It Started with a Dare

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Overview

Self-proclaimed nobody CG Silverman sees her move to an upscale new school as her chance to be somebody different. Her devil-may-care attitude attracts the in-clique, and before CG realizes it, a routine game of truth or dare launches her to iconic status.

While this rebel image helps secure CG’s newfound popularity, it also propels her through a maze of unprecedented chaos, with each new lie and every dare opening doors that, in most cases, ...

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It Started with a Dare

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Overview

Self-proclaimed nobody CG Silverman sees her move to an upscale new school as her chance to be somebody different. Her devil-may-care attitude attracts the in-clique, and before CG realizes it, a routine game of truth or dare launches her to iconic status.

While this rebel image helps secure CG’s newfound popularity, it also propels her through a maze of unprecedented chaos, with each new lie and every dare opening doors that, in most cases, were better off left shut.

CG is on a collision course with disaster. Will she be able to keep up the façade? Or will the whole world find out she’s a fraud?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
Will moving from Philadelphia to a new school in a more affluent community give fifteen-year-old Cynthia Gene Silverman a chance to be somebody different? Little does she realize that participating in a simple game of Truth or Dare at a sleepover with the popular girls would launch her into unknown territory. What is in store for this shy tomboy from the city as she is caught up in a maze of unpredictable chaos in her new life? As CG encounters the high school minefield of juggling boys and friendships, she still tries to keep true to the person she really is. Her character is quite unlikeable, and this, in a sense, carries the story. The reader will root for her to come to terms with her bad behavior and become a better person. Her devil-may-care attitude is based on her compelling need to fit in. The e-mail messages between the characters give a sense of immediacy to the story. Like many other young adult novels (Play Me by Laura Ruby, Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted), this one explores the hierarchy of high school, but it does not offer any new insights. CG's actions are a tutorial on what not to do to fit in. The novel is appropriate for older readers due to the inclusion of eating disorders, sex, drinking, and bad language. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—When CG Silverman moves to a new town midway through 10th grade, her tomboy style and quick wit get her invited to queen bee Alona Spelton's inner circle as its resident rebel. During a game of Truth or Dare, a lie and a dare that go further than CG anticipates secure her status in Alona's clique. CG invents more elaborate lies and takes increasing risks to maintain her new reputation, ultimately realizing that the best friends are the ones who accept you for who you are. CG's breezy and frank account of her audacious adventures is droll and engaging. Unfortunately, the other characters are either stereotyped or inconsistently drawn. The story includes adult language and underage drinking, and deals briefly with bulimia.—Erin Carrillo, formerly at Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547235585
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/13/2010
  • Pages: 305
  • Sales rank: 1,411,542
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lindsay Faith Rech, a newcomer to YA fiction, displays a unique ear for teen dialogue and the pain and humor that is part of surviving high school. The author of Losing It (Red Dress Ink, 2003) and Joyride (Red Dress Ink, 2004), both written for adults, Ms. Rech lives in Holland, Pennsylvania.

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Read an Excerpt

One: getting in

Every school has one. At my last school, it was Gina DiMarco, but she never cared much for me. Okay, fine, if you want to be a total stickler about it, she never even knew I existed. I guess it’s like that at most schools. The "It" girl only pays attention to the worthy ones, the inner circle, the worshipful flock who kneel at her feet, feeding off her every word like a pack of anorexic poodles. The rest of us are merely space fillers, extras in a tragically boring movie unimaginatively entitled "High School." But if that’s true, then what, I ask you, is this latest queen bee—the Gina DiMarco of Beaubridge High—doing talking to an invisible nobody like me? And smack dab in the middle of the cafeteria no less? Everyone knows that what happens in the cafeteria never stays in the cafeteria. Is she looking to lose her tiara?

"Hey, you’re new here, right?" she asks. She, of course, being the reigning duchess of teen suburbia—the impossibly stunning Alona Spelton. It’s true I’ve barely been here five hours, but how long does it take to spot royalty? (Even if my radar were out of batteries, the mass of drooling subjects crumbling in her wake as she sashayed through the halls this morning was sort of a dead giveaway.) She slips into a seat at my otherwise empty table and smiles. "I think you’re in my homeroom."

