The True Meaning of Cleavage

crunch time
head games
true meaning of cleavage
in the cards
the smart girls guide to tarot
fatal distraction

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Cool is cool and geek is geek, and at Eldridge the two definitely do not mix.

Sari and Jess are best friends and total opposites. They've liked each other ever since they discovered that they are the only two normal people at Eldridge Alternative. As they prepare to face the trials of ninth grade, Sari is psyched. Jess is not. How can she face the Prada Mafia, the most evil clique in school? Or Mr. McGuiness's unnervingly long nose hair? What if something really interesting happens to Sari and nothing whatsoever happens to Jess?

But not even Jess can predict the mayhem that erupts when Sari falls madly in love with David Cole. David is a senior. He's been dating Thea Melendez for forever. So he couldn't possibly be interested in Sari. Or could he? And if he is, where does that leave Jess?

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Rave Reviews for The True Meaning of Cleavage

"Fredericks, a first-time novelist, writes with amazing truth and perception."

ALA Booklist (starred review)

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"A must-read for every middle and junior high school girl"

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) (starred review)

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"Laugh-out-loud funny and way twisted! A VERY realistic (and painfully familiar!) story of one girl's high school freshman experience."

Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries

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"No one in this great novel is an annoying stereotype--it's full of characters you might find in your own school cafeteria."

YM magazine

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"Fredericks, a first-time novelist, writes with amazing truth and perception. These characters are kids readers see everyday and the emotions so clearly on display are ones that they've experienced in their guts. Some readers will recognize Jess's wrenching feelings of being left behind and the desperate gyrations to turn their worlds right again. But others will identify with Sari, whose first hormonal surges lead her to places like behind a bathroom door at a party, when she first catches David's eye. The book's ending is both honest and hopeful. Things happen, corrections are made, and then everyone moves on."

Starred Review from ALA Booklist

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"[A] must-read for every middle and junior high school girl. With Jess as the narrator, the message is clear, but it is not told in sexually graphic terms. Jess's sense of humor and her obsession with an upcoming science fiction movie will have teens chuckling as they keep reading to find out what out-of-control thing Sari will do next. Fredericks creates a modern day Forever that should escape the censor's sword."

Starred Review from VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

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Friendship conquers all in this ninth-grade slice-of-life as two teenage girls, one hot, one not, make it through their first rocky year of high school. Sari and Jess, the only two girls at Eldridge Alternative "who don't communicate by squealing and squeaking" have been best friends forever. Besides a love for tacky movies, they share a hatred for classmate Erica Trager and her Prada Mafia, a clique of rich, stylishly attired girls whose "combined IQ is roughly equivalent to that of a kumquat." But suddenly, Sari, who is beautiful, sexy, and ready for adventure, doesn't want to spend her nights watching old movies; she's fallen "madly, psychotically in love with David Cole," a handsome and popular senior who is fully enmeshed in a romantic relationship with another in-crowd member. Much to the more ordinary-looking Jess's despair, Sari ends up having a secret and degrading relationship with her beloved, who is firmly glued to his old girlfriend in public. Sari is consumed by David and the minutiae of their secret liaison, while Jess is fixated on Sari and what her involvement with David will mean for their friendship. With insight and a nice sprinkling of wit, newcomer Fredericks realistically captures high-school society, as well as neatly nailing the poignant voice of teenage obsession. Alas, obsession is by its very nature repetitive and the situation can become tiresome-also true to life-though readers who persevere can draw strength from the notion that friendship, like true love, can survive a multitude of stressors. A bright new voice to note. (Fiction. 12+)

Praise from Kirkus Reviews

In The Cards

Crunch Time

Head Games

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