Cover image for Confessions of a teenage drama queen
Confessions of a teenage drama queen
Sheldon, Dyan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
272 pages ; 22 cm
In her first year at a suburban New Jersey high school, Mary Elizabeth Cep, who now calls herself "Lola, " sets her sights on the lead in the annual drama production, and finds herself in conflict with the most popular girl in school.
Reading Level:
710 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.0 9.0 34776.

Reading Counts RC High School 7.1 15 Quiz: 23254 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
X Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Mary Elizabeth Cep (or Lola, as she prefers to be called) longs to be in the spotlight. But when she moves to New Jersey with her family and becomes a student at Dellwood "Deadwood" High, Lola discovers that the role of resident drama queen is already filled -- by the Born-to-Win, Born-to-Run-Everything Carla Santini. Carla has always gotten everything she wants -- that is, until Lola comes along and snags the lead in the school Can Lola survive Carla's attempts at retaliation? Will Lola play and her best friend, Ella, find a way to crash their favorite band's concert and farewell party in New York City -- to which Carla has already gained entrance? And once the curtain goes up on the school play, which drama queen will take center stage?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-9. Mary Elizabeth Cep, or Lola to the others at her new high school, believes she has been relegated to a cultural wasteland after moving from her beloved New York City to Dellwood (Deadwood) High in New Jersey. However, only one of many in the city, she is a standout here, where she immediately recognizes a potential audience for her overwrought, dramatic stories embellished by loneliness and a desire to be accepted. She succeeds in at least being tolerated until she challenges Carla Santini, the ultimate BTW (Born-to-Win) and BTRE (Born-to-Run-Everything), for the lead in the school play. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is that rare gift: a truly funny YA book that is also exceedingly well written. In Lola, Sheldon has created a real teenager--warped judgment, mercurial moods, and all. The supporting cast of characters is equally strong. Ella, the good-girl foil for Lola, and the saccharine-coated, vicious Carla Santini, every teenager's worst nightmare, will be recognized by readers. Lola and Carla, and, yes, even Ella, give new meaning to "survival of the fittest." High school has always been this stressful, but rarely this hilarious. --Frances Bradburn

Publisher's Weekly Review

When native New Yorker Mary Elizabeth Cep and her "astoundingly unimaginative" family move to New Jersey, Mary Elizabeth, who plans to be an actress some day, changes her name to Lola and zealously begins a campaign to enrich the "humdrum" lives of suburbanites. Unfortunately, Lola's new classmates are not quite ready to receive her guidance. They are too busy worshipping their reigning "drama queen," snooty Carla Santini, who is not about to share the spotlight on- or offstage with anyone, especially a loudmouthed city slicker named Lola. Thus begins the war between Carla and Lola to be No. 1. Carla is armed with sophistication, beauty, confidence and an entourage of admirers. Lola, on the other hand, has only a handful of weapons: an overactive imagination, the lead role in the school play and one loyal friend, Ella, "a free spirit waitingÄno, beggingÄto be released." Energetic, almost breathless first-person narrative relates Lola's bitter defeats and hard-earned triumphs in her rise to stardom at school. Pitting a deliciously despicable villainess against an irresistible heroine glittering with wit and charm, Sheldon (The Boy of My Dreams) pulls off a hilarious comedy of errors. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-An exuberant and hilarious celebration of the ups and downs of high school life. Teenaged Mary Elizabeth Cep has been misnamed; her mother calls her the "Drama Queen," but she's known for years that her true name is Lola. "Lola is romantic and mysterious. It's evocative and resonant. It's unusual-as I am." When Lola's divorced mother moves the family from New York City to suburban New Jersey, the teen promptly makes an enemy of Carla Santini, the undisputed head of both the popular "Born-to-Wins" and the smart "Born-to-Run-Everythings." However, Lola becomes friends with quiet Ella Gerard. When Lola beats out Carla for the coveted part of Eliza Doolittle in the school play, the adventure begins. From then on, the book is a nonstop one-upmanship contest between the two girls. Eventually the conflict involves Lola dragging Ella to New York for the last concert and farewell party of the pair's favorite rock group. The friends trek through some seedy neighborhoods while following a drunken rock star, and have a run-in with the police before they return feeling triumphant. Lola will rightfully take her place among the unforgettable and lively female characters of young adult novels. Like its heroine, the story is off-beat, outrageous, and utterly charming.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



It is a sad and shocking fact of my young life that my parents named me Mary Elizabeth Cep by mistake. I've known since I was five that my true name is Lola. I don't remember where I first heard it, but I loved it immediately. Lola. . . . Lola is romantic and mysterious. It's evocative and resonant. It's unusual-as I am. Mary Elizabeth sounds like the maid in an English drama. You know, "Mary Elizabeth," smarms the Lady of the Manor, "please show Mr. Smudgins into the parlor." Having a generous nature, I can forgive my parents this error, major though it is. I can see that it wasn't really their fault. They both watch PBS a lot. But that doesn't mean that I have to accept their mistake as final. When I become an actor, I'm going to legally change my name to Lola Elspeth Cep. Or maybe Lola Elspeth Sep. I haven't made up my mind about the spelling yet. CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN by Dyan Sheldon. Copyright (c) 1999 by Dyan Sheldon. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA. Excerpted from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan Sheldon All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.