Cover image for Lily B. on the brink of cool
Title:
Lily B. on the brink of cool
Author:
Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
245 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"The eventually internationally recognized writer Lily Blennerhassett" spends her thirteenth summer missing her best friend and keeping a journal of her boring life at home and exciting newly discovered relatives.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.6 7.0 73956.
ISBN:
9780060005863

9780060005870
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Meet me, Lily B.,
Aspiring Writer
Extraordinaire:

Likes: Recording daily events in my journal (which will be widely read and praised when I become famous)

Dislikes: Family Outings, people who make their own beds in hotels (read: MY MOTHER), and most of the items in my closet as they are all incredibly uncool

Summer Plans: Since my best friend, Charlotte, abandoned me to attend Young Executive Camp, I figured I was doomed for a vacation of boredom and Family Outings. But something exciting has happened! I met the coolest girl, Karma, and her incredibly cool family, the LeBlancs. And guess what? We're related! This summer is looking up, my friends, and I think I just might be on the brink of cool. . . .


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. The popularity of Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (2000) has produced a number of humorous books in diary form. Kimmel follows the trend in this funny, fast-moving, if somewhat self-conscious, novel. Thirteen-year-old Lily, burdened with boring parents, plans to be an author. Summer looks bleak, with Lily's best friend, Charlotte, away at Young Executives Camp. Forced to attend a wedding in a horrible dress, Lily is delighted to meet Cool People --Karma LeBlanc and her parents, distant relatives who flaunt the rules of society. Despite her parents' warnings not to associate with them, Lily succumbs to the LeBlancs' flattery and the chance to be cool. They convince Lily to hand over the keys to her family's beach house without telling her parents. But are the LeBlancs who they seem to be? Readers can see trouble approaching, but Lily doesn't notice a thing until it's all over, and she reads what she's written in her diary. She discovers that the diary has all of the makings of an actual book--drama, suspense, foreshadowing--maybe she's a writer after all. --Louise Brueggeman Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Kimmel (In the Stone Circle) introduces a 13-year-old narrator who is by turns chirpy, sardonic, glib and melodramatic-and always likable. An aspiring novelist, Lily relays her story through journal entries whose various writing styles (first-person narrative, scripted dialogue, play-by-play reporting) help keep the tale moving at a brisk and entertaining clip. Lily laments the fact that she's stuck with "sadly unexciting parents" who keep her away from "everything interesting, loud, frosted, or exceeding 55 miles per hour," and understandably becomes intrigued by distant relatives she meets at a family wedding. The free-spirited LeBlancs and their daughter are not only physically striking and elegantly dressed, but they are, well, cool. Self-described environmentalists and vegetarians, the trio defies hotel rules and takes a midnight swim in the pool-convincing Lily to join them. As this family repeatedly charms and swindles Lily, readers will foresee the consequences long before she does-and may well be a bit frustrated by her naivet?. But Lily's infatuation gives way to disgust-and remorse-after the LeBlancs (whose name is actually "White") finally go too far. There's a lesson to be learned here and Kimmel delivers it humorously and affectingly. Kids will deem Lily cool indeed. Ages 9-13. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Lily Blennerhassett's summer can't get any worse. Her best friend has left to attend Young Executive Camp and life at home is absolutely uninteresting. To stave off the boredom, she records her up-to-the-minute thoughts and the details of her life in her journal. Then she meets Charles and Veronique LeBlanc and their daughter Karma at cousin Delia's wedding. The LeBlancs are sophisticated, they care about the environment, and they DO things. Lily gets swept up in their causes, recording all the events in her diary, which also details how these professional con artists use this naive 13-year-old, abuse her trust, and eventually sue her family for $1.3 million. The pacing of the book is fast and smooth. Attuned readers will catch on to the con game, as there's a hint of unease in Lily's meetings with Karma that's exciting yet creepy. Lily is a likable teen who wants more than she has, only to discover that what she has is pretty darn good. By book's end, she has changed from a whiny kid who judges everyone to a wiser person who can question those judgments.