Picture Lord of the Rings meets Ella Enchanted meets Mean Girls and you’ve got Lisa Papademetriou’s new book, The Wizard, The Witch and Two Girls from Jersey. Two teens from different parts of the social spectrum (Mean Girls) end up in a fantasy world (Lord of the Rings) and with humor and pluck (Ella Enchanted) save themselves and the day.
Given that the lead character is Hispanic, and given that High School Musical is sooo hot these days, I would go with a Vanessa Anne Hudgens lead, and Ashley Tisdale as the blond, snobby girl. Take away the Hispanic aspect (which isn’t hard to do, given that it is only shown in a few Spanish phrases early in the book), and I would see this more as an Anne Hathaway and Rachel McAdams (the classic Mean Girl) vehicle. Or if you remember the eighties teen movies better, picture a Molly Ringwald Pretty in Pink and a Molly Ringwald Breakfast Club. My point being, if this book isn’t currently in negotiations for a movie deal then somebody’s agent is sleeping on the job.
Here’s a short exchange after Heather breaks the princess:
“You’re sorry?” Veronica snapped. “Great. We’re stuck in a fictional forest full of Ookies and attacking hags, and you feel bad about smashing the only person who could have helped us. Ooh, that’s so helpful! Thanks!”Veronica and Heather need the same fantasy book for a class report due the next day. Veronica knows the story inside and out, but wants to own a copy. Heather just didn’t do her homework. At the bookstore, they wrestle over the book and a bizarre scanner accident lands them inside the story itself. Unfortunately, they mistakenly shatter the princess character when she is turned to glass by a witch. Veronica knows that the only way out of the story is through the story, so she puts forth Heather as the princess. However, they have already changed the tale by coming into it, so things do not always happen as Veronica suspects they will.
“I said I was sorry,” Heather replied. “What do you want from me? It’s not like I carry Krazy Glue in my pocket or something. Besides, you don’t even know for sure that we’re inside your dumb book. It’s not like you can prove it.”
“Oh, yeah?” Veronica folded her arms across her chest. “Well, if we’re in chapter two, then Princess Arabelle should be meeting an old man with a long beard just about...”
At that moment, a bush rusled. Veronica reached for the dead dwarf’s battle-ax as two riders entered the clearing.
“...now,” Veronica finished.
There are many references to other books and fantasy premises that readers will enjoy. Veronica also compares the world around her with the way the author wrote about it, which gives the book an interesting take on being inside and outside the story at the same time. There are many other references which are good for a chuckle/groan. Like the existence of Kibler elves who make tree-baked cookies. Or that one of the awful witches is the Countess of Uncomfortable Humidity. It’s a funny book. Light, light, light. But very funny.
The author also writes on a book blog that I found recently, and added to my blogroll last night, Bookburger. The blog is very well done and very professional-looking in its own quirky/fun way. The blog authors nail some great interviews. In fact, I found the blog when they interviewed Mo Willems for his You Can Never Find A Rickshaw When It Monsoons which is still not in my library and I should have bought a copy long ago, but I harbored this secret desire that Mo would send me a copy based on my continued posts about him and because everybody seems to get something like cupcakes, or Baby Mouse posters, or even just ARCs so isn’t it time somebody out there ponied up something for MotherReader, for the love of Pete‽
Sorry, where was I?
Oh yeah, Bookburger is a wonderful site with some damn good credentials. Give it a look. I’ve also added some humorous parent blogs and some fun sites on my blogroll as well, so peruse at will.