Let’s face it, the first day at a new school’s never exactly a raging orgasm. But try the first day at a new school in the middle of the year, when everyone’s just returned from winter break and not a single bloody soul wants to be there. Including the teachers. This little visit from the acceptance fairy has definitely perked things up a bit.

"Yeah, I, um, just moved here from Philadelphia," I say, eyeing the white gold and diamond ice storm that surrounds her delicate wrist. Scratch that. This girl wouldn’t let anything but platinum touch her bare skin. Me, I’m still wearing the same beat-up, old woven fabric friendship bracelet my buddy Alex gave me when we graduated middle school. But that’s the difference between these kids and me. To them, being poor means only having one beach house.

"Philadelphia?" Alona asks, her vibrant blue eyes twinkling with amazement. Or maybe it’s disgust. You don’t smell like you’re from Philadelphia, I expect her to say. Instead, she smiles. "You know, that stunt you pulled with Ms. Luru this morning was waaay cool—cracking your gum in her face like that even after she started glaring at you to stop. I swear I thought she was going to have a conniption." Did I do that? Hell, who cares? If it gets me in with Alona Spelton, I’ll take credit for just about any bad behavior. Except maybe arson.

"Well, it’s a free country," I say, trying to sound nonchalant. "And last time I checked, cracking one’s gum in homeroom was still covered under our Constitution."

Alona laughs, tossing her wavy amber tresses so that they land like a perfectly cascading waterfall over her right shoulder. Uh, is it me or did I just stumble into an Herbal Essences commercial? "Sammie! Grace!" she yells, signaling to two girls who have just left the lunch line. "Over here!"

Wait, rewind just a second. Would any of you happen to know if today’s brown bag special was laced with a little something extra? Because if I’m not hallucinating, that means this totally tripped-out scenario is actually taking place! Can you stand it? My first day of school, and I’m already dining with the worthy ones? Just the inner circle and me? Uh . . . who else senses there’s something wrong with this picture?

"So, what’s your name again?" Alona asks as she opens her Styrofoam container of . . . Is that sushi?

"Cynthia Gene," I say, biting into my soggy PB&J, "but my friends just call me CG." Not that I have many friends. Or any. Well, except for Alex, who was always sort of more than a friend. And who was sort of more than pissed when I told him I wanted to be free to see other people after I moved. Not that Philadelphia’s that far away from Beaubridge. I could be on his doorstep in forty-five minutes if I wanted to. But I’m not sure I do. I’m not sure what I want anymore. Except to be different. To be popular. I’ve been waiting my whole life for that.

"CG?" Alona asks, shrieking a little—you know, in that Oh, that’s so adorable, I could just choke to death sort of way. "That is soooo cute!" She turns to Sammie and Grace, who have just sat down on either side of her. "How cute is that?"

"So cute," Sammie agrees. Sammie, which I later find out is short for Samara, is a husky-framed zombie who looks like she spends about four hours a day crisping away in a tanning bed. Her hair is a glossy (but obviously bottle-bought) jet black, and her bright red lipstick makes her look like a bleeding ox. Her brain? Seems to be dead as a doornail. Still, at least she’s being nice to me, even if it is only to please Alona. But why would someone like Alona Spelton want anything to do with a plain, grubby city tomboy type like me?

"You know, I think our fathers work together," the Duchess says. "Your last name’s Silverman, right?"

I nod. So that’s why Miss Teenage America is being so lovey-dovey. Her father must’ve warned her. I watch plenty of movies—I know how these rich families operate. It’s all about pleasing Daddy.

Alona smiles. "That’s so crazy. My dad is your dad’s boss." She turns to Sammie and Grace again. "Isn’t that crazy? I mean, how crazy is that?"

"So crazy," Sammie agrees. She shoots me a little smile. "Like, what are the chances?"

