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The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door

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Overview

That's the day the trouble started.
The trouble that nearly ruined my life.
The trouble that turned me Dark.
The trouble that begs me for revenge.

Celia Door enters her freshman year of high school with giant boots, dark eyeliner, and a thirst for revenge against Sandy Firestone, the girl who did ...
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The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door

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Overview

That's the day the trouble started.
The trouble that nearly ruined my life.
The trouble that turned me Dark.
The trouble that begs me for revenge.

Celia Door enters her freshman year of high school with giant boots, dark eyeliner, and a thirst for revenge against Sandy Firestone, the girl who did something unspeakable to Celia last year.

But then Celia meets Drake, the cool new kid from New York City who entrusts her with his deepest, darkest secret. When Celia's quest for justice threatens her relationship with Drake, she's forced to decide which is sweeter: revenge or friendship.

This debut novel from Karen Finneyfrock establishes her as a bright, bold, razor-sharp new voice for teens, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ninth-grader Celia Door lives in Hershey, Pa., home to chocolate and a sea of vanilla classmates. With a black wardrobe to match her outlook, Celia considers herself “Dark,” a permanent outsider who has accepted that she’ll never be one of the cool kids. The arrival of Drake, a new student from New York City, is a bright spot in Celia’s Dark life. She starts to fall for him, but it turns out that Drake is gay; far from a problem, it sets up a wonderful scenario for friendship, as Celia helps Drake woo his crush back home, and Drake helps Celia prioritize her dreams of becoming a poet rather than revenge over mean girl Sandy Firestone. In her YA debut, Finneyfrock gives Celia a drily funny voice that keeps the narrative zipping along. Although the serious secret Celia has been keeping comes a bit out of nowhere, readers who also feel like they have no place in the mainstream will easily identify with her, even when she makes a few seriously Dark mistakes. Ages 12–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Feb.)
Ruta Sepetys

“I loved The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door! Celia is a quirky and unique character whose journey—through friendship and secrets and chocolate—will stay with readers long after they close the book.”
—Ruta Sepetys, New York Times bestselling author of Between Shades of Grey
Sherman Alexie

