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Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood

4.1 49
by Eileen Cook

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The Count of Monte Cristo meets Mean Girls in this scandalicious, hilarious tale of friendship, betrayal, makeovers, and revenge.


The Count of Monte Cristo meets Mean Girls in this scandalicious, hilarious tale of friendship, betrayal, makeovers, and revenge.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Characters are funny and devious, and the right amount of high-school drama moves the plot along. Fans of Mean Girls will enjoy seeing the story turned on its head in this enjoyable tale." –SLJ, June 1, 2010

"Helen's character arc is...well managed and believable, especially when the vestiges of her better self start to niggle at her conscience....Her management of the popularity game deftly reveals how brittle it can be, particularly when being popular isn't coupled with actually being liked." —The Bulletin

Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
When Helen's parents decide to fulfill their hippie dreams and spend her senior year on an isolated commune, she takes the opportunity to move back to her hometown and wreak revenge on the girl who ruined her life three years ago. Helen Worthington becomes Claire Dantes, a slimmer, cooler, New York version of her former self. She quickly works to steal Lauren Wood's popularity, boyfriend, and niche in school activities. When she must decide between destroying Lauren and losing Brenda, a true friend, and Christopher, a love interest, she realizes that her plan for revenge may be turning her into the girl she despised. Through brilliantly placed flashbacks, the stories of Lauren's effect on Helen highlight Helen's own transformation. These scenes work smoothly with the rest of the text. With the inclusion of Helen's frequent lists, these breaks in format add interest to the story. Cook portrays high school life accurately, and Helen's voice is strong and clear, welcoming the reader into her world. While the story is realistic, sex, drugs, and alcohol are merely mentioned and not glorified, making this book appropriate for a slightly younger audience than many young adult novels. It is difficult to believe that the desire for revenge could so completely take over the life of a senior in high school and that she could ignore any of her own dreams and interests. However, her overwhelming focus serves to both entertain the reader and drive the plot. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Helen Worthington and Lauren Wood, both 14, were born a day apart in the same hospital in Michigan and seated together from kindergarten through eighth grade. It was only natural that they would be the closest of friends—until Lauren decides that she needs a fresh start in high school and frames Helen for naming the students who participated in the senior prank. The last days of eighth grade are hell for Helen, and she's in heaven when her dad gets a new job and they move to New York. However, after three years spent reinventing herself, her father gets a grant to study at a meditation camp and Helen finds herself sent back to Terrace for her senior year. She sets out to take her revenge on her ex-friend, which involves taking away the four most important things to Lauren, including her boyfriend and her popularity. During the course of the story Helen learns about the true nature of friends, relationships, and family. Characters are funny and devious, and the right amount of high-school drama moves the plot along. Fans of Mean Girls will enjoy seeing the story turned on its head in this enjoyable tale.—Laura Amos, Newport News Public Library, VA

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Seven

I planned my move back to Terrace with the same level of care and detail employed by nations going to war. My parents, who never met a self-help book they didn’t like, were huge fans of goal setting and visualizing your perfect future. How would the universe send you your heart’s desire if you weren’t clear about what you wanted? I forget which book my mom had gotten it from, The Secret, or maybe Energy for Life, but she was big on writing down what you wanted. Somehow this was supposed to help the universe bring it to you. The universe apparently has short-term memory loss issues. It needs things written down. My mom was always saying, “The difference between wishing and goal setting is that goal setters have a plan.” I wasn’t sure I bought into the whole theory, but why take the chance? I thought about every facet of my plan very carefully. I made lists and diagrams. I kept a three-ring binder with all of my notes separated by color-coded tabs. On the first page of my binder I wrote my new mission statement in large block letters so that the universe would be sure to see it, even if the universe had bad eyesight:


Revenge is a tricky thing. I wanted Lauren to pay, but pay in a very particular way. For example, it might be momentarily satisfying to do one of the following:

  1. Push Lauren out in front of a speeding dump truck
  2. Slather her with BBQ sauce and set a herd of hungry pit bulls on her
  3. Pour honey in her hair and then tie her down on an anthill
  4. Dress her in a bathing suit made out of herring and then push her into shark-infested water

