Art Geeks and Prom Queensby Alyson Noël
Then Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich and a cheerleader, Kristi
Being the new girl is tough-just ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has no clue how she's going to fit in at her fancy new private school in Southern California. Plus, being late, overdressed, and named after a Duran Duran song doesn't make the first day any easier for her.
Then Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich and a cheerleader, Kristi is the queen bee of Newport Beach. And Kristi isn't friends with just anyone, so Rio is thrilled when she's invited to be part of the most exclusive, popular clique. Of course, like any club, Kristi and her friends have rules: Always smile (even if you don't mean it), always dress cute (and never repeat outfits), and always flirt (but only with jocks, preps, and rich college guys).
At first Rio is having a great time, but as she becomes more immersed in this jet-set crowd, she figures out there is one last rule that her new friends for got to mention: Don't cress Kristi…
“Get ready for a wild ride with Rio Jones. And, hang on because you're going to love every minute of it!” J. Minter, author of The Insiders
“Cool, uncompromising, superbly written – this is a wonderful journey through teenage life by a writer who really gets it.” Kevin Brooks, author of Martyn Pig, Lucas, Kissing the Rain, and Candy
“I love Alyson's use of dialogue. It's acerbic and vicious and bitchy. Totally realistic, in other words, without a false note.” Catherine Forde, author of Fat Boy Swim
“Rio steps into the glitz and glam of Southern California socialites, but she never loses her down to earth sense of humor.” Michelle Taylor, author of What's Happily Ever After, Anyway?
“A book about life in the fast lane. . .” Lurlene McDaniel, author of My Secret Boyfriend and Angels in Pink
“Delicious, irresistible fun. All that's lacking is a pool-side chair and a cold drink.” Deb Caletti, author of Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.46(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 - 17 Years
Read an Excerpt
Art Geeks and Pro Queens
By Alyson Noël, Sarah Hughes
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2005 Alyson Noël
All rights reserved.
"Oh, no. You are not wearing that," my mom says, barging into my room and invading my privacy as usual.
I'm sitting on the floor, rolling my eyes and tying my shoes. I mean, the fact that she despises my faded, old Levi's and "Cape Cod Crew" sweatshirt (that is now so faded and peeled it reads "ape Crew") is reason enough for me to love it. "Mom, it's fine. Trust me," I say, making a mental note to get a lock on my door ASAP.
"No, Rio, it's not fine. You've got to make a good impression on your first day!"
"I know what I'm doing," I say, glaring at her as she plows through one of the open boxes like it's a sale bin at Barneys.
"Here, why don't you wear this?" She holds up the denim miniskirt and sparkly tank top she gave me right after she broke the news about moving, as if it were no more than a simple costume change, and that they weren't really wrecking my life.
"Forget it." I shake my head and push it away. "There's no way I'm showing up on my first day at a new school looking like a Hilton sister."
"This outfit is adorable, and you've got the figure for it," she says, holding it against herself and looking in the mirror.
"That outfit will get me killed! All the girls will hate me if I show up in that."
"This outfit will get you noticed!" She raises her eyebrows at me.
"Then why don't you wear it?" I roll my eyes at her white terry-cloth short shorts, matching hoodie, and sky-blue Ugg boots, which have apparently become her new "O.C." uniform. "Besides, it's only January," I remind her.
"Yes, and it's already seventy degrees out. People here dress for the weather, not the seasons."
"'Cause there are no seasons in this freaky place," I say, suddenly hating her all over again for dragging me across the country, far away from everything I know and love. I mean, we've only been here a week, but it may as well be a year. I'm completely miserable and it's totally my parents' fault.
If my dad hadn't decided to move to the Newport Beach office, and my mom hadn't insisted on throwing out all of our "heavy, New York furniture" before replacing it with "California-lite," I wouldn't be sleeping on the floor and getting dressed out of a box. And from what I've already witnessed of her own extreme beach-bunny makeover, I've got a sick feeling she's going to decorate the entire house with nothing but yoga mats and water bottles. I swear I miss my old bed almost as much as I miss my old friends.
"Well, if you insist on wearing sweats, at least let them be designer." She reaches for the new hot-pink Juicy Couture sweat suit she bought me two days ago.
"Mom, no! I'm totally gonna be late!"
"Good, you'll make an entrance!"
"Yeah, only in high school they call it 'being tardy' and it's frowned upon," I say, surrendering to her sales pitch against my better judgment.
When I'm dressed for the second time, in the outfit of her choice, I notice she's staring at my shoes, eyes filled with disapproval.
"Forget it," I tell her. "I've compromised all I can. Now would you please just drive me to school?"
