Cover image for My perfect life
Title:
My perfect life
Author:
Sheldon, Dyan.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
201 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Ella has no interest in running for class president at her suburban New Jersy high school, but her off-beat friend Lola tricks her into challenging the rich and overbearing Carla Santini in a less-than-friendly race.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.6 7.0 62979.
ISBN:
9780763618391
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Dyan Sheldon brings back the winning cast of characters from CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN in a new tale of suburban high school woe - told through the eyes of an endearingly unassuming heroine.

The first time Lola came to my house, she threw herself on my bed with an unstifled cry. "My God, Ella, is there anything you don't have?"

With perfect parents, perfect friends, and perfect poise, it seems like Ella Gerard has it all. But when Ella's new best friend (and resident drama queen), Lola Cep, nominates Ella to run for school president against her ex-best friend, the wickedly popular Carla Santini, many of the less-than-perfect aspects of Ella's life - and of her family's - begin to make themselves more than obvious. When the election votes are tallied, can Ella come out a winner without losing face?


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-9. The cast from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (1999) is back, and Woodford is just as stifling and upper crust as ever, "a perfect and exclusive community, in a perfect town, in a perfect world." Lola Cep, Ella's unconventional friend who stepped from New York City into this suburban dry dock, needs to shake things up a bit. When the obnoxious Carla Santini, Dellwood High's poster girl of perfection and popularity, decides to run for student council president, the opportunity is too tempting for Lola to let slip away. Unbeknownst to her erstwhile friend, Lola launches a campaign to run Ella against the indomitable Carla. In the past, Ella's modis operandi has been to remain good and docile; giving speeches, being noticed, and acting like a candidate is enough to nauseate her. As Carla's arrogance and gall reach new heights, however, even the timid Ella realizes she must do the right thing. Sheldon has spun a delightfully zany spoof of high school, politics, and affluent suburbia, capturing teen angst with wit and poignancy. Fans of Drama Queen will grab this right away, and readers who missed the first title will want to search for it. --Anne O'Malley


