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Lucky Fools

Lucky Fools

4.0 1
by Coert Voorhees

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When high school senior David Ellison''s parents told him he could do anything he set his mind to, acting isn''t exactly what they had in mind. Even though he''s the leading man at his prep school, David is expected to go to an Ivy League college after graduating. But David has his eye on auditioning for the Ivy of acting schools—Juilliard. As if throwing away


When high school senior David Ellison''s parents told him he could do anything he set his mind to, acting isn''t exactly what they had in mind. Even though he''s the leading man at his prep school, David is expected to go to an Ivy League college after graduating. But David has his eye on auditioning for the Ivy of acting schools—Juilliard. As if throwing away the last four years of private school isn''t enough, David is also on track to throw away his relationship with his girlfriend, Ellen. This year, David''s co-star is a new student, the beautiful and vivacious Vanessa. She''s exactly the kind of girl everyone dreams of going out with, and a girl David gets to kiss—under a spotlight—on a regular basis. As the college application process heats up, David''s real life is suddenly as full of drama as his life on the stage. Someone named The Artist is sabotaging the best and brightest students of Oak Fields High by ruining their chances of getting into college, and it looks like David might be next. As senior year races to the final act, David is under a ton of pressure not to get crushed by his competition, that is, if The Artist doesn''t get to him first.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For the seniors at prestigious Oak Fields Prep, the pressure is on to get into an Ivy League school or to nearby Stanford University. But David Ellison, star of the school play (a bizarre interpretation of The Great Gatsby), wants to go to Juilliard instead. As David’s Juilliard audition and the play’s opening night approach, he is plagued with doubts about his acting ability and his relationships with two girls: new student/leading lady Vanessa and Ellen, his overachieving girlfriend. In this somewhat muddled portrait of an actor as a young man, it remains uncertain whether David is as “honest” and insightful as the character he plays or as much of a phony as his competitive peers. David suffers some painful falls onstage and off, but gains some self-awareness in the novel’s farfetched climax. Voorhees (The Brothers Torres) succeeds in conveying the cutthroat atmosphere of an exclusive high school, where one follows expectations not dreams. However, his characters are underdeveloped, rarely moving beyond the realm of rich, spoiled students with big ambitions. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (July)
VOYA - KaaVonia Hinton
Thespian David Ellison is caught in the middle of a few things: Cool kid or dork? Juilliard or Stanford? Stick with perfect girlfriend "X" or pursue new girl, Vanessa? He is the lead in the school play opposite Vanessa, so not falling in love with her is difficult. Things become increasingly complicated when David is thrown into the plot of a mysterious prank committed by someone dubbed "The Artist" who posts embarrassing messages and images on the school bulletin board to tarnish the images of the best students at Oak Fields Prep. The book moves slowly with few funny scenes and too many lines of stilted, adult-sounding dialogue. David's is a world of prep school and private college counselors, and a minor focus rests on the seniors at Oak Fields Prep who feel slighted because they will not all be accepted into Stanford as they were in the past . This quirky look at the lives of wealthy teens with few problems might serve as escapism for some, or an impetus for annoyance for others. Those who like school stories around theatre performances might find this one appealing. Reviewer: KaaVonia Hinton
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
High school senior David Ellison has been the star of every drama department production at elite Oak Fields Prep. He has his heart set on Julliard but his parents are dead set against him "throwing away" this expensive education to become an actor, when he should be focusing on getting into nearby Stanford. The ante is raised considerably when the Stanford rep, an Oak Fields alum, informs the senior class that Stanford has now instituted a quota of only one acceptance from each of the Bay Area prep schools in order to increase the diversity of their incoming class. David is making his personal situation even more stressful by questioning his long-term relationship with girlfriend Ellen, while befriending new girl in town and his current co-star, the beautiful Vanessa. The school is in turmoil because a self-appointed provocateur, dubbed "The Artist," has begun revealing dirty little secrets regarding some of Oak Prep's high visibility students and administrators. David freezes during his Julliard audition and then lies to everyone about the outcome—only to have it all come crashing down on him when "The Artist" reveals all. David's parents have hired an expensive college coach who pulls strings to bring the head of Stanford's drama department to the final performance of the school play. In a somewhat unbelievable moment of enlightenment, hubris and rebellion, David steps out of character during the play and reveals his personal struggle to be true to himself. The consequences are widespread and somewhat unexpected. This is an acceptable book looking at the pressures on some teenagers to get into the "right" schools by accumulating all the "right experiences" on their resume.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—High school senior David Ellison, the popular acting star of Oak Fields Prep in Palo Alto, California, plans to audition for Juilliard instead of his parents' choice, Stanford. He has a goal-minded girlfriend, Ellen, but with the arrival of intriguing newcomer Vanessa, David's costar in the school's production of The Great Gatsby, a complicated romantic triangle develops. When the privileged students of Oak Fields learn that revered Stanford University will admit only one senior, insecurities and competitiveness abound. An anonymous prankster, The Artist, begins posting incriminating photo collages of individuals outside the college counseling office, undermining the highest achievers in the school. Struggling to sort out his romantic entanglement, anxious about his Juilliard audition, and worried that he'll be a target of The Artist, David finds his confidence weakening. In a moment of clarity and self-realization, he breaks out of character during a performance to say that "The only future we can believe in…is the one we create for ourselves." Snappy dialogue, witty and sarcastic observations, a diverse cast of adult and teenage characters, relevant Gatsby themes, and a heap of parental and peer pressure make David's story an entertaining cautionary tale about privileged students with a sense of entitlement. Teens will enjoy the protagonist's candor and humor, and, of course, the satisfying ending.—Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC
Kirkus Reviews
A rich kid fears he won't realize his college dream in this sedate, bloodless drama. Upper-middle-class high school senior David Ellison is worried that he won't get into Juilliard because he hasn't suffered enough. According to his drama teacher, "Actors can't reach their full potential unless they can find a way to get at the darkest part of their psyches." Fortunately, hot new girl Vanessa is playing the Daisy to David's Nick Carraway in the school's production of The Great Gatsby, and she can provide necessary heartbreak by driving a wedge between him and his girlfriend. He is also distracted by a shady presence known only as The Artist, who is targeting all the high-achieving seniors at his prep school by revealing their secret flaws on a public bulletin board. Though suffering always appears imminent, David's emotional pain is limited to angsting over his unrequited love and potentially college-free future. Though he fluffs the Juilliard audition, he still manages to be the sole student from his school who is accepted to Stanford. And even The Artist is an empty threat, as his or her identity is never revealed and casually dismissed at novel's end. The One-Percent setting, low physical and emotional stakes and too-tidy ending ensure that this is a must-read for only a select set of pretty white teens with problems. (Fiction. 13 & up)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
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File size:
449 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Coert Voorhees (www.coertvoorhees.com) was born and raised in New Mexico. A former Fulbright Scholar, Coert has lived all over the world and now resides with his family in Houston, Texas, where he received an MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston. His debut novel was the critically acclaimed The Brothers Torres, and he is the creator and current mayor of the animated education series Grammaropolis.

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Lucky Fools 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing story. Loved every bit of it. Dont miss out on this hell-a good book