"Not until I put on my lips."
I roll my eyes, grab my backpack, and run down the stairs and out the front door to the new white convertible Jaguar that's sitting in the driveway. I throw my bag on the floor, fasten my seat belt, and just sit there and wait while she locates the perfect shade of lip gloss that will offset the blue in her eyes (made even bluer courtesy of Bausch & Lomb), the blond in her hair, and transform her back into the fabulous Jahne Jones, former almost-supermodel, that she was twenty years ago.
In my mom's world, lip gloss is definitely more important than getting me to school on time. I swear, her priorities are a total mess.
Okay, so this is the movie-trailer version of my life. I'm sixteen but almost seventeen, named after a Duran Duran song (which was some big-deal group in the eighties that you might have heard of, depending on whether you watch VH1 or MTV). My mom dated one of the members for three weeks back when she was a model, but she's very vague about which one. Still, sometimes I fantasize that it was the really cute one and that he's actually my real dad, and that any day now he'll come claim me and take me away from this crazy house. But the reality is it probably wouldn't be any better, since rock stars aren't exactly known for their stability.
My real dad is "very busy making money for my mom and me and the people that work for him and their families," as well as "upholding the law by defending the innocent," which is the line he's been giving me for every missed school function, birthday, and holiday since I can remember. I mean, he's a defense attorney, but he probably travels more than a rock star, and sometimes I think Larry King and the camera crew at CNN get to talk to him more than I do.
I feel guilty for saying that (even though it's true), because the fact is we're pretty close, and he's my only ally against my mom. But the problem is he's gone so much that I'm usually left to fight my own battles, and believe me, it's exhausting.
I'm an only child and we have no pets because "animals may look cute from a distance, but they're destructive, shed, shit, and throw up" (that was a direct quote from my mom), and except for the shedding part, it's probably the same reason why I have no siblings.
And today is the first day in my new school, but it's not the first day of school. It's actually the first day back from winter break. And it totally sucks because I was pretty much hoping just to blend in and go unnoticed, but now I'm gonna be the late new girl in the hot-pink Juicy sweat suit, and you just can't blend when you're late and pink.
My mom slams the brakes in front of the administrative office, and I look at my watch and shake my head. Twenty minutes late.
I grab my backpack and then nervously run my hands through my long, honey-blond tangled hair, redo my ponytail, and open the door.
"Yeah?" I look at her without even trying to hide my annoyance.
"Do you want me to help you find your class?"
"Mom, please. I'm not in kindergarten. Jeez." I shake my head and glance nervously at the empty campus.
"Okay," she says, in a hurt voice designed to make me feel bad. And it does. "What time do you want me to pick you up?"
I look at her sitting there in the Jag, and I know she means well, but I go, "Don't pick me up, Mom. Please don't pick me up. I'll find my own way home."
"Okay," she says, shrugging and looking away like she doesn't care, but I know she does.
"Are you gonna be okay today?" I ask, climbing out and closing the door between us. It's weird how I worry about her sometimes. It makes me feel like I'm the parent.
"I'll be great! But you better get to class. You're twenty minutes late you know!"
Then she puts the car in gear and speeds away.CHAPTER 2
I sling my backpack over my shoulder and head to the office so I can inform whoever's inside that I'm new, late, and have no idea where I'm supposed to go next.
I pull on the heavy glass door, walk inside, lean against the counter, and wait for someone to notice me. This woman with severely bleached hair and a starched white blouse with tiny pink flowers squints at me and says, "And how can we help you?"
"Um, I'm new here. It's my first day, and I'm not sure where I'm supposed to go," I tell her.
She turns to her computer and taps a few keys. "Name, please?"
She stops. "Like in Brazil?"
"Like in the song," I say, tired of always having to answer this question.
She knits her brows together like she's trying to remember how that one goes, then she shakes her head and says, "And your last name, Rio?"
"Very good. Well, I see that you're scheduled to be in AP English. You do know you're twenty minutes late?" She gives me a stern look.
I look at my watch and shrug. "Um, actually I think it's more like twenty-five."
"We'll let it go today. But tomorrow be on time." She looks like she means business.
"C'mon. I'll walk you." She reluctantly sets down her coffee cup, and sighs as she rises from her desk.
"Oh, you don't have to do that. I can find it," I tell her.
"Are you sure?" she asks, pausing in her ascent, which makes it pretty obvious she'd rather stay.
She hands me some papers, and by the time I'm standing in front of the classroom door I'm in a total panic and I wish I'd let her come with me. But I have to do this, so I take a deep breath, grab the handle, and when I go inside I can feel like twenty pairs of eyes checking me out, including the teacher.
