The book takes place in 1980. I’m a total 80’s child, but I was young in the 80’s and only vaguely remember Reagan’s election. John Lennon’s shooting, I remember not at all.
It was really fun doing the research for this book, because there were certain mindsets and mores I had to stick to. For example, the threat of the old Soviet Union looms large. Every time Allison thinks Peter is weird and maybe a spy, she assumes he’s a Russian spy. Never American.
Cell phones for the average person were non-existent. When Peter wants to call Allison, he has to speak to the gamut of her family because anyone could pick up the phone in their living room.
The music was also in transition. Punk hadn’t quite finished its run, but the big hair metal bands (Poison, Def Leopard etc…) weren’t on the scene yet either. When Allison says she wants to be a rock star, she’s thinking Blondie & Pat Benatar.
People also think of Yuppies when they think of the 80s, but summer of 1980 wasn’t there yet. That’s more 1984 and John Hughes movies hadn’t burst onto the scene yet, or we know Allison would’ve been Pretty in Pink like Molly Ringwald.