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It's every teen's nightmare to be
torn from the familiar home, school, and friends that provide the comfort and
security of an unchanging landscape that surrounds them as they walk the
uncertain path into adulthood. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened to
Mary Elizabeth Cep, oops, I mean Lola Elspeth Cep. You see Lola, as she liked
to be called, was transplanted from New York City to one of its suburbs.
The Suburbs! Could anything be worse for a born and bred New York City teen?
Personally, I can think of nothing short of waking up and having absolutely
nothing to wear to school. So imagine Lola's despair when her mother announced
they were moving to Dellwood, promptly renamed "Deadwood" in Lola's
Nevertheless Lola was not your
typical teen, and her journey to stardom would not be compromised by this small
tear in the fabric of her dreams. In fact, Lola's optimism saw this tragedy as
an opportunity to hone her craft. Everything about Lola, from her chosen name
(which she explains as "My parents fell in love watching Damn Yankees
together.") to her signature flowing black cape, screamed Drama Queen,
a not unappreciated sobriquet to Lola. She decided this forced move was a
blessing in disguise. Serendipity was knocking on her door, and she, Lola,
would welcome her with open arms. To Lola it was the opportunity future actors
die for! It was her chance to erase "the dull and embarrassing details of [her]
existence," and rewrite the chapters of her life history, so they were
more fitting to a future star. Unfortunately for Lola, her propensity for replacing
facts with fiction came back to haunt her when her real life adventures rivaled
fiction and no one believed the truth.
I can't help but speculate that
author Dyan Sheldon's first name was once spelled Diane, and Confessions of
a Teenage Drama Queen was the angst that the author herself experienced in
high school; for she very adeptly and amusingly takes the reader into the unsteady
teenage world of relationships with parents, friends, and teachers. Teenage
girls from 13 to 19 will identify with Lola's struggle with the "popular"
girls clique, as Lola tries to wedge her eccentric personality into the upper
middleclass white bread culture of the suburbs in which she suddenly finds
Sheldon's Lola is no shrinking
violet and her self-esteem especially for a teen soars as she takes on the
entrenched hierarchy of her nemesis, Carla Santini, and artfully attempts to
depose her. Confessions is Sheldon's testament to teen self-confidence
in the person of Lola Cep, who says, "I write in my diary every single
night. My life is extraordinary; I don't want to forget any more of it than I
have to." And neither will her teen girl audience. Sheldon is not afraid
to pull out the stops putting her sassy style and rich vocabulary into this
first person narration that will delight teen girls everywhere.
© 2005 Lorraine
Lorraine Rice provides the
following information about herself.
- Adjunct Professor of English and ESL
at Suffolk Community College, NY for 16 years.
- Poet and Artist My web page: http://hometown.aol.com/euterpel66/myhomepage/poetry.html
- Widow and mother of three adult
children and one granddaughter.
- BA St. John's University, Jamaica NY
- MA SUNY at Stony Brook, NY
- Like to explore: the Internet,
evolutionary-psychology, countries, books, people, outdoors, flea markets,
and old roads.
- Like to create: portraits, gardens,
found-object sculpture, lists, poems, and friendships.
- Like to travel: to most of US States,
Canada, Bermuda, England, Brazil, China, and Mexico.
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