"Hi. Um, I'm supposed to give you this. I'm new." I hand her the pink slip the office lady gave me. Then I just stand there and wait and hope I don't look like a total reject as I stare at the walls that are covered in orange-and-brown construction-paper leaves that say "Fall into Literature."
"You go by Rio?"
"You know you're late? Class is half over." She runs her fingers through her short, brown, practical hair and peers at me through metal-framed glasses perched on the end of her nose. Her skin is so pale and translucent it looks like it was carved from a bar of glycerin.
"I know. I'm sorry," I say, rubbing my arm like I always do when I'm nervous.
"Okay, well I'm Mrs. Abbott, and there's an empty seat right over there."
I walk over to where she was pointing, slide into the empty second-row seat, unzip my backpack, and pull out my favorite pen and the notebook I used at my old school. On my last day, all of my friends signed the cover and seeing it now makes my throat go all tight, and my eyes start to sting, and I wish I'd bought a new one. So to distract myself, I flip my pen upside down and watch the miniature New York skyline float by in a cloud of glitter, and then I flip it the other way, sending it back where it came from. But it doesn't cheer me up.
Mrs. Abbott goes back to the chalkboard and starts writing stuff on it and I know I should concentrate and copy it all down, but I can feel the girl at the next desk totally staring at me. And it makes me nervous and self-conscious.
I pull my zipper all the way up, making sure my chest is completely covered, since in the last year it's gone from nonexistent to Jessica Simpson proportions, and I'm not entirely happy about it. Not to mention the five-inch growth spurt that has me clocking in at just under five feet ten, and my new, shiny, straight teeth no longer covered in thick metal braces. I mean, this is what it must feel like for those Extreme Makeover contestants. Only I didn't ask for any of this. And it might sound crazy, but I was actually way happier as a short, chubby, acne-splattered, flat-chested dork.
Even when people would look at my mom and then me and then back at my mom, and whisper, "Is she adopted?" it didn't bother me. Really. It was just a lot easier when I was the type of girl no one wanted to be like and everyone ignored. Because that kept their expectations low, so I could just be myself.
But now that I look different people are starting to treat me different. And it always makes me feel like I'm disappointing them by being a big geek, instead of glamorous and exciting like my mom. Also, I can't stand the way they always stare at me.
Like right now.
I take a deep breath, look over and smile and try to seem friendly. But she doesn't smile back.
She just taps her fingers against the chunky knit sleeve of her cheerleading sweater and looks me up and down.
And all I can think is: I'm dead.
When the bell finally rings I grab my backpack and hurry into the hall in search of my new locker. Okay, it's not like I have anything to put in it yet, but I figure I should at least know where it is. So when I finally find it, I'm spinning the lock trying to make sure the numbers are lining up in just the right spot, and I hear someone behind me go, "So."
I turn and face the cheerleader from my English class. Her sweater is turquoise, white, and green, which I guess are the school colors, and in the middle is a fuzzy white megaphone that says "Kristi!" in black cursive letters.
"Hey," I say, not sure if she's being friendly or menacing.
"Your locker's, like, right next to mine." She stares at me with these piercing blue eyes, holding some books against her hip with one hand, while twisting her long dark-brown hair around and around the index finger of the other. And she's so petite, pretty, and perfect, I feel like Shrek in comparison.
"Really?" I say, trying to appear excited about this new piece of information.
"Yeah, that one's mine." She points to a locker two rows over and one row up.
"Oh, okay," I say, smiling and nodding even though I have no idea where this is headed.
"So what's your next class?" she asks, checking out my clothes, shoes, watch, backpack, and earrings.
"Um, AP Art," I say, squinting at my class schedule.
She looks at me for a long moment and I'm starting to feel really uncomfortable when she finally goes, "Well, ciao!" and gives me this little wave with her hair-wrapped index finger.
As I watch her walk away I realize I have no idea what just happened, but I know it can't be good. Because let's face it, girls like Kristi just don't talk to girls like me.CHAPTER 3
When I walk into AP Art, I'm the last to arrive even though I tried to be early. So I go across the room and introduce myself to my teacher, Ms. Tate, and it's kind of weird, because she looks really similar to my art teacher from my old school, with her mass of dark wavy hair falling almost to her waist, hardly any makeup, and at least three piercings in her right ear (there may be more but I can't tell because of her hair).
I hand her my paperwork and after looking it over she taps a pencil against the faux-wood grain of her desk like she's deciding something important, then she stops tapping, and tells me to take a seat at the long table in the corner.
