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Loser/Queen Kindle Edition
At school, her skills with knitting needles and some yarn go completely unappreciated: people like Bekka Bell reign while Cammy and her best friend, the fearless Danish exchange student Gerdi, watch from the sidelines. Cammy’s used to being an outsider; after years of humiliating moments, her goal is simply to fly under the radar. Then she suddenly starts receiving mysterious text messages that lead her right to all the embarrassing secrets about the most popular kids in school. Cammy never expected to be able to climb up the high school food chain, and the agenda of the texter may be questionable—but how can she possibly give up the chance to be Queen?
This is the print version of the groundbreaking online interactive serial LOSER/QUEEN that premiered in July 2010 on www.loserqueen.com. Each week, readers voted on major plot twists. The winning choice was then encorporated into the next week's chapters. Now that voting—and the book—are complete, LOSER/QUEEN will be published as a paperback and packed with extras from the author… and readers will have the opportunity to own the book they helped create!
Jodi Lynn Anderson, the national bestselling author of Peaches and The Secrets of Peaches, has lived in Georgia, Costa Rica, and New York, but she currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Brittney Lee is a designer and animator. She lives in Emeryville, CA.
Jodi Lynn Anderson, illus. by Brittney Lee, Simon & Schuster, $9.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9646-0
Fans of Anderson's Peaches may be disappointed in this formulaic, bittersweet Cinderella story, the course of which readers helped determine via an online promotion earlier this year. Fifteen-year-old Cammy, "a born outsider," suffers the ultimate humiliation when she is literally caught with her pants down in front of a crowd of students. But a few days later, she receives a text from someone named the White Rabbit offering to help her get even. After following cryptic step-by-step instructions, Cammy not only witnesses her enemies fall, but also receives a "Mad Men meets Katy Perry" makeover, lands a prom date, and is given chances to boost the self-esteem of other victimized peers. Predictably, triumphs lead to downfalls as the White Rabbit's demands have increasingly cruel results. Readers may find the mess Cammy creates for herself more frustrating than entertaining, and they will likely feel the most empathy for Cammy's ditched best friend, Gerdi, a Danish foreign exchange student who proves to be wiser and more independent than the fickle heroine. Art not seen by PW. Ages 13–up.
--Publishers Weekly, November 15, 2010
Anderson, Jodi Lynn; illus. by Brittney Lee.
Simon, 2010 [272p] Paper ed. ISBN 978-1-4169-9646-0 $9.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4169-9647-7 $8.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 7-10
Though mousy Cammy has a best friend, Gerdi, she still spends most of her time trying to avoid being noticed at their small high school, because being noticed usually means acquiring a new embarrassing nickname due to her perpetual awkwardness. Things change when Cammy receives a mysterious package with instructions that lead to a beauty makeover, some payback, and access to the intimate secrets of her classmates (which have been obtained, unknown to Cammy, by spying on them). She’s then instructed by her enigmatic benefactor to use those secrets to give meaningful little gifts and perform acts of kindness and sometimes heroics for various classmates and teachers—and a few vengeful pranks as well. While Gerdi warns Cammy to stop doing the bidding of the unidentified puppetmaster, Cammy enjoys both the power of anonymity and the new friendships she’s garnering from the more public acts. When she finally refuses to perform a task that will hurt Gerdi, though, her benefactor exposes her, and her classmates forget the good she’s done in the face of more nasty episodes and the invasion of their privacy.
Putting a fresh twist on high-school social dynamics, the story of Cammy’s rise and fall involves readers at a gut empathy level; there’s nothing really wrong with what she’s doing, and in most cases the person pulling the strings is using his spying activities to beneficial effect, so why shouldn’t she reap some benefits herself? Nevertheless, he’s still spying, and Cammy’s motives are far from pure. Ultimately, though, it’s her passivity and eagerness to please that bring her down, allowing her to remain a sympathetic and relatable character throughout. Though initially created as an interactive online serial, this works effectively and seamlessly as a standalone book. Reviewed from an unillustrated galley. KC
--Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, January 2011
ANDERSON, Jodi Lynn. Loser/Queen. illus. by Brittney Lee. 357p. S & S. 2010. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-9646-0; ebook $8.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-9647-7. LC number unavailable.
Gr 7 Up–Cammy Hall, 15, is a born outsider, positioned at the bottom of the high school social order. She dresses oddly and lives with her grandparents. She spends her time knitting amigurumi, watching old episodes of Golden Girls, and hanging out with her equally uncool exchange-student friend, Gerdi. After a humiliating incident at a school dance, she begins receiving mysterious text messages from someone calling him/herself the White Rabbit. The White Rabbit seems to know everyone’s secrets, good and bad, and gives Cammy cryptic commands to do various things to and for fellow students and teachers. At first, these are relatively harmless and even positive, and she finds herself becoming more and more popular, but when the White Rabbit’s agenda becomes more mean-spirited, Cammy must choose whether to go along with it or refuse and risk losing her newfound popularity and the affections of the boy she has long admired. This is the print version of an interactive book that was originally posted on the Loser/Queen website in online installments, with story elements determined by reader feedback and voting. Not surprisingly, the book is completely plot driven, sometimes at the expense of characterization, and the conclusion seems abrupt. However, readers will enjoy the many twists and will be eager to discover the identity of the mysterious White Rabbit.–Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
-SLJ February 2011
About the Author
Brittney Lee is a designer and animator. She lives in Emeryville, CA.
