Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells Series #1)

( 235 )

Overview

Heather Wells Rocks!

Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two ? and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New ...

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Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells Series #1)

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Overview

Heather Wells Rocks!

Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two — and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen — not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives — even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Townsville Bulletin
Meg Cabot is one of the most colourful writers on the market right now. In her latest mystery novel Size 12 is not fat, Meg takes three very unlikely subjects: pop stars, dorm directors, and detectives, and blends them into one very intriguing book . Laugh-out-loud funny, it should be read while eating a chocolate bar.
Publishers Weekly
Bag the tiara and get out the gun: Heather Wells, former teen idol, turns detective in the cute debut of a new mystery series from bestseller Cabot (The Princess Project and other titles in her Princess Diaries series). After the 20-something Heather's rocker boyfriend dumps her, and her mother and manager flee with her earnings, she becomes an assistant director of an undergraduate residence hall at Manhattan's New York College (read: NYU) in hopes of free tuition. When students start to die mysteriously while "elevator surfing" in the building, weight-conscious, romance-obsessed Heather goes on a crazed hunt to uncover the truth-with an unwavering sense of style. As Magda, Heather's dorm cashier friend, says: "Even if the rest of your life is going down the toilet... at least your toes can still look pretty." Cabot delivers Heather's amateur sleuthing adventures in a rapid-fire narrative that may leave some readers begging for time-outs to control sudden laughing fits. 6-city author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
YA veteran Cabot (Teen Idol, 2004, etc.) bumps it up a notch with a mystery set in a residence for college freshmen. Heather Wells used to rock the pre-pubescent set, belting out hits like "Sugar Rush" in malls all over America. Now, just shy of 30, she's yesterday's news. Her mom stole her savings and bolted for Europe with her agent; Cartwright Records canceled her contract; her fiance, Jordan Cartwright, is getting it on with size-2 Tania Trace; and Heather has ballooned to the proportions of a normal American female. So she takes a job as assistant director of a residence hall at New York College, just off Washington Square, hoping to hang in past her probationary period and earn tuition benefits so she can get her degree. But hanging in is a challenge when two students are killed while elevator-surfing. Nerdy girls like Elizabeth Kellogg and Roberta Brace don't usually get their kicks jumping between the roofs of elevator cars. But Heather can't get NYPD Detective Canavan to look for foul play, and she doesn't even bother airing her theory to her boss, Rachel Walcott, or Rachel's assistant Sarah. That leaves private eye Cooper Cartwright, Jordan's gorgeous brother, who took in Heather when his father's record label booted her out-if only she can bring herself to level with the elusive man of her dreams. Appealling to the kid in anyone. Agent: Laura Langlie/Laura Langlie
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060525118
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/27/2005
  • Series: Heather Wells Series , #1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 281,807
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction series, The Princess Diaries. More than 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband.

Biography

Meg Cabot knows that one of the best cures for feeling gawky and conspicuous is reading about someone who sticks out even more than you do. Her books for young adults invariably feature girls who have extraordinary powers that carry extraordinary burdens. Cabot's Princess Diaries series offers up the secret thoughts of Mia Thermopolis, who discovers at age 14 that she is actually the princess of a small European country. This revelation adds significantly to her extant concerns about crushes, friendships, school, and other matters falling under adolescent scrutiny.

Cabot, a native of Indiana weaned on Judy Blume and Barbara Cartland, was already a successful romance novelist (as Patricia Cabot) before she began writing for young adults; her alter-alter ego, Jenny Carroll, began a new series shortly after The Princess Diaries debuted. The Carroll books are divided between the Mediator series, starring a girl who can communicate with restless ghosts; and the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU books, in which a girl struck by lightning acquires the ability to locate missing people.

Cabot writes her books in a conspiratorial, first-person style that resonates with her readers. She has obviously kept a grip on the vernacular and the key issues of adolescence; but what makes her books so irresistible is the mixing of the mundane with the fantastic. After all, who wouldn't like to wake up and be a princess all of a sudden, or a seer? Cabot takes such offhand notions and roots them firmly in the details of average, middle-class American life. She has also tiptoed into mystery and paranormal suspense with other YA novels and series installments.

Cabot continues to write adult novels under various permutations of her given name (Meggin Patricia Cabot): from 19th-century historical romances to contemporary chick lit. And, as with her books for teens, these romances have earned praise for their lighthearted humor and well drawn characters.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Cabot:

"I am left handed."

"I hate tomatoes of any kind."

"I really wanted to be veterinarian, but I got a 410 on my math SATs."