I consciously avoid the curious stares of the other students as I sit on the vacant chair next to a skinny girl with chin-length, choppy, red hair and a cool vintage outfit that has so much going on it's hard to take it all in with just one glance. When she looks at me with these heavily black-rimmed eyes I sort of press my lips together in a pathetic, nervous, no-teeth smile. I guess after my strange encounter with the cheerleader I'm feeling a little shy. But unlike Kristi, she smiles and says, "Hey, I'm Mason, and that's Jas."
I look across the table to where she's pointing, and sitting there is like the cutest guy ever. Okay, maybe not gorgeous in that perfect Hollywood "spray-on tan personal trainer Brad Pitt in Troy" kind of way. But definitely cute in that "real person who goes to your school and he's sitting right in front of you right now" kind of way.
He's really tan, with sun-streaked brown hair that falls just short of his incredible, long-lashed, topaz eyes. And when he smiles my heart stops.
Temporarily, but literally.
And so determined to be cool I say, "Hey, Jas." Only it comes out sounding like "Hey, Jath!" Like I have a speech impediment or something. Which I don't! But now he probably thinks that I do. Great.
After Ms. Tate takes roll call she tells everyone just to continue with their projects. Then she comes over and sits next to me on the edge of the long wood desk, and even though she's thin and petite, the desk creaks really loudly when she does that, like it's gonna break or something.
"So, Rio," she says, picking off pieces of white lint from her black cotton smock. "We're all working on a series of projects, some of which will be chosen for the upcoming art show held every year in Laguna Beach. You're getting a late start, but I'd still like you to try to contribute something. This year I've had each of the students pick a theme, value, or idea and then express it in a medium of their choice."
"Can I use photography?" I ask.
"Sure. Whatever you like. The darkroom is over there." She points to a door across the room that has a sign on it that says DARKROOM. "I'm sure Mason or Jas will be kind enough to show you around."
So, of course, I immediately picture Jas (Jath!) "showing me around," then I feel myself turn bright red when I realize he's looking right at me.
Ms. Tate smiles and says, "I'm looking forward to seeing your work." Then she rises from the table slowly and carefully so that it doesn't creak again. But it still does.
When she's gone, Mason leans across the desk and says, "You're into photography?"
"Yeah." I nod. Then I look over and see Jas looking at me, so I quickly look away.
"Who do you like?" he asks.
But luckily I just say "Um, well, I love how Irving Penn shows the beauty in the most simple things, and how Annie Leibovitz gets right inside the soul of her subject, oh, and Helmut Newton's work is so amazing." Okay, I could go on and on but I make myself stop before I go too far and out myself as a total geek. I mean, most people my age have no idea who I'm talking about.
"Helmut Newton rocks." Jas nods.
"And I love Irving Penn," Mason says.
"You do?" I ask.
"Yeah, and Herb Ritts and Bruce Weber and Richard Avedon and Mario Testino. Wouldn't that be the greatest job? To be a photographer?" Mason says.
Excerpted from Art Geeks and Pro Queens by Alyson Noël, Sarah Hughes. Copyright © 2005 Alyson Noël. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Faking 19,Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss & Blog, Saving Zoë, Cruel Summer, and the Immortals series including Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, and Night Star, as well as the Immortals spin-off series beginning with Radiance. With over 2 million copies in print in the US alone, her books have been published in 35 countries and have won awards including the National Reader's Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, and Reviewer's Choice 2007 Top Ten, and have been chosen for the CBS Early Show's "Give the Gift of Reading" segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine's "Hot List" and Beach Book Club Pick. She lives in Laguna Beach, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I love this book it was really good and its sometimes makes u think WHAT! or WHY? or WOW! I would totally recoment this book, and it has a really good ending!
Rio Jones is the new girl at her school. As if that isn't hard enough, her mom is an ex almost-model and expects her daughter to be pretty and popular, and she's named after a Duran Duran song. Except that she is an art geek. On her first day, she meets kids from her art class that take her off campus for lunch (which isn't allowed). And she gets detention for it, so her mom tells her that she can't hang out with them anymore.
Rio is a geek, until she meets Kristi.
Kristi is a rich, beautiful, popular cheerleader. She and Rio become friends and in Kristi's group there are rules. You always have to smile even if you don't mean it and be nice to everyone. Kristi is the only one in the group who thinks that the rules don't apply to her because she's Kristi. Soon Rio becomes even more popular than Kristi is and, of course, Kristi is jealous. Not that she would ever tell anyone that. But there is one rule that her friends left out -- don't cross paths with Kristi. Rio's life soon goes back to worse than it was before she met Kristi, since even her art friends won't talk to her.
