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Night of a Thousand Boyfriends

   October 22nd, 2009

Night of a Thousand Boyfriends coverI was sitting next to our Teen Librarian as she was deleting books she'd just weeded from the Young Adult collection. We were kind of joking about the books that didn't circulate, and also lamenting how important cover art is to teens - if the cover of the book looks dorky or dated, they will not take it out.

Among those that didn't make the cut was Night of a Thousand Boyfriends - a choose-your-own-adventure book about dating. Ha. I loved those books when I was growing up, and thought one about dating was a funny idea.

I flipped through it, curious how "far" a YA book would go, and got quite a surprise. Here are some excerpts:

  • If you take the Ecstasy, turn to page 23.
  • If you decline the offer, turn to page 72.


  • If you suggest things are moving a little too fast anyway, turn to page 88.
  • If you insist that Brian run to the drug store for protection, turn to page 67.
  • If you throw caution to the wind and unfasten his belt, turn to page 39.

I'm sure teens have to make choices like this, but we both were amazed this made it into the YA collection.

Beyond that, this book was just bizarre - which is to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book is about dating, so many of the paths involved going to clubs or bars, drinking, and going home with strangers. But some of the endings resulted in passing out, lesbian sex, kidnapping, internet porn, marriage, pregnancy - and being the Queen of Neptune.

So if you're looking for a book for a book club, Night of a Thousand Boyfriends by Miranda Clarke will certainly provide plenty topics of discussion.

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8 Responses to “Night of a Thousand Boyfriends”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Omg. I love choose your own adventure books. I had no idea there are adult-like ones out there. If I’d been you, I totally would have snagged this before it hit the book sale. 😉

  2. Liz Says:

    Wow – talk about not being able to judge a book by its cover. That one looks like it was published in the sixties, and the most risque choice would be holding hands on the way to the sock hop.

  3. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Amanda: Oh, don’t worry, I grabbed it immediately, and have read out all the various endings. If you’d like it, send me your address and I’ll mail it to you.

  4. Jen Says:

    I actually own that one…totally not a YA book. It was definitely in the adult section of the bookstore. Don’t tell anyone!

  5. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Liz: I know, right? It was published in 2003 – I didn’t even know Choose Your Own Adventure books were still being written. And despite the style of the cover, it is very accurate to the story.

    @Jen: Now that I know these are in bookstores, I might have to start looking for others again – Choose Your Own Adventure cracks me up, and adult versions opens up a whole new genre for me.

  6. Elizabeth Thomsen Says:

    These chick-lit interactive novels were a mini-trend a few years back: “Pick-Your-Own-Ending Escapade,” “Date With Destiny Adventures” and the hotter “Create Your Own Erotic Fantasy” series.

    The cover of “Night of a Thousand Boyfriends” was intentionally retro to be reminiscent of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style, which was probably a marketing mistake for teens. I think the original target audience was a little older, twentysomethings who remembered the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. But it made the 2004 ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list, so it’s sort of officially a YA book. I think it’s one of those books that doesn’t quite fit our library and bookstores categories, and mostly got shared by word-of-mouth.

    The original Choose-Your-Own-Adventures books were not great literature but they were a lot of fun and prepared a whole generation to understand the concept of hypertext and interactive storytelling. They were also had a real social component — kids often read these aloud and passed them around and essentially “played” together.

  7. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Elizabeth: Thanks for the information. And it’s funny you mention hypertext – when I started html coding in the late 90’s, my very first thought was “this is perfect for choose-your-own-adventure books.” It was also the basis for a Product Selection Guide I created for the company I worked for at the time, which they still use today. Yay for enduring approaches.

  8. Antonia Says:

    Coool. That’s my christmas presents for my girl friends sorted!