Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad's girlfriends and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar...and that's just how she likes it.
Of course, that doesn't help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah's sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she's going crazy. Yet she's determined to make things work out the way she wants -- only what she wants may not be what she needs....
Once again, Elizabeth Scott has created a world so painfully funny and a cast of characters so heartbreakingly real that you'll love being a part of it from unexpected start to triumphant finish.
Following the bleak Living Dead Girl, Scott returns to teen romance, populating this one with a pair of unusually noteworthy parents. It's been five years since 17-year-old Hannah has had any contact with her father, a Hugh Hefner manquE in his 70s who has a reality TV show and Web site that chronicles his comings and goings with his "special girls." Hannah's mother, one of those "girls" before Hannah's birth, now runs a Web site that features her in live chat wearing only lingerie. Although Hannah strives for invisibility, she finds herself attracting attention from two male classmates and co-workers at her afterschool job: Josh, who seems to be politically aware and sensitive, and Finn, who seems to be a football-playing clod. Readers will quickly clue into the truth, that Josh is a jerk and Finn is a gem, but Scott's spot-on dialogue and deft feel for teen angst will keep them entertained. The unusual family dynamics allow the author to explore familiar themes from a fresh angle. This is a satisfying, romantic coming-of-age story. Ages 14-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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March 22, 2009
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Excerpt from Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Everyone's seen my mother naked.
Well, mostly naked. Remember that ad that ran during the Super Bowl, the one where a guy calls and orders a pizza and opens the door to see a naked lady with an open pizza box ("The pizza that's so hot it can't be contained!") covering the bits you still aren't allowed to see on network television?
That was her. Candy Madison, once one of Jackson James' girlfriends, and star of the short-lived sitcom Cowboy Dad. Now she's reduced to the (very rare) acting job or ad, but she was relatively famous (or infamous) for a few days after the football game with a pre-game show that lasts longer than the actual game.
You might think the ad caused me nothing but grief at school, but aside from a few snide comments from the sparkly girls (you know the type: unnaturally white teeth, shining hair, personalities of rabid dogs) and some of the jock jerks (who, of course, were watching the game, and like both pizza and naked women -- not a stretch to figure they'd be interested), no one else said anything to me.
But then, no one really talks to me. That's good, though. I've worked long and hard to be invisible at Slaterville High, an anonymous student in the almost 2,000 that attend, and I want it to stay that way. (The school website actually boasts that we're larger than some colleges. I guess overcrowding is a good thing now.)
However, the ad has caused me nothing but grief at home. When it aired, traffic to Mom's site, candymadison.net, tripled, and she worked to keep it coming back, giving free "chats" (where she sits around in lingerie and answers questions about her so-called career and Jackson), and pushing her self-published autobiography, Candy Madison: Taking It All Off. We actually sold ten of the twenty-five cases of the thing stacked in our garage.
And the press coverage? Mom loved it. The ad only ran once, because some senator's kid saw it and...you know where I'm going, right?
Of course you do, and naturally, the ad became extremely popular online. Celeb Weekly magazine did five questions with her, and Mom pushed her website and book and then talked about how she was always looking for "interesting, quirky character roles."
The week it ran, Mom bought ten copies of the magazine at the grocery store and wandered around the house grinning and flapping the interview at me. The phone rang almost hourly, her brand-new agent calling with offers (mostly for work involving no clothing, which Mom turned down) and an invitation to appear on a talk show.
Not a classy talk show, mind you, but still, it was a talk show. She said yes until she found out the show was about "Moms Who Get Naked: Live! Nude! Moms!" and backed out. Not because she objected to being called a mom. Or because she knew -- because I'd told her so -- that I'd die if she did it.
It was the "nude" thing.
"I've never done any nude work!" she said to her agent. "I'm an artist, an actress -- all right, yes, the ad. But I was wearing a pizza box! I want to be taken seriously. What about getting me on the talk show with the woman who says 'Wow!' all the time and gives her audience free cars? I could talk to her."
The "Wow!" lady wasn't interested, Mom's new agent stopped calling, and today, when we go to the supermarket, Celeb Weekly doesn't have her picture in it.
"I don't understand," she says. "I got so much e-mail from my fans after that interview, and they all said they'd write to the magazine and ask for more. Do you think I wasn't memorable enough?"
I look at her, dressed in a tight, bright pink T-shirt with CANDYMADISON.NET in sequins across the front, and a white skirt that barely skims the tops of her thighs. Her shoes have heels that could probably be used to pierce things.
"You're very memorable, Mom. Did you get the bread?"
"I don't eat bread." Is she pouting? It's hard to tell. She's had a lot of chemicals injected into her face.
"I know, but I do," I say, and take the Celeb Weekly she thrusts at me.
"Sorry," she says. "I'm just in a bad mood. They could have at least run one picture!"
"I know, but they..." I say, and trail off because there's Mom, in the back of the magazine under "Fashion Disasters!" The picture of her they're running was taken at the premiere of a play she did way (way) off Broadway a week ago. The play ran for exactly one night. She played a nun (now you see why the play lasted one night) and wore a dress with what she called "strategic cutouts" to a party afterward.
The caption under the picture reads, "Note to Candy Madison: Sometimes pizza boxes ARE more flattering!"
"What?" Mom says, trying to look at the magazine again. "Did I miss something? Is there a picture of me? Or, wait -- is Jackson in there?"
"Um...Jackson," I tell her, and she looks at me, then pulls the magazine out of my hands and sees the picture.
And then she starts jumping up and down. Never mind that everyone in the grocery store is watching her even more than they usually do, most with resigned "Oh, why must she live HERE" expressions on their faces, and a few with "Oh, I hope she jumps higher because that skirt is covering less and less" grins.
"I'll go get the bread," I say, and get away. She'll be done jumping when I get back because she'll have seen the caption. At least this means we won't have to buy ten copies of the magazine. I would rather have food than look at pictures of celebrities. (Call me crazy, but I just think it's a better choice.)
I am glad it was a picture of Mom (though I wish it was a better one) because I would so rather look at her than Jackson James, founder of jacksonjamesonline.com, the home of JJ's Girls, and current star of JJ: Dreamworld. He's 72, acts like he's 22, and once upon a time Mom had a child with him. Check out any online encyclopedia (or gossip site) if you don't believe me. The photo you see -- and it's always the same photo -- is of me and Jackson. It was taken when I was a baby, but still. It's out there.
When I get back, Mom has seen what they said about her, but still wants a copy of the magazine.
"I don't think that many people look at the captions, do you?" she says as we're heading out into the parking lot, stroking the glossy cover of Celeb Weekly. "I can't believe I'm in here again." Her smile is so beautiful, so glowing. So happy.
Mom almost never looks happy. Not really.
"I bet plenty of people will see the picture," I say, which isn't a lie. I'm sure plenty of people will. But I bet they'll read what's under it too. She doesn't need to hear that, though. Not now. I put the last of the groceries in her car and say, "I'll see you after work, okay?"