"Writing used to be my hobby, but now that it's my job, I have no hobby -- except watching TV and laying around the pool reading US Weekly. I have tried many hobbies, such as knitting, Pilates, ballet, yoga, and guitar, but none of them have taken. So I guess I'm stuck with no hobby.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Meggin Patricia Cabot (full name); Patricia Cabot, Jenny Caroll
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in fine arts, Indiana University, 1991
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Size 12 Is Not Fat

A Heather Wells Mystery
By Meg Cabot

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Meg Cabot
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060525118

Chapter One

Every time I see you
I get a Sugar Rush
You're like candy
You give me a Sugar Rush
Don't tell me stay on my diet
You have simply got to try it
Sugar Rush

"Sugar Rush"
Performed by Heather Wells
Written by Valdez/Caputo
From the album Sugar Rush
Cartwright Records

"Um, hello. Is anyone out there?" The girl in the dressing room next to mine has a voice like a chipmunk. "Hello?"

Exactly like a chipmunk.

I hear a sales clerk come over, his key chain clinking musically. "Yes, ma'am? Can I help you?"

"Yeah." The girl's disembodied -- but still chipmunklike -- voice floats over the partition between our cubicles. "Do you guys have these jeans in anything smaller than a size zero?"

I pause, one leg in and one leg out of the jeans I am squeezing myself into. Whoa. Is it just me, or was that really existential? Because what's smaller than a size zero? Negative something, right?

Okay, so it's been a while since sixth grade math. But I do remember there was this number line, with a zero in the middle, and --

"Because," Less Than Zero/Chipmunk Voice is explaining to the sales clerk, "normally I'm a size two. But these zeros are completely baggy on me. Which is weird. I know I didn't lose weight since the last time I came in here."

Less Than Zero has a point, I realize as I pull up the jeans I'm trying on. I can't remember the last time I could fit into a size 8. Well, okay, I can. But it's not a period from my past that I particularly relish.

What gives? Normally I wear 12s . . . but I tried on the 12s, and I was swimming in them. Same with the 10s. Which is weird, because I haven't exactly been on any kind of diet lately -- unless you count the Splenda I had in my latte at breakfast this morning.

But I'm sure the bagel with cream cheese and bacon I had with it pretty much canceled out the Splenda.

And it's not exactly like I've been to the gym recently. Not that I don't exercise, of course. I just don't do it, you know, in the gym. Because you can burn just as many calories walking as you can running. So why run? I figured out a long time ago that a walk to Murray's Cheese Shop on Bleecker to see what kind of sandwich they have on special for lunch takes ten minutes.

And a walk from Murray's over to Betsey Johnson on Wooster to see what's on sale (love her stretch velvet!): another ten minutes.

And a walk from Betsey's over to Dean & Deluca on Broadway for an after-lunch cappuccino and to see if they have those chocolate-covered orange peels I like so much: another ten minutes.

And so on, until before you know it, you've done a full sixty minutes of exercise. Who says it's hard to comply with the government's new fitness recommendations? If I can do it, anyone can.

But could all of that walking have caused me to drop two whole sizes since the last time I shopped for jeans? I know I've been cutting my daily fat intake by about half since I replaced the Hershey's Kisses in the candy jar on my desk with free condoms from the student health center. But still.

"Well, ma'am," the sales clerk is saying to Less Than Zero. "These jeans are stretch fit. That means that you've got to try two sizes lower than your true size."

"What?" Less Than Zero sounds confused.

I don't blame her. I feel the same way. It's like number lines all over again.

"What I mean is," the sales clerk says, patiently, "if you normally wear a size four, in stretch jeans, you would wear a size zero."

"Why don't you just put the real sizes on them, then?" Less Than Zero -- quite sensibly, I think -- asks. "Like if a zero is a really a four, why don't you just label it a four?"

"It's called vanity sizing," the sales clerk says, dropping his voice.

"What sizing?" Less Than Zero asks, dropping her voice, too. At least, as much as a chipmunk can drop her voice.

"You know." The sales clerk is whispering to Less Than Zero. But I can still hear him. "The larger customers like it when they can fit into an eight. But they're really a twelve, of course. See?"

Wait. What?

I fling open the door to my dressing room before I stop to think.

"I'm a size twelve," I hear myself saying to the sales clerk. Who looks startled. Understandably, I guess. But still. "What's wrong with being a size twelve?"

"Nothing!" cries the sales clerk, looking panicky. "Nothing at all. I just meant -- "

"Are you saying size twelve is fat?" I ask him.

"No," the sales clerk insists. "You misunderstood me. I meant -- "

"Because size twelve is the size of the average American woman," I point out to him. I know this because I just read it in People magazine. "Are you saying that instead of being average, we're all fat?"