I am obsessed with this author! She is SO funny and all of her books are so realistic! As expected, another must read from Alyson Noel!
I really liked this book, read in one day. It keeps you wanting more the wholetime!!! I was so happy with the ending!!!! Its a must read! :)!
Even though i am not in high school i can imagine things can be this way for Rio. This book is amazing and i can toatally relate Alyson Noel's art geek and prom queens is totally worth reading along with the immortal series and the riley bloom series i give a rating of five strars.
I would give this book 6 stars if i could!!!! Alyson No¿l is my favorite author of all time!!!!!! A must read book
I dont have this book on my nook but i did read it! Its really really good and the ending is so sweet!!!!! A heart breaker!!! But i hated the part at the party and what Drew did to rio thats not right at all!!!!! But if u didnt read it READ IT and u will find out what Drew did to Rio!!!!!!
this book was so addicting! I absolutely loved it! A must to read!
Best book i ever read :)
I lovedddd this book , it was an awesome story and I think alot of girls can relate to it !!!
Alyson Noel-You just wrote another outstanding book. This is exatly what teenagers in high school go threw and i had a flash back and made me think when i was like Rio shooes. I read this book in less then 3 hrs never put it down your amazing author!!!!!
This book is a rather different take on the popular life. I love how it shows the concequences. And it makes it easier for me to look at a situation and and change it. I know your probably thinking dull right? Not at all this book had me on my toes the whole time and i finished it in 3 hours. It was an amazing read and its a good book for teens to read. Hell i'm 13 and i love it.
This book was great! It talks about mean girls, and what they will do to make you feel low! This is such a well described book, and a total eye opener! When things went wrong with Rio (because of Kristi, the gossiper, queen bee) and she was crying I found my self crying too! I got so into this book, I'm so sad it's over. Two thumbs up! I would reccommend it to anyone!
i really did enjoy this book. it was hard to put down. it reminded me alot of mean girls. but if you enjoyed that movie you will love this book i would recomend this book !!
this book is so good!! once i read it i couldn't stop reading!! it may be something like 'mean girls' but that doesn't matter! you'll LOVE this book the second you pick it up!!
this book was so interestingg. Aylson describes the way alot of highschool girls act perfectly. i couldnt put this book down and all my friends want to borrow it. i just loved it and i think everyone should read it.
ok, now this book is not like every other teenage book. well it kinda is, but i granute you its way better, this is the best book i have ever read. i couldnt put it down. and the way the author describes things, amazaing. seriously please read this book!
this book was such a good book i couldnt but the book down. by far the best book i ve read so far!
I love this book so much and it really kept me reading. I loved all the characters and I thought that the dialogue seemed so real and I could relate to all the characters! I really enjoyed this book!
I have always seemed to never stick to a book or take forever to finish it if I do like it. But this book it only took me 1 day to read!!! I was so proud and attached to this book I couldn't put it down! Lol, I love to read now!
i usually wouldnt read girly books but i was bored and this one really blew me away. it was hilarious, i couldnt put it down. after i read it i gave it to my cousin who was kicked out of school at age 15 and she hasnt read since she had to do a book report and used cliff notes. she read art geeks and prom queens in 1 single day! this books is a must read for all teens.
ABSOLUTELY do I recommend this book. I fell in love with it! I loved the twists and all the emotions, this book was amazingly writen, and it is amazing!
Well i thought that this book was really good, and i reead it in like on day. I really couldnt put it down. One thing that i dont like about it its that the popular kids are kinda stereotypes in a sense there not real. I mean the most of real popular kids arent like that. Iam not saying that people like kristi and comany dont exsist but there not all 'popular' thats all. But with that aside i really like how rio totally ditches that crew and opens everyones elses eyes and ofcourse a kiss with jas couldnt have eneded it better.
This book was so good i read it at least 5 times. The whole story may seem typical at first: new girl is a geek when she comes to a new school, ends up being most popular with drama. But in this book it really relates to what you're thinking. If you don't know what i mean read the book and find out!
i loved this book so much. i became so intouch with rio during the course of the book that i found myself rooting for her and hoping she will find her self. as most books go it was a happy ending and i wouldnt have had it any other way. yet i found myself wanting more. i couldnt put this book down and i think even though some of the senarios are exagerated and not quite realistic, thats why i like it!
A lot of the reviews say it's inappropriate...but honestly, so is high school. If you don't want something inappropriate than don't read a book that gets into every aspect of high school. Anyway, I personally enjoy the book a lot, and a lot of other stuff by Alyson Noel as well.