. 13
    willaful says:

    I never saw those shows, but _Step on a Crack_ was one of my favorite YA books. I still have a copy.

  14. 14
    SB Sarah says:

    OK, Hubby was a child actor in the Young Charleston Theatre company, and he was in Step on a Crack. We have the poster from the show hanging in our house. That is TOO FUNNY.

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