"No," the sales clerk says. "No, that's not what I meant at all. I -- "

The door to the dressing room next to mine opens, and I see the owner of the chipmunk voice for the first time. She's the same age as the kids I work with. She doesn't just sound like a chipmunk, I realize. She kind of looks like one, too. You know. Cute. Perky. Small enough to fit in a normal-sized girl's pocket.

"And what's up with not even making her size?" I ask the sales clerk, jerking a thumb at Less Than Zero. "I mean, I'd rather be average than not even exist."

Less Than Zero looks kind of taken aback. But then she goes, "Um. Yeah!" to the sales clerk.

Continues...


Excerpted from Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot Copyright © 2005 by Meg Cabot. 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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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 235 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(101)

4 Star

(73)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(16)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 236 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    New for me

    Its odd to read a book with no magic or supernatural elements to solve crime, but i loved this story. It was refreshimg to read a character that i can relate too. I have already started the second one and enjoying it so much.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    Fat--sorry, average--girls rock too!!!

    This book is awesome. I myself fit the average American model, but when books, movies, and magazines are filled with twigs, it's kind of hard to stay up-beat. This book introduces us to an eccentric, highly entertaining ex-teen pop star who may have gained a little around the middle. But she doesn't despair- she makes it work. And she solves murders. And kicks butt. Heather Wells is the type of heroine any girl can relate with and look up to. She's more real than some of the airbrushed people we see nowadays. Check out this book for some laughs. You'll relate and beg for more.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Very realistic

    Heather Wells is such a believable character! Every girl I know, myself definitely included, has conversations in her head, gets irritating jealousy over guys she isn't even dating, has post-break-up sex that is later regretted, drifts into la-la land when thinking about past and future endeavors...oh....and would love to solve a double homicide; especially if it means spending time with our secret crush! Heather could be a real woman...and did I mention that she's a size 12? That's the size of the average American woman....and they are not fat! Definitely worth the read.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    ...This book makes me laugh.

    A lot.

    It's such a fun treat of a book that I wonder if I'll ever get sick of re-reading it. I doubt it. Meg Cabot has the ability to make me care for her characters even when they do such silly things. Heather Wells is one helluva likeable character. She's not perfect but that's what I loved about her. She has a good heart and she gets herself into some troubling situations and then she leans on her room mate and ex boyfriend's brother, Cooper to bail her out.

    Which he does on a daily basis.

    Cooper is also the guy who gave her a place to stay. She's staying in a brownstone that Cooper owns and she pays rent by helping him with his administrative work for his PI business. Heather and Cooper work well together, he stays out of her way and saves her when she needs saving and she keeps him organized, entertained and exasperated.

    Fair trade, don't you think? =P

    On top of being Coop's secretary, Heather is also the new assistant dorm directory and the nearby college. So she goes from singing her heart out at malls and being adored by tweeny bopper fans all over the world to being an assistant dorm director for a small New York college and she's actually pretty okay with her life. She could probably have done without her Mom running away with all of her money and her manager but Heather is making things work even if people are saying she's a fat has been.

    Size 12 is NOT fat, people!

    To read the full review, please visit http://thebookscoop.com

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Sweet little read

    Size twelve is not fat is an adorable story. The main character, Heather, was very realatelable, even if some of the other characters weren't. I'm not giving it five stars because I did not feel passionate about this book and its characters. A fun, quick read. I will be on the lookout for the second, though I will not pursue it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    SO FUN!

    Heather Wells cracks me up! I have read all three books in the series several times and they are always good for some quick, entertaining reading. Nothing too serious, but well-written and amusing. Fun!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

    Loved it!

    This book is just AMAZING! I love the way the author writes, and I love Heather. She´s a funny character and a very outgoing person. I couldn´t stop reading the book until I finished it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2013

    Annoying

    All the tongue in cheek remarks by author detract greatly from what could be a decent story if protagonist were not so ridiculous. A 12 yr old might enjoy this book but i found it tedious and highly insulting to women. Definitely retiring this author

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Great book!

    Great quick read! Fun personalities. I really enjoyed all three in the series. Highly recomend

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    AWESOME but predictable

    Although this book was prettyeasy to predict for me it was a novel that i did enjoy reading very much, onto the sequel =)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Such an amazing book!