However, all of these things would be over quickly. I’ll admit it doesn’t sound nice, but I wanted her to suffer a bit longer. I wanted her to know what it felt like to have everything taken away. Then there was the added factor that it would be difficult to make a bathing suit out of tiny stinky fish, and I was pretty sure you could do some heavy jail time for pushing people into shark-infested water or into the paths of speeding dump trucks. I wanted Lauren to pay, but I wasn’t looking to spend the next forty to life wearing an orange jumpsuit. Orange is so not my color. No, my revenge plan was going to have to be more creative. Plus, I wasn’t even sure where I could find a pack of hungry pit bulls.

I made a list of the things that were important to Lauren:

  1. Being popular
  2. Her boyfriend
  3. Getting the lead in the school play
  4. Her status as a cheerleader

Once I had the list, the basics of the plan were already framed out. I had to become more popular than she was. I had to steal her boyfriend out from under her, ensure someone else took the lead in the play, and get her kicked off the cheerleading squad.

Now I just had to figure out how to make those things happen.

The popularity angle was going to be the easiest to tackle. High schools have a social structure more strict than a Hindu caste system. By the time you get to your senior year everyone knows exactly where he or she belongs compared to everyone else. You could try to change your status—you could get a new wardrobe or take up a new sport, for example—but it would only take a few days before everyone would shove you back into the place where they felt you belonged. There might be a few people who shifted ranks, but it was highly unusual. I would have the advantage of being a new kid. No one would know exactly where to put me, but they would be trying to sort it out from the first moment they met me. I had to stack the deck. I couldn’t become popular at Lincoln High. I had to be popular from the moment I walked through the front door. I spent hours thinking about what made one person more popular than another. When I was done I taped a list to the mirror in my bedroom so I could study it. It was a thing of beauty.

The Popularity Scale

Attractive: Assign yourself up to 10 points, depending on your level of hotness, zero points being seriously ugly and 10 points being supermodel hot. Bonus 2 points for being fit and in shape versus merely thin. An additional 2 points for hair that looks like a shampoo ad. Minus 1 point if you flip it around way too much. Bonus 3 points for big boobs. Minus 5 points for being attractive but too slutty. Plus 1 point for good use of makeup. Minus 2 points for mild disfigurement such as bad skin, crooked teeth, or bad breath.

Sporty: Assign yourself 5 points for general athletic ability as defined by ability to run without falling over and catching a ball without getting smacked in the face. 5 bonus points for being on key school teams such as football, cheerleading, basketball, or soccer. Minus 2 points for being on dorky teams such as archery or fencing. Bonus 2 points if you have a leadership position on a team. Minus 2 points if you never play and instead always sit on the sidelines.

Rich: Assign yourself 10 points for being filthy rich, 5 points for possessing mere wealth, zero points for being middle class, and minus 5 points for being poor. Bonus point for each item of designer clothing that you own or for accessories such as handbags that cost more than a small used car. Minus 5 points for purchasing your wardrobe at Wal-Mart. Give yourself 2 points if you shop at a funky vintage shop, minus 2 points if you buy your underwear at a thrift store. Some things should never be secondhand.

Cool: Award yourself up to 10 points for exotic factors such as being from a cool place (large city, anywhere in Europe or Hollywood), knowing famous people, having a good car, being in a band (but not the band—wearing a uniform that makes you look like a hotel bellman is never cool), or demonstrating artistic ability.

I was going back to Lincoln High, but not as Helen Worthington. I was going to be remade into the destined-to-be-popular Claire Dantes.

I was named Helen after my mom’s great aunt. Ever notice you don’t meet a lot of Helens these days? That’s because it’s an old lady name. Thankfully, my middle name is Claire. My mom’s maiden name was Dantes, and since I would be living with my grandma it made some sense to borrow it. My mom was ticked that I wanted to register for school under a different name. She said she didn’t feel it was necessary for me to hide myself like I was spending my senior year in the witness protection program, but I could tell she was just hurt that I didn’t want to use the name she had given me.

