From best friend to frenemy to flat-out enemy
For her Sweet Sixteen, Jordan Wright gets rid of the frizzy hair, the conservative clothes, and finally likes the hip new girl smiling in the mirror. So when she hears about an open casting call for the hottest rapper's new video, she has the confidence to go for it. She and her best friend, Adrienne, try out with hundreds of hopefuls, but only Jordan makes it. Adrienne seems fine with it. But when Jordan starts getting some serious attention, Adrienne turns into a hater. And after Jordan has an innocent in-the-hall conversation with Adrienne's ex-boyfriend--they dated for one week, like four years ago!--Adrienne plots to ruin Jordan's life by spreading rumors, writing stuff on the bathroom walls and telling Jordan she'd be better off dead. Suddenly Jordan's popularity is fading. Forget sweet sixteen. She soon discovers that what she needs most is to find the strength to be herself.
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February 29, 2008
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Excerpt from 16 Isn't Always Sweet by Cassandra Carter
The smoke from all sixteen candles tickled Jordan's nose as she came up from her beautifully decorated birthday cake and into the applause that filled the community center. She couldn't hold back her smile as she took in the cheerful faces around her, and well wishes that swirled around in her head. She was sixteen years old today, and she had been waiting for this moment for as long as she could remember. She was eager to free herself from her parents' rules and take control of her life. This day brought her one step closer to the freedom she craved.
As Jordan's mother took charge and began slicing the cake, hungry guests flocked around the table, giving Jordan a chance to sneak off to the bathroom.
As the door creaked shut behind her, Jordan nearly jumped at the sight of her own reflection. Though her transformation had taken place gradually over the past two weeks, she barely recognized herself. Her gray eyes were no longer shielded by thick lenses. Her metal braces had been removed, and her long black hair had been cut to her shoulders.
Jordan checked herself out in the mirror as she twirled around in the denim Baby Phat dress her parents had finally agreed to buy for her. She had done far too much pleading over the eighty-two-dollar price tag, in her opinion. After all, it was her birthday, and this year she wasn't celebrating just any birthday--this was her sweet sixteen. She had just hit a milestone on the journey to womanhood, and everything had to be absolutely perfect. Or at least as close as she could get it.
She frowned as she looked at her petite figure in the mirror. As badly as she wanted to be a woman, she still felt she lacked certain feminine qualities. She glanced at her breasts as if she could somehow will them to grow. She was already well into her junior year of high school, yet she still hadn't graduated from an A-cup.