Publisher's Weekly Review

PW called Lola, star of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (releasing simultaneously with a new paperback cover to match; 0-7636-2827-1), an "irresistible heroine glittering with wit and charm." Here Lola urges perfect Ella to run against (in PW's words) the "deliciously despicable villainess," Carla Santini, in the race for school president. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-Ella, 15, is tricked into running for class president by her pushy and flamboyant friend Lola, and the race takes a malicious twist when rich, popular Carla sets her heart on winning the election at any cost. The campaign gets nasty when Carla announces to the student body that Ella's mother is an alcoholic and when Ella finds out that Carla's dad made a pass at Lola. Being in the spotlight forces the protagonist to discover that she is not the shy, retiring person she always thought she was, and that she can overcome her parents' marital difficulties. The students discover what it is to be manipulated and controlled, and they make their voices heard at the ballot box. The plot is predictable, but the story is entertaining and well written. The characters reflect the personalities and cliques of kids in any high school. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Candlewick, 1999) gives a fuller understanding of these teens and their school. Those who enjoyed that book will appreciate the new scenarios in which the young people find themselves.-Susan Geye, Crowley Ninth Grade Campus, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The first time Lola came to my house, she threw herself on my bed with an unstifled cry. "My God, Ella, is there anything you don't have?" She wasn't just asking a question; she was declaiming. I said, "Lola?" She didn't hear me. Her arms waved and her jewelry rattled. "Your own phone . . . your own television . . . your own video . . . no siblings to gnaw away at your privacy . . ." "Lola?" She propped herself on her elbows and gave the radiator a look usually reserved for religious statues. "And temperature control!" Lola's bedroom was really a sun porch and wasn't equipped with heat. "Lola?" I said again. She looked at me, but she still wasn't listening. "You don't know how lucky you are, Ella Gerard. If you changed places with me for just one day - just one day of the slave labor, bourgeois insensitivity, and soul-sucking harassment that is my miserable lot - you'd realize how incredibly lucky you are." I knew I was lucky - people have been telling me how lucky I am for as long as I can remember - but I didn't really want to hear it again. Not then. I'd heard my mother's car pull into the driveway. Any minute now she might come upstairs to look for me. I figured I could get my mother over the hurdles of Lola's black cape and nose ring, but if she saw what Lola was doing to the bed, she might go into cardiac arrest. Not only was Lola rumpling the covers, but her shoes were actually touching them, too. My mother wasn't that crazy about shoes on the carpet, never mind the bed. "Lola!" I didn't mean to shout. Shouting could bring my mother running. The only time my parents raised their voices was when there was a lot of other noise or they were far away and they wanted to be heard. Lola caught her breath. "What?" "Could you please get off the bed?" Lola laughed. "What?" "Could you please get off the bed?" I glanced over my shoulder, half expecting to see my mother in the doorway, smiling with disapproval. Instead of getting up, Lola leaned back on the pillows. "What for?" I had to stop myself from going over and yanking her off. "Because my mother doesn't like anyone sitting on the beds." I'd gone from shouting to whispering. Just in case my mother was lurking outside. Lola, however, doesn't have what you would call an obedient nature. She's not the person rules are made for; she's the person who breaks them. Repeatedly. "Why not?" "She just doesn't." Lola was staring at me in a way that made me uncomfortable. "She has a thing about beds." Now Lola was really curious. "What kind of thing?" The whole truth was that my mother had a thing about more than beds. If we got into that, we could be at it for hours. "She's just a very neat and tidy person," I explained. I hoped Lola couldn't tell that my palms were sweating. "She doesn't like the beds messed up." Lola laughed. "I'm not messing it up. I'm just sitting on it." "No, you're not. You're messing it up." I wasn't shouting, but I was a little shrill. "And your shoes are on the duvet." One Lola Cep eyebrow rose. Inquisitively. "What is she? Obsessive-compulsive?" I didn't like the sound of that. "Of course not. She's just neat and tidy. Now will you please get off?" "I just don't see what the big deal is," said Lola. She was being deliberately stubborn. I could tell because her voice sounded totally reasonable. "We can straighten it out later. She'll never know." "She will know. My mother has a very special way of making - " "Your mother makes your bed?" Lola looked as if disbelief might strangle her. I thought she meant instead of the housekeeper. "Mrs. Wallace can't meet my mother's standards, either. She doesn't make the edges straight enough. My mother likes straight edges." It was an unnecessary explanation. Lola was still harping on about the fact that I had room service. "You don't even have to make your own bed?" Lola flopped back against the pillows, her arms stretched toward the ceiling. "O ye gods! Did I get born into the wrong family or what? I don't believe it. You don't even have to make your own bed." My mother's voice rose up the stairs. "Ella? Is someone with you?" She meant was Carla Santini with me. I opened the door and stuck my head into the hall. "Hi, Mom," I called. "I brought Lola home. Remember I told you about Lola? The new girl?" "Lola?" I'd lived with Marilyn Gerard for fifteen years; I could hear the disappointment in her voice. "Well, come on down and I'll fix you a snack." Lola sat up. "This is a joke, right? Your mother doesn't really fix your snacks . . ." I shut the door. "She doesn't have a job like your mom," I reminded her. "Taking care of me and my dad and the house is what she does." Lola rolled her eyes. "Good Lord!" she cried. "Is this Dellwood, New Jersey, or Stepford?" After that Lola was always asking me questions about my parents - though not nearly as many as they asked about her. Did they fight? Did they pick on me? Did they nag? Did they . . . Did they . . . Did they . . . ? They didn't. Everything my parents did was right. "Your life can't be this perfect," Lola kept saying. "The odds are against it." No matter what the odds, though, up until I met Lola, I did have a perfect life. MY PERFECT LIFE by Dyan Sheldon. Copyright (c) 2002 by Dyan Sheldon. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA. Excerpted from My Perfect Life 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.

