Title: Ellie Stanton
Author: Aurora Zahni
Genres: YA Contemporary
Published January 14th, 2014
Publisher: Beau Coup Publishing
Book 1 in the Heller Park Series focuses on Ellie Stanton
An imperfect, unremarkable girl makes a hero’s journey. Ellie Stanton needed to have a good day. The universe had something else in store. Getting caught shoplifting. Check. Dumping her lame boyfriend. Check. Expulsion from school. Check. Getting kicked out of her house and then stealing her mother’s car while she’s in a New Jersey turnpike rest stop Cinnabon? Check. The only sensible option is to run as fast as she can and never look back. Now Ellie is running going cross country to raise a little hell and maybe along the way learn everything she needs to know about life.
Okay so I was a little unprepared for Ellie and I was also pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book.
But the ending... Oh my gawd seriously I am going to need more to the story here! I do like where it left off but I really need to know what's next for Hillary and Ellie!
The plot was fabtastic and the characters were so real and messy you could just get into the story with ease. I really liked the scenery though it wasn't detailed out but I had no problems imagining it for myself.
Eleanor J. Stanton is a teenager who is doing what she can with the crap hand she was dealt. She gets into trouble even though she rocks out straight A's. Her troubles are mainly due to her smart mouth and no filter. And the fact that her mom sucks the big one factors in big time. That mixed with her dad's virtual dead-beatedness, well yeah that plays into the whole scenario too. She basically Ellie has no support system but finds it in the strangest places.
Hillary has been there for her in this corner of the mall coffee shop she ducks into all the time and it is really crazy how things play out and come to just be.
The journey is a really good thing for Ellie once things go sour on the school and home front. I actually was cheering her on and it wasn't hard to do after seeing Tammy (her mom) act like a total b word to her teenage daughter.
I was happy that Ellie got her adventure even if I was terrified for her the entire way. My daughter is after all sixteen and will be seventeen this year so it was a scary prospect a girl her age having to deal like that.
I was a ball of emotions even though Ellie seemed detached from her own emotions.
I am glad we didn't see the rough and tumble Ellie falling in love in this book because honestly that is going to have to be something she learns to do. I think her relationship with Hillary will help.
And okay I am so freaked by the epilogue!!!
What the hay is going on! I really, really need the next book. I was completely lost in the epilogue and I have to know what the heck is up with that! And said epilogue is why it gets four stars instead of five. :( I really need to know... please. LOL!
4 of 5 stars
"Ellie, can you answer me one question?"
"Yes, Hilary. Your uniform makes you look like a brown Power Ranger."
Hilary rolled her eyes all the way back and gave Ellie a "ha ha ha" through clenched teeth. A couple wearing matching tracksuits walked in and Hil gave them menus before returning her attention to Ellie.
"Eleanor, I'm being serious. Answer me one question and I won't give you any more crap about school. Deal?"
Ellie pointed at Hilary. "Shoot, Megazord."
"Why, oh why do you have to turn every confrontation with an authority figure into World War Four?"
"Wait, you want to know, essentially, why I can't deal?" Hilary nodded emphatically, and Ellie continued. "Oh, that's easy peezy. We can all thank Mrs. Richards."
"Who the hell is Mrs. Richards?" Hilary asked.
"My kindergarten teacher. I will never forgive or forget that bitch."
"Why? What did she do?"
"I'm glad you asked. See, the first day of school, Mrs. Richards gave us a note to give to our parents, letting them know that parents were responsible for their own kid's snacks and drinks." A security guard and two Chickentown employees joined the audience. "So, Tammy, that's my mom's name for those who are new to the show here, she reads the first part of the note but not the second. That would be the part which gives examples of what appropriate healthy snacks and drinks are recommended. The word 'healthy' was underlined and in bold print. You can see where this is going, right?" She motioned toward Hilary, who smiled and nodded. "So Mommy Dearest stops off at Quick Chek on the way to school and grabs me a Mountain Dew and Twinkies."
There was a collective groan from the peanut gallery. Hilary used the pause in the story to take some orders before allowing Ellie to go on.
"Anyway, snack time rolls around, I open my Lion King lunch box and start digging in. Bitch Richards sees my Twinkies and comes flying at me like a hawk. She screams at me, throws away my Twinkies, and then walks me around the room pointing out examples of healthy snacks."
"You're kidding me." Hilary laughed, picturing little Ellie being tortured by this teacher.
"I would not kid you about snacks. It was like five full minutes of 'See, Ellie, that's a banana. Bananas are an example of a healthy snack.' Finally I snapped."
"What did you do?"
"I cried and smashed my lunch box against the chalkboard. When Mrs. Richards said she was calling my mom, I called her a big green bitch."
The entire congregation in the restaurant giggled at once.
"Why is that so funny? What the hell does that even mean?"
"I dunno. She was standing next to a Statue of Liberty poster. It didn't make sense, but it was very effective as an insult. That was the first class I was ever kicked out of, and I've been a pain in the collective ass of the world ever since."
Hehe. World ass. That's funny.
Aurora Zahni is a former rebel who’s trying to bring a little bit of Judy Blume and Sylvia Plath to the Twilight Generation. Over the years she has given half-assed / full throttle contributions to numerous zines and blogs, written a web movie and done significantly well in countless competitive eating events.
When she was in the 8th grade she was on the local evening news. A dead body was being lifted out of the water at a marina by the Meadowlands and you could clearly see her standing in the background watching, looking a bit excited for the camera. Looking back it may have been the highlight of her entire childhood.
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2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge