Going to Lewis Latimar High used to be easy for Lauren O'Neil. As long as she stayed on the honor roll, got the juiciest stories for the school paper, and made sure her silky thick flip reigned amongst all the other girls at Latimar High, things stayed as smooth as a White Castles' vanilla shake until the day she got the assignment of a lifetime - to interview Kevin Johnson, Latimar's star quarterback, the finest boy in the Bronx, who was up for grabs by every girl in the school, including her best friend Rosalyn, who makes a move for Kevin. And in doing so, violates just about all of Lauren and her "Girlfriends' do's and don't codes to live by." In fact, as the competition heats up, Lauren breaks a few friendship codes herself. With a sudden bitter twist, life at Latimar High isn't as easy as it used to be...
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The Kids at Latimar High
Young Adult Fiction Novel
Pizza and a Good Friend!
Pizza and a Good Friend
THE KIDS AT LATIMAR HIGH opens as Lauren, lays down the rules she and her best friend Rosalyn have established for their friendship. The two girls can't be more opposite. Rosalyn is a confident, overindulged, pretty girl who loves to flirt and is always in search of a new conquest. Lauren is more scholarly, insecure, and while pretty, a little on the thick side, so she doesn't garner as much attention from boys. Despite their differences, their friendship works, especially when they both follow their rules.
Lauren is on the school newspaper staff, and sees herself as a journalist in the future. Her biggest frustration is that she rarely gets to cover what she considers "real news." Instead, she is forced to cover things like sports, something she had little interest in until it involved interviewing Latimar's star quarterback Kevin. Of course, Rosalyn has already decided she and Kevin are meant to be and initially Lauren accepts the idea as well. But after spending time with Kevin, Lauren quickly realizes she also has feelings for him that are heightened as she comes to realize she may actually have a chance with him. With both girls vying for the attention of the same guy, tension is high. The drama really increases when Lauren and Rosalyn begin to break their rules for friendship. The schoolmates soon discover that no one is as they seem, and everyone has their own crosses to bear. Each of the main characters begin to see themselves and their peers differently and they evolve into stronger, better people.
THE KIDS AT LATIMAR HIGH was an enjoyable coming of age story set in an average high school. I really enjoy how on the surface, the characters seemed to have it all, but as the story progressed and I learned more about them, their problems, frailties, and insecurities were revealed. Copeland has crafted well developed characters who endear themselves to the reader. Teens will find it easy to relate to the story, as it touches on real life issues and has an authentic feel. The ending was a bit abrupt and left a lot of loose ends, however, the author does have a sequel in the works.
Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
At first glance, THE KIDS AT LATIMAR HIGH seems to be another book about the ever present high school popularity
contest, or who winds up with the hottie boyfriend. On closer inspection, though, you’ll begin to see that the characters of
Lauren, Rosalyn, Kevin, and all of their relatives and friends are actually well-drawn and three-dimensional teens with lives of
Lauren has always been the studious girl, more concerned with her grades and her job at the school paper than with her
looks. Her best friend, Rosalyn, is exactly the opposite – a pretty girl who likes attention, and uses that attention to get what
she wants, which is usually the boy of the moment. Somehow the two girls have managed to stay friends, surviving the ups
and downs of attending Lewis Latimar High.
There’s even a “Girlfriends’ Do’s and Don’t Codes” for the girls to live by, which include such bits of wisdom as “Never
size yourself up with your best friend.” Which is all well and good, except that sophomore year at Latimar High has just
brought about a really big problem. Lauren finds herself attracted to football star Kevin Johnson, who just happens to be on
Rosalyn’s unwritten list of “boys I need to make my own.”
But is Rosalyn the only one breaking the friendship rules? Both girls will have to figure out which is more important in the long
run – a good-looking, popular boyfriend, or a friendship that could last a lifetime.
Although THE KIDS AT LATIMAR HIGH is geared towards African-American teens, it’s a great read for anyone
struggling to find the difference between what is right and what is easiest. Told in alternating points of view, this is an
enjoyable, engaging tale that will have you anticipating the next book in the series when you’re finished.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" Teensreadtoo.com
Deborah Gregory, Best-selling author of The Cheetah Girls.
A young adult novel set in the Boogie Down--the explosive landscape from which I sprung; rest assured Rosalyn, Lauren, and Kevin are the kind of characters that Keep it moving, while speaking to new schoolers coming up today in a language they understand, says Deborah Gregory, Best-selling author of The Cheetah Girls.
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