cover image Planet of the Dates

Planet of the Dates

Paul McComas, . . Permanent, $28 (223pp) ISBN 978-1-57962-160-5

For anyone who’s ever wondered if all teenage boys think about is sex, this second novel from McComas (Unplugged ) should eliminate all doubt: the answer is yes. Set chiefly in Wisconsin during the summer of 1980, this tale details the efforts of 16-year-old Phil Corcoran—an aspiring filmmaker, aficionado of schlocky horror flicks and reluctant virgin—to rid himself of the latter distinction. His quest involves a trio of beauties: Danielle (Dee) Payton, an African-American girl reluctant to date a Caucasian; Stefanie Slocum, the female lead of several of his films (including Prehistoric Planet of the Apes ); and Cheryl Jantz, a troubled young woman whom Phil tries to save. While the courses of his romances are often painful, by the end, Phil finds his happily ever after with a likable mix of humor and charm. (Feb.)