REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life
by Jo Noelle
Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life is ON SALE for only $0.99, along with the author's other books.
Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life is currently on tour with I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Lexi Middleton has been socially invisible to her classmates, but starting her junior year, that’s going to change. First, she’s determined to hook a boyfriend, ensuring dates with flowers and possible kisses on the doorstep. Second, she wants to be a writer for the school paper, even though it freaks her out to think of everyone judging her by her punctuation and metaphors.
High school is difficult enough - keeping up her grades, dealing with increasing sibling rivalry, and trying to stay out of the way of her personal nemesis, Amberlee - but when Lexi catches the eye of her long-time crush, she also becomes the focus of mean-girl tactics.
Caught between who she was and who she wants to be, Lexi must decide how to confront a bully, and choose who to let into her heart.
I know a lot about being unnoticed. Most of my life I’ve been increasing my expertise on both sides of that coin—watch others without being watched.
For research purposes, obviously, I sit at my regular table in a position that has a clear line of sight to Brendon’s usual spot where he has sat for the past two years, moving up the high school hierarchy with precision each August. The “cool” tables are arranged along twenty-foot floor-to-ceiling windows on the east side of the cafeteria. Glass doors at the bottom of each column of windows open onto the commons area, with picnic tables surrounded by grassy hills, also suitable for lunching when it’s not too hot. And in Henderson, Nevada, that means only in the winter, unless you don’t wear makeup and you feel quite secure in your deodorant choice. The tables on the north end of the room are for A-list seniors then juniors like Brendon then sophomores, and the furthest south are for worthy freshmen. My friends and I sit on the other side of the cafeteria.
Tifani waves at me from across the room. I wave and smile back. She’s a freshman, and she sits at a cool table. I’m okay with that.
Liar! It’s pathetic, I know. If I could feel another way, I would. And I do love my little sister, at home, when her friends aren’t around, but I don’t want to share my school with her. I tried talking her into going to a charter school across town. But why would she, when she’ll own this place in a couple of years? We haven’t been in the same school since I was in sixth grade and she was in fourth. Now I’ll get to watch her bubble and shine for my last two years of high school. I already feel a neon sign pulsing above my head reading, “You don’t know me, but I’m Lexi, Tifani’s sister?” Ugh.
How does she know that’s the spot where cool is made? It must be the same way butterflies find Santa Cruz, or turtles find the Transatlantic Current. If you’re meant to know, then it’s part of your DNA to gravitate toward it.
And the radar in Tifani’s DNA is incredible. I would have wondered if we had the same contributing parents if we didn’t look so much alike. We both have shoulder-length brown hair, fair complexions, just a few freckles, and brown eyes. Even still, she wears my face better than I do.
But wait, there’s more. At five, I wanted to be a dancer. She was a natural. At seven, I wanted to learn to ride a two-wheeler. After I crashed, she jumped on my bike and zoomed off. At ten, I wanted a pet. My parents bought me a dog, but every night it whined at my bedroom door so it could go to sleep on Tifani’s bed. At thirteen, I wanted to take piano lessons—right—she has a concert every six months. When I started high school, I wanted to stand out and be noticed, and she became a cheerleader at her junior high. Okay, so my theory falls apart a bit there, but the principle is the same: My wishes equal her life.
And those are just the big events. Lately, even my small wishes happen to her before I ever get a chance to have them. I would never admit I feel jealous—no, too strong. Resentful? Maybe. Really, both. That’s why I’m standing here torturing myself, making a list of her accomplishments again.
I can’t help it—I’m a lister. Each August, I make a list in my diary of the things I want to do during the school year, my own little New Year’s resolutions. My current list includes having a real date to a dance, with flowers and longingly looking in each other’s eyes. The second bullet point is that I want to be noticed. I don’t know if I should have written that one down at all. I was feeling bold that day, while I usually feel like standing back or disappearing.
The one thing I have is my writing, my only gift, my hobby and my escape. Writers spend large chunks of time alone, typing, considering how another life might be if they were the ones living it. Ooh, that sounds more like the result of a compulsion spell than a talent—especially when I compare my life to Tifani’s.
She has it all—a cheer uniform, control of the microphone at the assemblies, and loads of friends. She’s one of the social directors of Red Rock High School.
Maybe I imagine the coincidences because I’m good at observation. A small voice in my brain wonders if it’s the same as being a spectator. Do I even know the difference? Tillie and Asha, my best friends, sit at our table before I notice their approach. So much for my observational superpowers.
Praise for the Book
"Love the cover of the novel. Love the plot. Just loved this story a lot. I found it endearing and relatable. Lexi is a likable character and I liked the sibling rivalry aspect of this story." ~ Chubby Bookworm
"This book was a cute, sweet tale of learning to be true to who you are and comfortable in your own skin. Lexi was a fun narrator, the kind of girl I would've been friends with in high school - quirky, a little shy, and kind. [...] A fun story by a debut author. Can't wait to read her other books!" ~ Amazon Customer
"This is my first read by Jo Noelle and it's a good one. [...] The romance is likabley sweet as are the characters. It's fun to watch all their growth and see how the sibling rivalry plays out. The YA set and some adults will enjoy this read." ~ K. Swinton
"Super fun read! Fun characters and good humor!" ~ Amazon Customer
"It's way more than just a simple love story. I found myself captivated and not wanting the story to end when what seemed like it could have wrapped up nicely after the girl got the boy; but satisfyingly it continued. Great coming of age story." ~ Diane Morgan
"The teens will love this book." ~ Kathryn Henderson
By Lynda Dickson
Lexi, a junior at Red Rock High School, has made a fine art of going unnoticed, while her younger sister Tifani has just started high school and is already in the "cool" crowd. In fact, Tifani does everything better than Lexi and gets everything that Lexi wants, and Lexi is starting to resent it: "My wishes equal her life." Throw in an arch-nemesis in the form of cheerleader Amberlee, and Lexi is in for a pretty tough time. Nevertheless, Lexi has a list of things she wants to accomplish this school year, which include having a date to a dance and getting noticed. She daydreams about the quarterback, Brendon, oblivious to the feelings of her long-time friend Gabe. Then Gabe asks her to pretend to be his girlfriend to save him from unwanted attention from other girls. But what happens when Lexi actually starts falling for him? Along with a position on the school newspaper and her creative writing class with Ms. Danou, things start looking up. And who knows, Lexi might even get her wish after all.
This is a multi-layered story full of bullying, sibling rivalry, friendship, and romance, with a few writing tips thrown in along the way. Lexi's voice is fresh and humorous, and I loved her interactions with her friends Tillie, Asha, Riker, and Gabe. Lexi's real life story is interspersed with fragments of her fictional paranormal story. Her English teacher gives her plot pointers which cleverly translate to Lexi's real life situations.
A very satisfying read that will leave you with a smile on your face.
About the Author
Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people: Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.
They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Amnesty.
Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family.
Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.
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