- ASIN : B003UYUU26
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition (December 21, 2010)
- Publication date : December 21, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 586 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 276 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,088,780 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Plot: This whole book kind of reminded me of Teen Spirit, the ABC Family movie that came out a few weeks ago. If you haven’t watched it, it’s about a “Queen Bee” that dies during the Homecoming dance and instead of going straight to Heaven, she is stuck in a sort of limbo. In order to get out of limbo she must help the unpopular girl at her school become popular and get the boy of her dreams. That’s basically what happens in the book except for the whole dying part, but Cammy get’s help from a secret source just like the girl in the movie. The White Rabbit was strange and it was a little obvious as to who was behind the whole thing. The fact that the Rabbit knew so much about everyone and had a yearbook full of secrets was a little creepy. My favorite part were the letters and emails at the end, especially the ones from her grandparents because they were amusing.
Cover: The cover goes really well with the story. It is simple, cute, and represents Cammy’s personality and the White Rabbit which is a major part of the story.
Overall Impression: It was a cute and short read. I love the fact that it was written based on plot twists voted on by readers.
I’d never heard of Loser/Queen before and I wasn’t planning to read it. When I first saw it, I said “meh” and was going to leave it at that. But then I forgot my book one day. Desperate, I started to read.
Cammy immediately grabbed me and I loved watching her bobble between right and wrong with the White Rabbit. I was SO happy. Then…it sank. Not enough for a screeching halt, but it was enough.
Was it me or the book? A bit of both.
+ Character progression
+ The Start
The Bad & The Ugly:
Cammy is a charming “old woman in a young body”. She knits, dresses frumpily, stays home with her grandparents and loves the Golden Girls. <- That’s an automatic win in my book. Her relationship with her grandparents are adorable and I loved them as a family.
Her best friend is a Danish exchange student, Geri who loves Cammy’s authentic self. The fixation on Geri’s accent made me uncomfortable at times. At first it seemed natural but Geri’s been here for years and what idioms she didn’t understand seemed convenient. I might be overthinking it and having a hyper-response. I don’t know really, since I don’t have experience in this area. But it definitely gets better with Cammy’s progression at the end.
While Cammy’s sympathetic, she’s too chicken shit to help the other outsiders like her. That is until she’s humiliated in front of her whole class in a changing fiasco. This was my first bump in the road, I found the setup and Cammy’s decisions that lead there hard to believe. That’s the only reason it wasn’t so vicariously embarrassing that I didn’t have to skip it or run away. (The fremdschämen is strong in me.)
This is what prompts the White Rabbit to assist Cammy with keen observations and strategic planning to rearrange the social pecking order.
At first it was ~glorious~. I admired what was done for the most part. It started with a bang that made me worried, but the WR’s plan is more savvy than a prank war.
I was fascinated with Cammy’s transformation. But she makes some really dumb decisions that I don’t understand. That whole misunderstanding with Dream Boy and her gramps? Ugh.
As the White Rabbit’s mischief escalates, Cammy’s increasing torn between her old and new self. I liked this question of where to draw the line and the cost of being noticed, being a someone.
Something has to give, of course. I wasn’t surprised by the hill Cammy decided to die on, but I didn’t understand why WR made the request. At least, not until the very end and even that’s a gut feeling. Or maybe a hopeful wish given WR’s final antics. Guess I’ll never really know.
This is when the book really started to decline for me. The careful planning dissolved and my connection with Cammy eroded.
Once Cammy’s luck turned, the reaction didn’t seem right. There should’ve been more backlash and outrage. And being that coordinated in her punishment? Nope, don’t buy it. It’s so tame in comparison to everything else.
I thought the most disappointing part was how little Cammy did to find out White Rabbit’s identity and how she missed some pretty big clues. Then they were revealed… The red herring was more interesting and less obvious than the true culprit.
I wasn’t feeling Loser/Queen anymore but it was almost over and I wanted to see how Cammy turned out. The epilogue is great, showing the different pieces and parts. She did good. There’s character progression all around and I like how it worked out. Yet my early enthusiasm never came back.
I don’t regret reading it but after falling in love so quickly, it wound up disappointing. Not a bad contemporary, and has a few characteristics you won’t find elsewhere, but it’s hit or miss in the end.
If you’re looking for a mystery, the White Rabbit’s doesn’t hold up.
The process mystifies everyone, gains Cammy popularity, but forces her to lie and strains her relationship with her best friend, Gerdi, a Danish exchange student who liked the U.S. So much she's hung around for all four years of high school.
The lying and eventual exposure is costly to Cammy, but allows her to figure out what's really important. The ending is a bit bittersweet, but I enjoyed the book and read it in one evening. Teens who like mystery, high school drama and revenge or who have experienced these, will like the book.