Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock

Book:  The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door
Author:  Karen Finneyfrock
Publisher:  Viking Children’s
Date:  February 21, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A+

That’s the day the trouble started.
The trouble that nearly ruined my life.
The trouble that turned me Dark.
The trouble that begs me for revenge.

Celia Door enters her freshman year of high school with giant boots, dark eyeliner, and a thirst for revenge against Sandy Firestone, the girl who did something unspeakable to Celia last year.

But then Celia meets Drake, the cool new kid from New York City who entrusts her with his deepest, darkest secret. When Celia’s quest for justice threatens her relationship with Drake, she’s forced to decide which is sweeter: revenge or friendship.

This debut novel from Karen Finneyfrock establishes her as a bright, bold, razor-sharp new voice for teens.

Initial Reaction
Oh wow…..I did not see any of that coming!  I thought this would be a cute, fluffy read, not a book full of substance and issues.

Cover story
I like the title and cover of this book.  Although, I think that the title gives the impression that this book is not as substantial as it really is.  I like the cover because it actually goes with the story.

What’s the Story?
Celia is starting her freshman year in high school and she hangs a sign on her locker that says “Celia the Dark”.  She explains about how she has “gone Dark” and talks about the mean girls who harass her and something about an incident in 8th grade and “The Book”.  As a reader, you don’t know what it is, but I found it easy to identify with Celia and her feelings toward the mean girls, Sandy and Mandy.

Celia’s voice is perfect in this novel.  I think that she sounds exactly like an intelligent 14 year old girl.  Sometimes she is a little immature, but that’s what makes it feel real.  I could completely identify with her and all the peer and family issues she was going through.  I think that Finneyfrock nailed an early adolescent voice in this novel.

I read this novel in less than a day.  I could not put it down.  It was an easy read, but more importantly, it was completely engaging.  I did not want to stop reading.  I kept hoping that Celia would get the revenge and that the mean girls would fall.  Of course, life rarely works out that way, but I closed the book feeling like Celia was going to be just fine and knowing that she would survive high school and not let the mean girls beat her down. She might be dark in high school, but she will be the smart girl who goes on to college and comes back to the 10 year reunion with a glamorous job in New York City or something!  In fact, I wish that Finneyfrock would write the reunion sequel to this book just so I can see Celia finally get her revenge! Ha!

This book picked up some heavy issues and really dealt with them in a way that did not feel preachy.  In fact, this book reminded me a lot of some of my other favorite contemporaries such as Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  This book has already been added to my next order for my library for next fall and I plan to put it on every display I can and get the students to start reading it. 


Stupid Girls by Pink

Rip Her to Shreds by Blondie

I Hate the Homecoming Queen by Emily Osment

Goodbye You Suck by Shiloh

She’s Falling Apart by Lisa Loeb

Mean Girls by Rachel Crow

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A+.  I loved this book something fierce.  It was a great story that captured the voice of an early adolescent perfectly and also hit some extremely timely and relevant issues.  It rocks!

1 comment:

  1. I just got this one to read for a blog tour. I'm excited to start it, even more so now. Thanks for the review!