Lost in Las Vegas

( 21 )

Overview

With six teenage girls living under one roof, things are bound to get interesting. Mix six teenaged girls and one ’60s fashion icon (retired, of course) in an old Victorian-era boarding home. Add guys and dating, a little high-school angst, and huge personalities … and you’ve got the Carter House Girls.

After some begging on Taylor's part, DJ accepts Taylor’s invitation to join her in Las Vegas during Christmas break, where Taylor's mom is performing. DJ soon discovers that the ...

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Lost in Las Vegas

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Overview

With six teenage girls living under one roof, things are bound to get interesting. Mix six teenaged girls and one ’60s fashion icon (retired, of course) in an old Victorian-era boarding home. Add guys and dating, a little high-school angst, and huge personalities … and you’ve got the Carter House Girls.

After some begging on Taylor's part, DJ accepts Taylor’s invitation to join her in Las Vegas during Christmas break, where Taylor's mom is performing. DJ soon discovers that the relaxing vacation she was promised is anything but, as Taylor is focused on one thing only—partying with a capital “P.” Taylor's invited Eliza as well, and DJ is quickly overwhelmed by the behavior of the combined—and unchaperoned—duo. As the parties begin to escalate, DJ is left with few options but to tag along as a babysitter … and pray Taylor will see the light before she totally self-destructs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310747161
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Series: Carter House Girls Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 704,723
  • Age range: 13 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world, volunteered in teen ministry, taught preschool, raised two sons, and worked briefly in interior design and later in international adoption. "I think real-life experiences inspire the best fiction," she says. Her wide variety of books seems to prove this theory.

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Read an Excerpt


Lost in Las Vegas


By Melody Carlson
Zondervan
Copyright © 2009

Melody Carlson
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-310-71492-7



Chapter One Lost in Las Vegas

"Remind me to never, ever star in another high school musical again." Eliza sighed dramatically as she poured her coffee. It was the Sunday morning after the final performance of South Pacific, and DJ suspected that Eliza was just fishing for compliments. Not that she hadn't already gotten plenty. And last night, she'd been presented with a huge bouquet of roses. DJ knew they were from Eliza's parents, but Eliza received them as if they had been an Oscar.

"But what if Mr. Harper does High School Musical in the spring?" asked Kriti with wide dark eyes. DJ could tell by the way Kriti said this she was hoping he would. Eliza probably was too.

"That is so last week," said Taylor.

"Meaning you wouldn't participate in it?" Eliza pushed a long strand of blonde hair over her shoulder and sat up straighter, looking directly at Taylor like this was a personal challenge.

Taylor rolled her eyes and then reached for the fruit platter. "Meaning, I don't really want to think about it right now. Sheesh, Eliza, didn't you just ask us to remind you never to be in another musical?"

"Eliza is probably just trying to secure her next starring role," said Rhiannon. Then she frowned like she hadn't really meant it to sound like that. "And why shouldn't she?" she added quickly. "Eliza was absolutely fantastic as Nurse Nellie. Everyone said so."

"And it's obvious that Eliza will never let us forget she was a star," teased Casey.

"Was." Taylor chuckled. "As in she's a has-been now."

Some of the girls snickered, but Eliza just glared at Taylor.

Then as if she'd just started listening, Grandmother cleared her throat, closed the open date book that she'd been studying, and looked at the girls. "I see there are only two weeks remaining until winter break, ladies." She shook her head sadly. "I just can't believe that it's already December. It seems like only yesterday that you girls arrived at Carter House. My, my, how time flies."

"And the Winter Ball is next Saturday," Eliza reminded them. As if anyone could've forgotten with posters plastered all over the school. DJ was still unsure whether she should go. Conner had asked her, but she hadn't agreed. Even though Haley hadn't returned to school yet, it still made DJ uncomfortable to be seen as more than "just friends" with Conner. And DJ knew that Haley's swim-team buddies were probably reporting to her.

"My mother and I are shopping for gowns today," continued Eliza. She glanced at her roommate. "And Kriti too, of course."

