Happy Valentine’s Day — I can’t think of anything better to give you than a recommendation for Cecil Castellucci’s new book The Queen of Cool. Run out and buy it immediately; you can, because today’s the official release day. (And hey, look at that, Amazon is pairing it with her WONDERFUL, WUNDERKIND first novel Boy Proof — get it too, if you don’t have it.)
Queen is the story of Libby Brin, a popular girl who’s dying of boredom on the inside. Her friends are the thin kind of clever (if), dedicated to endless, half-hearted attempts at entertaining themselves. Libby decides one day to join an internship program at the L.A. Zoo, even though her friends don’t much like the idea. She’s grouped with the memorable Tina aka "Tiny," a little person with an outsize personality, and Sheldon, the most appealing, nerdiest science nerd in recent memory. Despite Libby’s natural efforts to sabotage the whole thing, ultimately she begins to see that her new uncool life is far better than her old one.
Any such description of this book is a pale version of the real thing. Cecil Castellucci writes like no one but herself. Her characters live inside this amazing voice she has and they breathe and act a million times bigger than should be possible in so few pages. (The perfect amount of pages.) It’s a magic trick to cram such a big book with such big emotions into such a slender volume. Not a word is wasted. So, read her already, okay? Love you too.
(p.s. If I had a million dollars, I would have sent you all copies of this today.)