In the end my mom backed down. Either my grandma talked her into it or, more likely, the guilt of abandoning me kicked in. No matter the reason—I didn’t care—Helen Worthington ceased to exist. Claire Dantes officially registered at Lincoln High. Step one of the plan was in place.

© 2010 Eileen Cook

Meet the Author

Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She is the author of The Almost Truth, Unraveling Isobel, The Education of Hailey Kendrick, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, and What Would Emma Do? as well as the Fourth Grade Fairy series. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and dogs. Visit her at EileenCook.com.

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Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
When Lauren Wood turns Helen Worthington in as the snitch for the senior prank, the last few weeks of Helen's 8th-grade year are torturous. When her parents announce that they are going to be moving from Michigan to New York, Helen couldn't be happier. She thought Lauren was her best friend, but when she confronts Lauren, she finds out that Lauren intends to make it to the top of the popularity ladder. And Helen has no interest in the journey. So imagine Helen's horror when her parents announce that they are going on a year-long meditation retreat and Helen is going back to Michigan to live with her grandmother. Her parents convince her that karma will catch up with Lauren and can't imagine that anyone remembers Helen's outing in 8th grade. Thankfully, her grandmother is cool and helps convince her parents to let her enroll under a different name - Claire Dantes. It's only a little lie, as Claire is her middle name and Dantes is her mom's maiden name. And as the new school year approaches, Helen creates an intricate plan to get her revenge on Lauren, whom she's determined to dethrone. Helen's plan seems to go off without a hitch. Break up Lauren and her boyfriend, done. Cause dissension among her friends, done. It's when she comes to beating out Lauren in the school play and getting her kicked off the cheerleading squad that Helen's conscience starts to get in the way. Innocent people are becoming involved, and Helen doesn't feel as good about her revenge as she thought she would. GETTING REVENGE ON LAUREN WOOD started out slowly. But Ms. Cook develops the story at just the right pace for the reader to decide if they are rooting for Helen or feel sorry for Lauren. It was refreshing to see the popular girl get her comeuppance without that "all's perfect in the end" wrap-up. But to be honest, it was the secondary characters that I found the most appealing with this story. Lauren's sidekicks, Bailey and Kyla, weren't just two-dimensional characters taking up space. Helen's friend, Brenda, also develops her own backbone as the story progresses. And Christopher sounds simply delicious. I'd almost like to see a follow-up book with these characters - getting revenge has never been so much fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i luv this book it is an amazing book .It inspired me like if your thinking about reading it and your a teen or a tween go for it.Like i wish i was still reading it .I hope her other books are this good.
Courtney Stephens More than 1 year ago
I absolutely luved this book!!!!! It was the BOM!!!!! I bought this book and waited to read it after i finished the other one and it was amazing that i finished it very quickly. Im not a big reader but this book is undescribable!!!!! I recomend it to everyone who likes drama!!!!! Its worth every penny and minute of reading it!!!!! 5 starz!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sooooo goood!!!I hate reading but after reading a few pages in this book i waaass soooo hooked!!!! Definetly 5 starzzz!!!!
A-Corkie More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. My friend reccomened it to me and i couldnt put it down. I was 12 when i read it the first time and i re- read it when i was 13 and it was fine. A must read for all teen girls!
Lisa Heath More than 1 year ago
It is appropriate for 113 year olds trust me i am 13 :)
bradley burnside More than 1 year ago
This book was so awsome I want to read this book again! I LOBE THIS BOOK
BigApple More than 1 year ago
this was a cute book. i just wishh i could do that to someone in particular but i think helen is a pretty cool chick, just misunderstood. the only thing i didnt like about this book was the ending, it just kinda cut off and didnt explain much. obviously helen and lauren had some problems with eachother but the ending didnt really elaborate on their broken friendship or fix it which was really annoying but oh well, i really liked this book. you should check it out
Samantha Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
I loved it. I recomend it to teens :)
alexander nelson More than 1 year ago
Good book, but kinda graphic?