"I already have my dress," said Taylor. "A little something my mother sent over from Milan while she was performing there last month."

DJ could tell this little dig was aimed directly at Eliza. The two girls had been going at it steadily for the last couple of weeks. It first started when Eliza's boyfriend, Harry, gave Taylor a "shoulder massage" while backstage during a rehearsal for the musical. DJ had observed the two of them and had no doubt that Harry was flirting. But what Harry didn't know was that Eliza had been watching too. Of course, Harry denied everything, and then Eliza blamed Taylor for the incident. Yet, in a way, DJ was glad Eliza and Taylor were at odds again. They had all experienced those two power forces united during last month's ski trip-and it had been a rather frightening experience. Sort of like it might be if Russia and China ever got together.

"My mother offered to shop for a gown in Paris for me," said Eliza-her attempt at one-upping Taylor. "But I told her to wait. I wouldn't want to risk having a dress that fit poorly."

"That's why God invented alterations, Eliza," said Taylor. "Or perhaps you don't have such conveniences down south."

"I don't see why girls think they need to go out and spend a bunch of money on something new for a stupid dance," said Casey. She glanced at Rhiannon, and DJ suspected that Casey was trying to make her feel better. "I mean, you'll wear that dress like one time. What a waste!"

"So what do you intend to wear?" asked Eliza with a bored sort of interest. "Your Doc Martins and something with spikes?"

Casey made a face. "Actually, I might go eighties retro. Like Madonna or Blondie."

"Right." Eliza turned up her nose. "The Winter Ball theme is White Christmas, and we're supposed to dress in a fifties style of Hollywood elegance."

"You take those posters literally?" asked Casey.

"They suggested dresses in Christmas colors of red, green, or white." Eliza continued like she was reading it from a brochure.

"I think it'll be pretty," said Kriti.

"I intend to look for something sparkly in white to show off my tan," said Eliza.

"Fake tan." Taylor pushed a curly dark strand of hair away from her face and laughed. "My dress is black."

"It figures." Eliza snickered.

"I'm going to wear green," said Rhiannon quickly, like she was trying to keep this from escalating.

"What do you mean 'it figures'?" demanded Taylor.

"Everyone else will look Christmassy in red, green, or white, and the vamp will show up wearing black." Eliza laughed.

"Speaking of winter break," said Grandmother loudly. "What exactly are your plans, ladies?" She opened her date book and picked up her silver pen. "I'd like to make note of it now, if you don't mind."

"I'll be in France for Christmas," Eliza announced proudly.

"So you'll be flying directly to France from Connecticut?" inquired Grandmother.

"Actually, I'll spend the first week or so in Kentucky," admitted Eliza. "Visiting with friends and family. Then my older siblings and I will travel together just before Christmas. My mother said the rooms aren't completely renovated yet. Her designer, a well-known Parisian, promises to have it completed before Christmas Eve."

"La-TI-da," said Casey.

Grandmother frowned at Casey. "So, how about you, Miss Atwood? When will you be departing for California?"

"The same day that school is out."

Grandmother made note of this.

"And I'll be leaving the day after school is out," said Rhiannon.

Grandmother's brows lifted with curiosity. "To go where, dear?"

"To an aunt who lives in Maine."

Grandmother smiled. "That's nice. I didn't know you had an aunt, Rhiannon."

"I didn't either. She's actually a great-aunt and ..." Rhiannon paused as if unsure. "My mother may be joining me up there."

"Really?" Grandmother looked a bit skeptical, and everyone else got quiet. They all knew that Rhiannon's mother was in drug rehab-the lockdown kind.

"Yes. If my aunt signs something, they'll release her for the holidays."

"Very interesting." Grandmother looked at Kriti now. "I assume you'll be in New York?"

Kriti nodded happily. "Yes. We have some relatives coming from India to visit. My mother is very excited."

"Well, I'm sure you'll have a delightful Christmas." Grandmother frowned with realization. "I suppose you don't call it Christmas, do you, Kriti?"