Table of Contents

The first time Lola came to my house, she threw herself on my bed with an unstifled cry. "My God, Ella, is there anything you don't have?" She wasn't just asking a question; she was declaiming.
I said, "Lola?"
She didn't hear me.
Her arms waved and her jewelry rattled. "Your own phone... your own television... your own video... no siblings to gnaw away at your privacy..."
"Lola?"
She propped herself on her elbows and gave the radiator a look usually reserved for religious statues. "And temperature control!"
Lola's bedroom was really a sun porch and wasn't equipped with heat.
"Lola?" I said again.
She looked at me, but she still wasn't listening. "You don't know how lucky you are, Ella Gerard. If you changed places with me for just one day - just one day of the slave labor, bourgeois insensitivity, and soul-sucking harassment that is my miserable lot - you'd realize how incredibly lucky you are."
I knew I was lucky - people have been telling me how lucky I am for as long as I can remember - but I didn't really want to hear it again. Not then. I'd heard my mother's car pull into the driveway. Any minute now she might come upstairs to look for me. I figured I could get my mother over the hurdles of Lola's black cape and nose ring, but if she saw what Lola was doing to the bed, she might go into cardiac arrest. Not only was Lola rumpling the covers, but her shoes were actually touching them, too. My mother wasn't that crazy about shoes on the carpet, never mind the bed. "Lola!" I didn't mean to shout. Shouting could bring my mother running. The only time my parents raised their voices was when there was a lot of other noise or they were far away and they wanted to be heard.
Lola caught her breath. "What?"
"Could you please get off the bed?"
Lola laughed. "What?"
"Could you please get off the bed?" I glanced over my shoulder, half expecting to see my mother in the doorway, smiling with disapproval.
Instead of getting up, Lola leaned back on the pillows. "What for?"
I had to stop myself from going over and yanking her off. "Because my mother doesn't like anyone sitting on the beds." I'd gone from shouting to whispering. Just in case my mother was lurking outside.
Lola, however, doesn't have what you would call an obedient nature. She's not the person rules are made for; she's the person who breaks them. Repeatedly.
"Why not?"
"She just doesn't." Lola was staring at me in a way that made me uncomfortable. "She has a thing about beds."
Now Lola was really curious. "What kind of thing?"
The whole truth was that my mother had a thing about more than beds. If we got into that, we could be at it for hours.
"She's just a very neat and tidy person," I explained. I hoped Lola couldn't tell that my palms were sweating. "She doesn't like the beds messed up."
Lola laughed. "I'm not messing it up. I'm just sitting on it."
"No, you're not. You're messing it up." I wasn't shouting, but I was a little shrill. "And your shoes are on the duvet."
One Lola Cep eyebrow rose. Inquisitively. "What is she? Obsessive-compulsive?"
I didn't like the sound of that.
"Of course not. She's just neat and tidy. Now will you please get off?"
"I just don't see what the big deal is," said Lola. She was being deliberately stubborn. I could tell because her voice sounded totally reasonable. "We can straighten it out later. She'll never know."
"She will know. My mother has a very special way of making - "
"Your mother makes your bed?" Lola looked as if disbelief might strangle her.
I thought she meant instead of the housekeeper. "Mrs. Wallace can't meet my mother's standards, either. She doesn't make the edges straight enough. My mother likes straight edges."
It was an unnecessary explanation. Lola was still harping on about the fact that I had room service.
"You don't even have to make your own bed?" Lola flopped back against the pillows, her arms stretched toward the ceiling. "O ye gods! Did I get born into the wrong family or what? I don't believe it. You don't even have to make your own bed."
My mother's voice rose up the stairs. "Ella? Is someone with you?"
She meant was Carla Santini with me.
I opened the door and stuck my head into the hall. "Hi, Mom," I called. "I brought Lola home. Remember I told you about Lola? The new girl?"
"Lola?" I'd lived with Marilyn Gerard for fifteen years; I could hear the disappointment in her voice. "Well, come on down and I'll fix you a snack."
Lola sat up. "This is a joke, right? Your mother doesn't really fix your snacks..."
I shut the door.
"She doesn't have a job like your mom," I reminded her. "Taking care of me and my dad and the house is what she does."
Lola rolled her eyes. "Good Lord!" she cried. "Is this Dellwood, New Jersey, or Stepford?"
After that Lola was always asking me questions about my parents - though not nearly as many as they asked about her. Did they fight? Did they pick on me? Did they nag? Did they... Did they... Did they... ? They didn't. Everything my parents did was right.
"Your life can't be this perfect," Lola kept saying. "The odds are against it."
No matter what the odds, though, up until I met Lola, I did have a perfect life.
My Perfect Life by Dyan Sheldon. Copyright (c) 2002 by Dyan Sheldon. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
From the Hardcover edition.