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Originally posted at: www.aurorareviews.blogspot.com ***** Has anybody you thought was your best friend ever done anything really awful to you? Have you ever been tempted to get even? I sure have. Helen and Lauren did everything together. They created their own Nancy Drew Club and did their own sleuthing (not very successfully), they shared candy, went to the mall and hung out and were BFFs (Best Friends Forever). However, when it was time to move to high school, Lauren did something so bad that it caused everyone in school to hate Helen because they thought she'd done it. Ms. Cook does an excellent job of reminding you what it's like in school and how badly you can be emotionally scarred by someone's words or actions. Children can be cruel, and this story demonstrates that. Helen is shocked and finds it hard to believe Lauren would use Helen as a stepping stone into high school and popularity. Helen's family is non-traditional. Lauren's family sets goals for her. The girls' characters are defined by their families and friends, just like it is in real life. After spending three years in New York, Helen returns to her hometown for her senior year, staying with her grandmother. She decides to reinvent herself and get revenge on Lauren. It's fascinating to watch her begin her plan with only an outline and then see the pleasure she takes by seeing thing go wrong with Lauren. Then she begins to be conflicted with what she's doing and how it changes her basic personality - not for the good. She's been led to temptation and has started down the thorny path, will she continue to the end? As you read about Helen's torment over the issue of revenge, you'll keep turning the pages and trying to decide how you, personally, would like the story to end. This author's knowledge of young people, their emotions, and their interactions with other people their age creates a very authentic story with a storyline that covers all sides of the issue of revenge. I'd recommend this to any family with teenage children.
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book and I thought to myself, I don't think I am really going to like this book. I was reading it for a review so I kept at it and then I started to like it. It's not a great book by my standards but I thought it was a really good book. Revenge books are tricky, I have a motto for these books. "Revenge only gets you dead" (Hamlet, Moby Dick are my top revenge books and the main character dies) In this case it almost makes Helen's life worse off than if she would have just let it go. The one thing with this book is that Helen learned a valueable lesson in the end and came out a little better than before. I think I liked the secondary characters in this book a bit more than I did the main characters. Lauren's character was shallow which she is suppose to be, but she just irriated me. I just couldn't see how Bailey and Kylie stayed friends with her. Helen/Claire though she didn't want to admit it was turning into a type of Lauren and was a bit irritating at times. I mean I really wanted to reach into the book and smack her and tell her to 'snap out of it'. I do think there is a great lesson to be learned for teenagers in this book. Don't let others dictate your life. If you want to get revenge on someone who hurt you, then be a better person than them. Live your life better with your head held high. It is only fun to the bullies when you let them defeat you.
sparkyanddenver More than 1 year ago
What teenager doesn't want to get revenge on someone who has wronged them? The game of popularity is more like a war, and when Lauren Wood throws her best friend Helen under a bus in order to rise to the top of the cheerleading pyramid, she gets exactly what she wants. And losing her lifelong friend is the cost. But what about Helen? The other students aren't likely to believe the truth, so she's thrilled when her parents move her across the country. Three years later, she has to come back, but she's got a plan. And there's nothing more delicious than revenge. Or is there? Once again, Eileen Cook amazes me with a realistic and funny storyline and characters with just the right mix of devious and heartfelt natures. I'll be reading it again and again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She starts to cry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far me likey :)
Chloaylovesyou More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book. The main character is really someone i think i can relate too in some ways, shes a bit of a nerd with films. The story plan is amazing though, its a typical story of two used to be friends but not in the same way. Lauren Wood, is Helen Worthington's  old middle school best friend. Lauren betrays Helen to get to the top of the food chain for high school, We all have a friend who changed for high school. Another thing i liked was how they included bullying, it gives the story so much more realness to it. Its not alll rainbows and unicorns. The word use is very good and it matches what teens in high school would say, which i find to be a big facotr. The book isjust a wonderful read, that i think any teen girl in highschool would love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good book about revenge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this a good book 4 a 10 year old girl? Plz tell me!! ~Dani
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just cant get enough
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It kept me interested, however, the plot could have been more creative and less predictable.