Kriti looked slightly embarrassed. "It's a different sort of holiday, Mrs. Carter. We celebrate things like love, affection, sharing, and the renewing of family bonds."

"That sounds lovely." Grandmother looked at Taylor now. "And what will you be doing during the holidays, dear?"

Taylor sighed. "My mother has invited me to tour with her."

Grandmother's eyes lit up. She was a huge fan of Eva Perez. "Where will she be touring? Europe still?"

"I wish. No, she'll be in the Southwest by then. And it looks like we'll be spending Christmas in Las Vegas."

Eliza snickered. "Charming."

Taylor tossed her a warning glance. "Hey, Las Vegas has its perks."

"Most important is that you're with family, Taylor." Grandmother smiled. "Isn't that what Christmas is all about?"

Taylor shrugged. "I guess."

Grandmother looked at DJ. "Now, you're still certain you don't want to join your father and his family for Christmas, Desiree?"

"No, Grandmother." DJ tried not to show frustration. But she and Grandmother had already been over this. The last place DJ wanted to be during Christmas break was with her father's happy little stepfamily. It was bad enough that this would be her first Christmas without her mother. But to be stuck playing the live-in babysitter to the toddler twins was unimaginable.

"Well, I'm sure that we'll have a delightful time right here at home." Grandmother smiled at DJ. "Perhaps we'll have the general over."

DJ got sympathetic glances from Rhiannon and Casey and maybe even Kriti. Not that she wanted their pity. Eliza just smiled smugly. And Taylor, well, she was a hard one to read.

But later that day after DJ and Rhiannon got back from church, Taylor asked DJ if she was happy about her "holiday plans."

DJ groaned as she flopped onto her bed. "Holiday plans? Like I planned any of this?"

Taylor laughed. "Yeah, I guess not."

"I'll be fine," DJ assured her. "I'll catch up on sleep and reading."

"Maybe Conner will be around to keep you entertained," Taylor said in a sexy-sounding, teasing tone.

"Conner is going with his family to Montana for two weeks."

"Bummer."

"Tell me about it."

"I know!" Taylor exclaimed. "You'll come out to Las Vegas and visit me for Christmas."

DJ just laughed. "Oh, yeah, like that's going to happen."

"Why not?" Taylor looked slightly hurt.

"Seriously, Christmas in Las Vegas?"

"Why not?"

"Well, besides the fact that it sounds totally crazy, I know that my grandmother would never-in a million years-agree to something like that." The truth was that DJ was secretly relieved for this excuse. The only thing she could imagine being worse than spending Christmas with Grandmother in Connecticut, or even her father's stepfamily in California, would be to spend Christmas in Las Vegas with Taylor Mitchell.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from Lost in Las Vegas by Melody Carlson Copyright © 2009 by Melody Carlson. Excerpted by permission.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Too much Viva-ing in vegas

    This book pretty much is the downfall of Taylor. It's been foreshadowed since the day we met her in the first book. Seriously, this girl is totally uninhibited and just out to have a good time. However she goes for the extreme in whatever she does and doesn't seem to care about the consequences. I really could not stand her condescending attitude towards DJ just because she doesn't want to drink or anything else Taylor does. It had nothing to do with DJ being a Christian, she just knew that it wasn't healthy and it was dangerous. Yet Taylor keeps acting like she's the cool one and DJ is a freak for not joining her. Therefore DJ feels that she has to be always on the watch for Taylor and can't enjoy everything because she's like the baby sitter. The whole story just builds up until the ending when Taylor finally realizes that she has a problem.

    While I enjoyed this book, at the same time there's also a bit of a fantasy with the situation. Maybe it's just me, but there would have been no way, I would have been allowed to go to Las Veags at that age, let alone be on my own while there. It just seemed very unrealistic for a bunch of 16 year old girls to be on their own around in that city and no one really questioning them. Also DJ's grandmother is REALLY getting on my nerves. Seriously, throughout the entire series all she cares about is looks and making the right connections instead of being concerned about the girls' safety. I cannot wait until she gets a reality check.

