Monday, May 18, 2009

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a bibliophile must be in want of great summer reading...

It was probably my third or fourth year homeschooling C. I remember sitting on the floor of the old Ann Arbor Y, while C was in taking a gymnastics class.

I had my laptop with me and I was really, really involved with what I was reading.

It was the inklings of a book about a cheerleader.

I'm kind of the anti-cheerleader type. I was never a "girly-girl". I preferred bare feet and jeans, baseball to Barbie, and by high school, many of my friends were guys, because hey, I got them. You get mad at someone, you punch them, it's over.

On top of that, I'm not even sure that my high school had cheerleaders. If we did, they certainly weren't part of a power crowd. We didn't have a prom. We were the class of '77 and we wore our alternative existence proudly.

Nevertheless, this cheerleader book had me hooked. You see the protag, Bethany, was not a cheerleader type - she was a well - my type. Maybe not the baseball part, but she was anything but a cheerleader type, and had been dared to try out. And she made it.

And her world turned upside down.

What did I like about this book? I liked the strong female protag (natch). I liked the humor. I liked the voice.

It was written by the most prolific writer in my writers group. She's also enormously talented and we all hoped the publication world would come to their senses and publish her - sooner rather than later.

I never got to read the entire cheerleader book. There were other projects and other passions from my writing friend.

Then, about two years ago, the son of another of my (brilliant and talented) writing friends was diagnosed with cancer, and the wonderful cheerleader book became an even more wonderful cheerleader book, as Charity generously distracted Darcy by giving her a project that had nothing to do with hospitals, cell counts or being a mom.

And magic happened.

And the gist of it is that Saturday, although the release date is officially tomorrow, I was able to walk into my local Barnes and Noble and pick up that pretty book in the center of that photo up there.

That's right.

The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance.

And then I got to spend the last two days inhaling it.

If you have teens - get it for them - teens always need good books. If you're an adult - get it - it's billed by Simon Pulse, their label, as a good beach read. And it's perfect for that, but it's also deeper and that makes it all the better.

I inhaled it. It's that much fun.

What a lovely weekend.

P.S. You can find out more about The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading, and all things geek, here.


Marianne Arkins said...

Amen! It is a great book.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Sounds so fun! I actually *was* a cheerleader for a couple years, although I'm so *not* the cheerleader "type"...I think I'll enjoy this one :)

Also, I love the title of this post :)

Jen said...

Amen, amen, Marianne!

Michelle - it's the first line of Pride and Prejudice - remixed - and I used it because a remixed version of that is also the first line of Geek Girl's Guide. ;-)

Luisa Perkins said...

I've been waiting for this one. Ordered! Can't wait.

Have you read Suite Scarlett yet? LOVED it.

Jen said...

No... but it's on my list, Luisa. I am rich with talented friends this week - waiting on an ARC for another friend and I want to read that first before I do anything else. I'm still dipping through Paper Cities - finding it somewhat of a disappointment, though. I'm also reading A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599, but those last two I'm reading in bits and pieces.

Anonymous said...

I was a lot like you. Non cheerleader here! I was raised with 5 brothers and I have 3 sons and 1 grandson. Boyz all around!
Looks like a good book!

Charity Tahmaseb said...

Aw, thanks Jen. This post really touched me. Thanks for being one of our cheerleaders all along.

Oh, and I second the recommendation for Suite Scarlett, or anything by Maureen Johnson. Love. Her. I can't wait for the sequel.

anno said...

Oh, this sounds like fun -- now I really wish I had been able to get to a bookstore this weekend. Looks like I'm going to have to wait for my preordered copy to arrive tomorrow...

Núria said...

Do you think I can find it translated? We are avid readers at our house :D.

I was that same type of girl too! Loved to climb up the trees!!!

Acedog said...

Here's to strong women everywhere be they cheerleaders, scientists, moms, sisters, wives, girlfriends, pastors, rabbis, priests, whatever.

I'm blessed in my own life by a strong mother, wife, and a bold daughter who in exasperation once said to my wife, "For God's sake, mom, grow a pair!"

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Thanks for the pointer, Jen! I will get my dad to send it over right away. (what a generous thing to promote this book, for us potential readers and for the authors)


Jen said...

What fun to find some other non-cheerleaders out there!

Maryann, you've been truly surrounded - wow, the gym socks alone!

Charity, you're very welcome. ;-) Thanks for providing me with so much great reading material over the years.

Anno, yes, and this would be a great book for m to read, too. For all sorts of reasons.

Nuria - you'll have to ask Charity - just click on the Geek Girl's Guide blog link - I don't know if there's a Spanish edition out there.

Acedog - what a great story about your daughter!

Lola - I just love to promote good books and good writers! ;-)

Brittany | the Home Ground said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for letting us know :) Hope your weekend went well!

Charity and Darcy said...

Awww, Jen, what can I say besides -- Thanks! You are an awesome friend and a lovely person!

Momisodes said...

What an incredible story behind this story :)
I've missed your posts. Thank you so much for sharing this here. I'm off to find the book. It sounds right up my alley.

Jen said...

Brittany - it's a really fun book. Absolutely.

D - because I think that's who's behind the C&D ;-) Thanks! It's no more than you two deserve. ;-)

Momisodes - I think you'd really have fun with this. It's so nice to be back, too!

Goofball said...

so is there a link between the first cheerleader book and this one? sorry if this is a stupid question.

Jen said...

Goofball, this is the finished version of that original book.

Anonymous said...

You ALWAYS suggest the best books! This shall go on my beach reading list...and I was a'd laugh HYSTERICALLY if you saw me...but I could twirl!

muzzyblue said...

I'm sorry but I was a cheerleader during junior high and high school (which I hardly ever admit, BTW)but I was emphatically not a girly-girl by any means. I was one of those people straddling the line between jocks and freaks...Love the reference to Pride and Prejudice, too!

But most of all: Let's hear it for the class of '77!

Jane of MLFB