"Oh, wait a second," Grace says to Alona. "Is this the one you were telling me about? The one whose family Klytech was going to set up in that little townhouse in the Heights?" Her voice drops a notch or two when she mentions the name of my development, probably because the Heights is best known in this community for its affordable housing. In rich-people speak, I’m about one step away from the projects.

"Grace!" Alona shrieks. Although this time, it’s more of a Shut it before we all die of mortification shriek.

"No, it’s cool," I say. "It’s probably no secret from the way I’m dressed that my family doesn’t have a lot of dough. If Klytech hadn’t set us up in that ‘little townhouse,’ we’d all still be living on the streets of Filthadelphia."

Grace turns away from me, clearly embarrassed, but the awkward silence is cut short by another one of Her Highness’s signature shrieks. Actually, that one may have been just an outright pity gasp.

"Were you really living on the streets?" she asks, her sympathetic baby blues welling up at the sheer thought. I guess this would be a really inappropriate time to bust out laughing. Especially if I’m looking to make these girls my new best friends. But it’s too late—Grace has caught my eye, and I recognize something in her that seems to be lacking in my other two lunch mates. (Some might call it common sense.) It isn’t long before we’re both hysterical.

"What is with you two?" Alona asks, visibly perturbed, but like a perfectly trained debutante, she’s doing her best not to show it.

Grace throws her head back in a rush of giggles, her buoyant auburn curls bouncing like a bouquet of Slinkys around her graceful neck. Next to Alona and Grace, Sammie looks like their mentally retarded charity case "friend for a day" adoptee. God, I wonder what that makes me.

"It’s nothing," Grace tells Alona, turning to her apologetically. "It’s just that I knew CG was only kidding about being homeless, that’s all."

"Homelessness is a really serious problem," Alona says, assuming an insanely dramatic tone. "I wrote a term paper on it last semester and got a B."

"Well . . . good for you," I fumble, hoping I haven’t blown it. "I wrote my last term paper on whales and—"

"Oh, geez, check out Glory Finklefuss’s latest crime of fashion," Grace groans, pointing to some gawky girl in the lunch line whose giant khaki overalls could easily double as a camping tent.

"Well, I don’t think her parents have much money," Alona says. "From what I heard, her whole family lives in some tiny two-bedroom shack in the Hei—" She stops short and stares at me apologetically. "Sorry."

"Hey, don’t worry about it," I tell her. "My parents said if things go well for my dad with this transfer, I won’t have to get that afterschool job selling crack to pay for my college tuition."

The whole table laughs, even brain-dead Sammie. And I suddenly feel . . . almost popular.

"I guess we’ve just never had a friend like you before," Alona says. She turns to Sammie and Grace, and they both nod in agreement.

"You mean a friend who didn’t own ten carat's worth of diamonds by the time she turned fifteen?"

"Oh, well, Alona’s sixteen," Grace says. "And believe me, her pacifier was at least twenty carats." She turns to the Duchess, wincing playfully. "Only kidding."

"I got my driver’s license over winter break," Alona tells me proudly as she reaches out to smack Grace’s arm. "We were planning to go for a ride after school. Are you in?"

Oh my God, do you have any idea what this means? I’ve made it! One day at Rich Bitch High and I’m already receiving exclusive invites from the cream of the crop. Ladies and gentlefriends, Ms. Cynthia Gene Silverman has finally arrived.

"Earth to CG," Grace says, waving her hand in front of my face. "Alona asked if you were in."

"Me?" I smile so hard my face hurts. "I am so in."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Horribble

    Just horrible...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not What I Thought.

    Overall, this book was entertaining. While CG is spewing her lies, you can't help but get wrapped up in it all but when Glory finally lights into CG, I was so glad. I was so glad that someone was able to call CG out on her crap and get her priorities in line again. She does a lot of groveling that I was totally on point with so the book ended the way that it was supposed to end and everything was great but even with all of that stuff squared away, most of my enjoyment of this book stemmed from waiting for CG to get her just desserts in the end.

    It was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours but I'm not sure I'd ever re-read this book because I don't think my heart could handle something like this story again. =)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Laugh Out Loud Funny

    So last night I stayed up all night reading Lindsay Faith Rech's upcoming release It Started with a Dare!