-Linda Bindner, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Lily B. on the Brink of Cool Wednesday, June 19 My room. NOTE TO FUTURE BIOGRAPHERS: Welcome to the notebook of the soon-to-be internationally recognized writer Lily Blennerhassett (that's me -- nom de plume pending). I am recording my life for the benefit of future scholars devoting their professional lives to my Collected Works and for the benefit of readers, writers, and all who Seek the Truth. And also because this counts as a summer project for Advanced English. Thursday, June 20 Kitchen Table. With Nutter Butter. My life lacks excitement. It's worse than that, actually. My life lacks action. Conflict. Drama. My life lacks anything of substance, unless you count three green and two yellow vegetable portions on that nutritional food pyramid. The rich and varied scope of human experience has passed me by. I am an uninteresting person. I lack the raw materials necessary to produce a great novel. I blame my parents. They are simple, plain, by-the-book people. They do not take risks. They do not pick up hitchhikers. They do not sample mushrooms that grow in the wild. They are so mainstream, they make The First Lady look radical. Take driving with my father, for example. I may be only thirteen, and totally lacking in driver's education, but even I know that on the highway the left lane is supposed to be the fast lane. But my father disregards this Accepted Fact of Life on a daily basis. He'll maneuver the Honda into the left lane, then cruise along at 55, the posted speed limit in most of New York State. Not 54. Never 56. And when regular people, nice average Joes, come up behind him wanting to pass, he refuses to move over to the right lane. And okay, some of these people might get a little irritated. And maybe they flash their lights, or honk, or do a little innocent tailgating. Can you blame them? And what does my father do? Nothing at all. Just chugs along at 55 with this quiet It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood expression on his face. And if you make the mistake of pointing out that someone is trying to pass, he'll just shake his head and smile. He'll point to the speedometer. He'll say, "I'm doing the legal speed limit. Nobody has any right to complain. This is the speed we're supposed to be going." I think I've made my point. But let's not forget my mother. Somebody ought to apply for a grant to seriously study her. When my mother stays in a hotel, she makes the beds in the morning. I am not inventing this. Whether it's the ritziest place in the state or the Super 8 just off the freeway exit ramp, she always makes the beds and folds the used towels neatly on the rack. She claims she "can't think clearly with the beds unmade." I may only have gotten a B in bio, but I do know there is no connection between brain activity and bed sheets. I don't need therapy to know the real issue is how our family appears to other people. Unmade beds are untidy, and the last thing Mom wants is for word to get out to the Super 8 housekeeping staff that the Blennerhassetts from Room 118 are Untidy People. Given the opportunity, I feel sure William Shakespeare would have driven faster than the speed limit. And I feel very safe in saying that Jane Austen would not, in comparable circumstances, have straightened up her room at the Super 8. Life in the fast lane has NEVER been worse. Friday, June 21 Raining. Upstairs. Window seat. I am waiting for Charlotte. It will be difficult saying a serious good-bye to someone who is attending Young Executive Camp for part of the summer. If it had been anyone else, I would have written a sarcastic short story about it and submitted it to The New Yorker. But it is more complicated than that. Charlotte and I have spent every summer together since we were in kindergarten and became best friends. First it was Fairy Day Camp, then it was Sports Center Intensive Swim Program. Somewhere around the third or fourth grade we did the Brownie/Girl Scout thing. And for the last several years Camp Migawam. We slept in a cabin together, canoed together, swam together, launched butter pats at the ceiling in the dining room. Together. I realize it isn't Charlotte's fault, necessarily, that Camp Migawam went out of business after Charlotte called the newspaper regarding the offering of bribes by camp administrators to the state health and safety inspector. I don't blame her for that. But when it came time for us to pick a new way to spend the summer, Charlotte got all flipped out about this new alternative camp she'd found out about on the web, where Chief Executive Officers and Business Tycoons of tomorrow come together for the purposes of "educational enrichment." I looked at the brochure, just to see. It was appalling! No canoes. No cabins. No swimming, no sailing, no archery, not even any nature walks. Instead, the brochure talked about seminars, interactive workshops, and lectures by visiting corporate leaders. In short, it was a nightmare. I kept thinking she'd come to her senses. I kept thinking we'd find some nice tennis camp, or a riding program, or a hiking trip for girls. But Charlotte wouldn't budge. She was determined to enroll in Young Executive Camp. Spending a large part of the summer without Charlotte would be a disaster. But let's face it -- me at Young Executive Camp would be a catastrophe. My future plans do not include working in an office. They do not include panty hose and unscuffed shoes. They do not include briefcases or cell phones. They do not include carefully folded newspapers and takeout coffee or the commuter train. Lily B. on the Brink of Cool . Copyright © by Elizabeth Kimmel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Lily B. on the Brink of Cool by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel 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.