    Overall though, I have enjoyed this series and this one seems to be the edgiest one of all. I think it really speaks to teens and shows what they go through. Also I really like the cover, I think it's the first time I've ever seen fishnets on a Christian fiction book! I would recommend this book and the rest of the series for older teens.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    Loveing girl

    This book is fantastic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    AMAZING!!!

    This book is sooooooo good! Im soo glad i was introduced to this series. Its soo cool to hear about the carter house giirls adventures!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Intense!

    Wow. This book really showed how when you get yourself addicted to something sinful or unhealthy how it just consumes you. Wow. I would reccomend this book for teens 13-14& up. It deals with alot of drinking some sexual reference. (No details of course the topic is brought up a couple of times in conversations of someones past and as a warning...) so ya! Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Teen Drinking

    Obviously, this book is meant to be read as part of a series. Reading it without having read the titles that come before it, puts the reader at a disadvantage. I did not understand the concept of Carter House, and so the living situation confused me. Somewhere in the middle of the book, I realized that six girls live together. I still don't know why.DJ is a seventeen year-old Christian girl who stumbles into awkward situations and then prays her way through them. She's a typical teen who wavers when making decisions. Taylor, DJ's roommate, leans toward the wild side, and this sets up a good tug-of-war story between good and evil.The theme is the dangers of teenagers drinking alcohol. The book ends where the next volume will begin. This one is labeled Teen Fiction.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    Awsome

    Read it!

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Teen Drinking

    Obviously, this book is meant to be read as part of a series. Reading it without having read the titles that come before it, puts the reader at a disadvantage. I did not understand the concept of Carter House, and so the living situation confused me. Somewhere in the middle of the book, I realized that six girls live together. I still don't know why.<BR/><BR/>DJ is a seventeen year-old Christian girl who stumbles into awkward situations and then prays her way through them. She's a typical teen who wavers when making decisions. Taylor, DJ's roommate, leans toward the wild side, and this sets up a good tug-of-war story between good and evil.<BR/><BR/>The theme is the dangers of teenagers drinking alcohol. The book ends where the next volume will begin. This one is labeled Teen Fiction.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Lost in Las Vegas

    The book starts out with the 6 girls getting ready to go to the Winter Ball - this preparation includes actually confirming their dates, shopping for new dresses and accessories, and for Taylor and DJ (roommates, but not necessarily BFFs) a day at a posh new day spa.<BR/>DJ and Rhiannon are the Christian girls of the bunch with Eliza and Taylor being the self-professed party girls. Kriti and Casey fall somewhere in between. DJ and Rhiannon have the best time at the ball, without the alcohol offered to them and without compromising thier beliefs.<BR/>Christmas break is on the horizon and DJ is looking forward to "alone" time, away from the other girls. They are leaving soon to travel to various places to stay with family and friends. DJ is staying at Carter House with her grandmother. She as decided not to go to her dad and stepmom's house, as she feels she will just become the babysitter for her twin sisters. When Taylor calls from Las Vegas (where she is spending Christmas with her mom who is performing there) claiming she is lonely and could use some company, DJ prays that if that is where God wants her to go, then he will clear the way. She is ready for some company herself!<BR/>Once in Vegas, DJ questions why God has brought her here. Is she supposed to keep Taylor out of trouble? And when Eliza arrives, will she be able to? DJ questions why she is in Vegas at all and Taylor puts her faith to the test.<BR/>Lost in Las Vegas is Book 5 in the Carter House Girls series (Mixed Bags; Stealing Bradford; Homecoming Queen; and Viva Vermont). It read okay as a stand alone, but it was hard to keep the girls straight at first. I am going to try to find the first 4 so that I can get caught up - because books 6-8 are coming out soon!<BR/>This was a very quick read for me and I would highly recommend it - especially for teen girls struggling with their faith in the real world!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

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    Posted January 17, 2011

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    Posted December 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted July 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2011

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    Posted September 23, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2011

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