    While I had intended to just read a couple chapters, go to sleep, and pick it up later, once I started reading, I just couldn't stop myself-I kept telling myself, "just a little more," that I was half-way through, that there were "only 60 more pages." And the only way I could justify continuing to read, is that I'd never have been able to sleep not knowing what happened-And not only was it good, but I could not stop laughing. Out. Loud. Literally.

    Now there are plenty of times when I say lol, and plenty of times where something funny or humorous happens in whatever book I happen to be reading at the time-But RARELY do I ever actually LAUGH. OUT. LOUD.

    It Started with a Dare is completely hilarious!!!! It's daring and amazing and absolutely jaw-dropping funny!!!

    When C.G. Silverman moves to town, she's just hoping that she won't have to sit alone at lunch-But when Alona, Grace, and Sammi, the Triple Threat of Beaubridge High decide to sit with her, C.G. sees this as her chance to finally be popular. This is C.G.'s chance to totally reinvent herself. But will C.G. still recognize herself when she's done?

    It's an absolute rollercoaster of ups and downs and no-she-didn'ts. Ms. Rech puts us right in C.G.'s head and we get to see C.G. as a real person, vulnerable and rough-around the edges, and not always politically correct; but always smart and wry and funny-I couldn't believe everything C.G. did, and I couldn't wait to see what she'd do next. It Started with a Dare is a voyage of self-discovery for C.G.and thanks to C.G., it leads to a lot of self-discovery for everyone around her.

    Best line ever: Not even God likes a poser.

    Seriously. Funny. And has definite potential for rereadability. Make sure this one's on your wish list; I know it's on mine!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Alright

    Oh the joys of high school. Friends, homework, parties, and backstabbing fiends.

    CG, the new girl, make her way in to the in-crowd by lying. Yes, she lies. Alot. I can understand CG point of view. High school sucks. There are so much rules and social standards, its hard to stand out. But the things she did were just not right. I had a hard time reading this book. Not because it was not written well. Just that all the things were bad.


    CG, once in the in-crowd creates so many lies, that she doesn't even realize the truth anymore. And that is quite sad. She is so caught up with all the games that she is playing that she doesn even realize who she is really hurting...herself.


    I was a little appalled of how she got involved with her teacher. Granted he was unaware of the situation. (They met on the Internet) but what got me was even after she found out who he really was. She used him, asking for lesson plans, and whatnot. She flirted with him and just kept on using him. Poor guy had no idea what was going on.


    I would definitely not recommend this book to young reader. It has way to much sex, cursing, drinking, and just plain meanness. This book did remind of the movie Mean Girls and that high school was such a bad experience for me that I would never repeat the process ever again! At least in the end I was glad she saw the errors of her ways and was able to to be who she was meant to be. Herself.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It Started With A Dare

    CG Silverman is starting a new school, in a new town, and hoping for a new life - a more popular life. When the small "in" group of girls takes notice of her on her first day, she can hardly believe it. Before she knows what's happening she's the rebel of the group - doing whatever she feels like and going where no one has dared (or really should dare) to go before. One small white lie spins into another and suddenly CG is living a life of lies and half truths, dragging her friends, teachers, and family in with her.

    I fell in love with CG from the get go. She was fun, outgoing, and truly a rebel in her own little way. When the white lies starting getting bigger and bigger (and even a bit ridiculous, but hey this is fiction), she finds herself living a double life. She strives for the approval of the popular group and once there she's scared to let go - so things just keep getting crazier.

    The popular group is so stereotypical that it's perfect. They are cruel to the world at large, but latch on to silly little charitable projects that are "cute" to do. As the story unfolds and CG becomes a full fledged member of the group we get to see their inner demons and more about what makes them tick. We see their insecurities, their family secrets, and their surprising love for each other.

    Somehow through this whole mess, CG ends up actually doing some good, and when everything falls apart around her (as we all knew it inevitably would), she finds out who her true friends are.

    A little over the top in some spots, but still a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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