Book Blitz: Surviving High School – Lele Pons & Melissa de la Cruz

Surviving High School
Lele Pons & Melissa de la Cruz
Published by: Gallery Books
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Vine superstar Lele Pons—“one of the coolest girls on the web” (Teen Vogue)—teams up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost) in this lovable debut novel about the wilds and wonders of high school that’s as laugh-out-loud addictive as Lele’s popular videos.

Ten million followers and I still sit alone at lunch. Lele is a bulls-eye target at her new school in Miami until, overnight, her digital fame catapults the girl with cheerleader looks, a seriously silly personality, and a self-deprecating funny bone into the popular crowd. Now she’s facing a whole new set of challenges—the relentless drama, the ruthless cliques, the unexpected internet celebrity—all while trying to keep her grades up and make her parents proud.

Filled with the zany enthusiasm that has made Lele into Vine’s most viewed star, this charming novel is proof that high school is a trip. From crushing your crushes (what’s up with that hot transfer student Alexei??) to throwing Insta-fake parties with your BFFs and moaning over homework (GAH) with your frenemies, high school is a rollercoaster of exhilarating highs and totally embarrassing lows. Leave it to Lele to reassure us that falling flat on your face is definitely not the end of the world. Fans of Mean Girls will love this fun and heartwarming fish-out-of-water story.

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Read the Prologue:

To my lovely and beautiful readers. Before I tell you the story of how I vowed to survive high school, I’d like to talk about something near and dear to my heart.

See, every human being (and most animals, I find) have their own unique essence, an essence comprised of deeply rooted qualities that make them who they are. Ancient Greek philosophers would refer to this as the “soul”—but I am not an ancient Greek philosopher, I am a teenage girl, and so I will call it Lele-ness. Of course, you wouldn’t call it Lele-ness, you would call it Sara-ness or Jason-ness, or whatever your name might be.

My point is: I believe that YOU-ness is something very special, no matter who you are, and it ought to be celebrated. So I shall now tell you how I came to be truly Lele, a person I love for better or for worse.

Of course, part of your essence comes into this world with you at birth, but it’s really what happens next that starts to shape you into you. I was born in Caracas, a major city in Venezuela, but quickly moved to the countryside where I—get this—lived in a barn. I mean, can you even? Picture this: baby Lele running barefoot through cornfields miles and miles away from civilization.

I didn’t have dogs or cats as pets, instead I had baby tigers and monkeys as close friends. My whole childhood I knew nothing of shopping malls or (gasp!) the internet. For entertainment I had only nature—bird-watching and berry picking and, best of all, stargazing.

For as long as I can remember, language has been a struggle for me. Words didn’t come to me as a child, so I used my body to communicate. It felt so much more natural to express my- self that way. I felt comfortable drawing out my thoughts and feelings, instead of verbalizing them, so I’d often draw out storyboards—sometimes eight pages long—to explain to my parents or teachers what it was that I wanted. Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses: for me, artwork and movement were strengths, while speaking to others using words was a weakness.

Now take all of that and add immigrating to the United States, and you have a potential disaster on your hands. I knew nothing about American culture, and my differences paralyzed me with anxiety. For comfort and peace of mind, I turned to entertainment. I found I was embraced by my peers for being physically dramatic and, well, funny. I found that I knew how to make people laugh, and so I held on to that as a life raft in the sea of the most confusing and alienating time in my life.

I believe it was my wild upbringing plus my verbal disadvantages that led me to be the performer and one-of-a-kind weirdo with a heart of gold that I am today. It’s not always easy being Lele, but every morning when I wake up I say, “Bring it on,” and that attitude is what has taken me on this incredible journey.

I encourage you to think about the life events and circumstances that have made you truly YOU, and to celebrate every single part of yourself—the strong, the weak, the good, the bad, and the ugly— because each part contributes to making you special and AMAZING. Trust me.

So that is the story of how I developed my Lele essence. What follows is the story of how I survived my first year at Miami High and how I got to share my message with almost ten million followers. I hope you enjoy it!