    Size 12 is not fat seems like another teenage lose weight inspirational books but it really isn't. It's about this girl Heather Wells whose life is turned upside down ever since her popstar fiance dumped her and her mom fled the country with her lifes savings. Her job is a assistant dorm director of the residence hall, and when a girl died from elevator surfing in that dormatory she becomes "agent heather wells" and she tries to prove to people that girls don't elevator surf. Its an exciting, funny, thrilling, and sometimes confusing novel that i think all girls aged 13 and up should read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    This was an awesome book! Meg Cabot has done it again writing yet another successful book. In this story Heather Wells finds herself a new job after being a sucessful teen pop-star (who lost contract). She enjoys herself working at a New York college Residence Hall, that is until a freshman is found at the bottom of the elevator shaft! Everyone thinks that she was elevator surfing and slipped, but Heather thinks otherwise. She decides to find out what really happened. She also struggles with other things like a relationship problem. AmAzInG!!!! five stars!!! what happened to the girl is what you least expect!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Size 12 is not fat

    After losing her recording contract, boy-band famous fiance, and her life savings (courtesy of her thieving mother) Heather Wells is in serious need of a job. Still it's a struggle for her when the girl who used to be a household name (if only to tweens) becomes an assistant director at a New York college dormitory, I mean, residence hall. Heather spends her days solving problems for 19 year-olds and her nights pining for her landlord, Cooper, private investigator and Mr. Unconventional Himself. Oh and just to make things even more interesting, Cooper is her ex's brother. So when girls start dying in the dorm - er, residence hall, Heather knows it's not just a coincidence and enlists PI Cooper to help track down the killer.

    Flowing throughout is Heather's inner monologue in which she ponders everything from vanity sizing, exercise (walking to your favorite bakery DOES count), the miraculous effects of chocolate and even the love of a good pet. This hilarious thought process is what kept me so intrigued, not the mystery. Mystery = Meh. It almost seemed as an afterthought - which isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case at least. Heather and her antics constantly had me in stitches. I'd love to sit down to lunch with her or her friend Magda and let the good times roll.

    seemichelleread.blogspot.com

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2005

    Funny!

    Although a little slow in the beginning, 'Size 12 Is Not Fat' picks up and turns out to be not only suspenseful with its mystery and crime-solving but laugh-out-loud funny when it comes to the heroine Heather Wells' quirky attitude and pining love for her roommate and partner-in-crime Cooper Cartwright. I couldn't put this mystery down once I got trucking with it- Heather proved to be funny and relatable although a former teen pop sensation. The book is a little longer than the usual novels of Meg Cabot's, but it was jam packed with adventure and humor. I was able to envision the dramatic moments- whether it be dangling from a cord in an elevator shaft or dueling sixteen stories above a busy New York City street- and through Heather's quick thinking, I not only felt as if I were experiencing these frightening moments but the humorous ones as well!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    Ok

    It was just ok. Nothing to keep me reading the series especially since there is an excerpt from book 4 that kinda ruins the surprise factor. It wasn't my cup of tea. Stephanie Bond's Body Movers and Lois Griesman's Christina Macmillian series are much better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Bananna

    Pretty cool book for young teens. It migt be slow, but it was good. The next book #2 of that. I think people such as young readers to ead a fast book. Some people might like faste books better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2013

    Heather Wells is a very relatable character and Meg Cabot writes

    Heather Wells is a very relatable character and Meg Cabot writes her with a sense of humor that is realistic and fun. Great series and I look forward to the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    300 pages

    This 300 page sounded so good, I could hardly wait to read it. The reviews on it are a mixed bag, so I was unsure what to expect. So, I snuggled down in my favorite chair and prepared to enjoy a good laugh or five. By page 50, I was so annoyed, I had to quit reading. I read two other books before I gave this one another try. It was still annoying. Many sentences are repeated constantly, there are run on paragraphs, yes, I said paragraphs, not sentences. A sentence so long, it becomes a whole paragraph, three or four to a page, is actually hard to read, let alone understand. I think my brain was gasping for oxygen. If I had been reading out loud, I would have turned blue and passed out on the first page. It is written in first person format ( ugh). I did not like any of the characters. The only thing I did like, was the author saying size 12 women are not fat. This is a chick book. It did make me giggle a bit. It is just plain silly and as I have already stated, annoying. I wish I had skipped this one altogether. It is a relatively clean read and there are no surprizes. For readers 16 and up.

    AD

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    I kind of liked the book, at times it was annoying (constant rep

    I kind of liked the book, at times it was annoying (constant repeating of "dorm...i, mean residential hall" over and over, a lot of things were like on going jokes that were not really funny. A few parts were funny, some were very interesting and some were not. Then of course at the end the included excerpt from "the bride wore a size 12," which i read, thinking it was the next book in the series. Turns out it's book 4 or 5...meaning it just ruined my curiosity about whether Cooper and Heather ever got together. I might have just bought the next book in the series to feed my curiosity but as it is, I already know and will not be buying the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2013

    Really cute

    I totally enjoyed this book, easy read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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