XO Lele

Author Bio:

Lele Pons was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved with her family to Miami when she was five years old. She got her start when she created a page on the video-sharing app Vine in December 2013. Originally intended as a fun outlet to showcase her creativity, her vines evolved into comedic sketches and pulling practical jokes on family and friends. Her following grew from five thousand local followers to more than ten million by November 2015.
Today she is one of the most recognizable names on social media, and has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Time, and more. Lele has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a Streamy Award. In 2015, she was invited to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama to help launch her campaign for disadvantaged kids to go to college. Lele graduated from high school in 2015 and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for readers of all ages, including the Witches of East End, Blue Bloods, and Descendants series.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Series I Started (and Never Finished)


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt was a FREEBIE, so I decided to talk about the Ten Series I Started and Never Finished. Some are multi-book series, others are duologies/trilogies, but all of them were abandoned for reasons (that I will talk about).

Also, I apologize in advance if I talk ill about one of your favourite series, it’s just my opinion! And I’ll try not to spoil anything, but I can’t promise that.

1) The White Rabbit Chronicles – Gena Showalter

I love the covers, I love the concept, but I can’t stand the characters. I read Alice in Zombieland and was heartbroken when I hated it. I wanted to like this trilogy so much, but Ali (and Cole) infuriated me. I even considered reading the second book, but after mulling it over, I knew there was no point – it would have just disappointed me even more.

2) Teardrop duology – Lauren Kate

I’m scared to re-read Fallen (which I actually loved), because I don’t know if the trainwreck that was Teardrop will affect my opinion. This was basically Fallen expect with more water (and less angels), and I didn’t like any of the characters (Luce wasn’t the greatest heroine, but she at least had some personality). Again, the more I thought about it, the angrier it mad me.

3) Hush, Hush series – Becca Fitzpatrick

It pains me to admit it, but I loved this book when I first read it. I’d like to point out that I was deep in my Twilight phase and Patch (such a terrible name for an angel) was like a more aggressive Edward. And then my sister (Ro) read it, broke it down, and I was like “Welp, you’re right. This is awful”.

It’s interesting to see how much hate the series gets (I definitely DID NOT realize how abusive Patch/Nora’s relationship was).

4) The Immortals series – Alyson Noel

Ever started grating on my nerves sometime around book three, but I read the fourth one because I was intrigued. And then nothing too thrilling happened and the thing with Jude annoyed me, and I just couldn’t deal with any of the characters anymore.

4.5) Riley Bloom series – Alyson Noel

Once I stopped reading the original series, I didn’t see the point in finishing the spinoff! Plus Riley, while great comedic relief in the first Immortals book, was pretty meh as a protagonist.

5) House of Night series – P.C. and Kristin Cast

I think I suffered through four of these books too before I stopped caring: boring/annoying protagonist; the antagonist who ends up redeeming herself in some one and then also becomes boring; WAY TOO MANY guys falling all over themselves for her. I can’t take it when literally every guy has a thing for the main character – my maximum is two because love triangles are a thing (in YA, at least).

6) The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot

Do not talk to me about the end of book eight (which is when I gave up) but you can highlight for angry spoilers:

Mia spends nearly SEVEN BOOKS talking about how much she loves Michael and then SHE BREAKS UP WITH HIM because he and Judith were “friends with benefits” BEFORE HE AND MIA EVEN STARTED DATING and then she KISSES J.P. and I was so mad.

I don’t care if they ended up together in the last book, it was HORRIBLE.

7) The Saga of Darren Shan – Darren Shan

This was a series that I always meant to finish, but never got around to (I don’t have the last book). I honestly don’t remember much from anything after book four, but Ro recently read them for the first time, and, according to her, half the books are just filler. So while I may still buy the last book – if only to complete my set – I’m not in any rush.

8) Blue Bloods series – Melissa de la Cruz

I read the first three and really liked them (again, this was during the Twilight years, so I mentally compared Jack to Edward and preferred Jack). But by the time the fourth book came out, I wasn’t as attached to the characters, and then I heard that werewolves were randomly being introduced, so I just gave up.

9) The Hollow series – Jessica Verday

Another series I desperately wanted to like, but I was bored to tears with it, and couldn’t connect to any of the characters (I’m very much a “character” person – if I don’t like any of them, I have a hard time with the book). Plus I (purposely) spoiled the ending of the third book and basically had a “WHAT IS GOING ON?!” moment, so I know I won’t read the sequels.

That was technically ten! What are some series that you’ve abandoned?