"Karen Finneyfrock is an amazing poet so it is no surprise that her first novel is poetic. It is also hilarious, exciting and as painful as anybody's teenage years. Read it, please."
—Sherman Alexie, National Book Award-Winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Bust Magazine Review
Finneyfrock’s work strikes the perfect tonal balance of humor, devastation and real storytelling." —Amber Tamblyn, Bust Magazine (review of author's poetry)
The Stranger Review
Finneyfrock writes poetry with muscular verve and narrative push. The depth and breadth suggested in just a few polished images placed next to each other will make you reconsider what poetry can do.” —Paul Constant, The Stranger (review of author's poetry)
VOYA - Nina Anikeeva
Every reader has known a run-of-the-mill high school outcast like Celia, which makes it easier to understand her thoughts and feelings. For example, when the interesting twist of Drake coming out breaks Celia's heart at first, and then strengthens their friendship as a result, readers will understand why. Although Finneyfrock waited too long to reveal the secret of The Book and unnecessarily capitalized words, overall this was an intriguing page-turner. It is recommended for ages thirteen and up. Reviewer: Nina Anikeeva, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Rebecca Moore
Fourteen-year-old Celia Door lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but finds the town—and especially its schools—anything but sweet. After the incident in eighth grade with Sandy Firestone and The Book, Celia decides she has had enough. Over the summer, she changes herself into Celia the Dark and starts high school determined to get her revenge. The problem is, she has no idea how, and Sandy's torment only continues. Celia's only refuges are her hoodie, the library, and her poetry notebook. Then Celia meets newcomer Drake, a beyond-cool skateboarder from New York who insists on befriending her and trusts her with his deepest secret. When Drake inadvertently offers Celia a way to get back at Sandy once and for all, will Celia risk her one and only friendship to get her revenge? This well-written, engaging, and ultimately hopeful book offers sympathetic characters with depth and interest. Both Celia and Drake cope with issues unfortunately common to many teens, such as bullying, sexuality, absent parents, divorce, and suicidal thoughts. Many readers will see themselves reflected in these pages. The only disappointment is that, despite Celia's bold declarations at the start of the book, her lack of a revenge plan saps energy from the plot and the character. Still, Celia's actions and the repercussions are believable, if somewhat predictable, and her lovely poems add depth and lyricism to the story. This should enjoy wide readership among girls. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Celia Door enters Hershey High with one objective: revenge for what Sandy Firestone did to her the previous year. Sandy and her coterie of popular girls continue to torment Celia and others who don't fit their mold. The "Celia the Dark" locker sign attracts the attention of Drake Berlin, who lives with his grandmother while waiting for a place in an arts school back in New York City. Good-looking and athletic, he appreciates Celia's unconventional dress and outlook, trusting her with the secret that he is gay. When his best friend, Japhy, rejects his advances, Drake undertakes a program of positive thinking to convince Japhy otherwise. Following the precepts of Dream It! Do It! Drake encourages Celia to pursue her own dream. While Celia pretends to work toward becoming a published poet, her real goal is revenge. Unfortunately, her chance to take down Sandy ends up hurting Drake as well. Celia often seeks online advice from her cousin Dorathea, a student at UC Berkeley. Her replies mix social commentary with insights about family and friends. Not surprisingly, poet Finneyfrock deftly incorporates Celia's own poetry into the plot, as when she reworks her mom's brief instructional notes into haiku. Most memorable is Celia's wry, perceptive, and honest narrative voice. When readers finally learn the details of Sandy's eighth-grade actions and Celia's desperate response, it becomes clear that humor can cover only so much hurt. Finneyfrock weaves characters and plotlines into an entertaining and thought-provoking mix. She succeeds in making her debut much more than a "problem novel" by creating a memorable outsider who is articulate, funny, and brave.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kirkus Reviews
Revenge may be sweet, but the joys of friendship and following your own star prove even sweeter in this engaging, low-key novel about a creative, rebellious youngster. Fourteen-year-old Celia Door has taken on the private moniker "Celia the Dark" after being roundly rejected by her classmates at the end of eighth grade. But as luck would have it, new student Drake joins her class, and his friendship gives her a fresh prism through which to see herself. Drake is also the keeper of his own secret, and how these friends support each other as they navigate the social and psychological minefield of ninth grade is the heart of the story. What debut novelist Finneyfrock captures perfectly is the powerlessness of being a teen. The things that distress Celia--her best friend being pulled out of school, a mean-girl campaign to humiliate her, her parents' separation and her father's move to far-away Atlanta--affect her very core but are largely out of her control. Illuminated with flashes of humor, Celia's narration is expressive, and her poems, which are sprinkled throughout the novel, elucidate her emotional state with grace and specificity. Although the story drags in places and the resolution feels forced, girls should sympathize with Celia and Drake and root for their success. (Fiction. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670012756
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile
  • Publication date: 2/21/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,017,455
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Like Celia Door, Karen Finneyfrock grew up filling notebooks full of poems. Now, she lives in Seattle, WA where she teaches workshops on creative writing and travels to perform poetry. Karen has previously published two books of poems. This is her first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 9, 2013

    This book started out great. I was so curious to know what reven

    This book started out great. I was so curious to know what revenge she was after, and why! It was such a mystery! As the book dragged on though, I started to lose interest. It wasn't until the very end when the book picked back up again. 
    I did like Celia's character. She was spunky and funny. She really added life to the story. Drake was a pretty cool character too. They just both had some things going on in their lives that I don't believe are right and that I struggled with reading. I wish the smaller characters could have been more developed in the story as well. They were just kind of a filler I felt like. 
    Overall, this was a cute story that I enjoyed, but will not be reading again. 

    I received this book for free in return for an honest review. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it...especially discovering it during April, National Poet

    Loved it...especially discovering it during April, National Poetry Month! Celia is entering her first year of high school with a chip on her shoulder (rightly earned), a new and highly goth personal style, and revenge in her heart. She is a voracious reader, a habitual poetry writer, friendless, and the target on her back when it comes to the mean girls is planet sized. Even her refuge of English class is ruined by a teacher who doesn't see her talents, only her new fiercely defensive attitude. So when the new and beautiful boy speaks to her out of the blue, the reader can't help but suspect along with Celia that he's running some cruel scam. But Drake is genuine and has concerns of his own...he's only passing through Hershey High while he waits for an opening into an Arts school in New York City, but the tracks he'll leave through Celia's life will be indelible. Beautifully moving, it's hard to believe that this is Karen Finneyfrock's first novel, but hopefully not her last. I'd love to see a follow-up to Sweet Revenge because I fell for the characters in a big way. Great work!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I want to thank the author, Karen Finneyfrock, and publisher, Pe

    I want to thank the author, Karen Finneyfrock, and publisher, Penguin, for sending me a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in now way influenced my opinion or review.




    Blurb from Goodreads:
    That’s the day the trouble started. 
    The trouble that nearly ruined my life. 
    The trouble that turned me Dark. 
    The trouble that begs me for revenge.
    Celia Door enters her freshman year of high school with giant boots, dark eyeliner, and a thirst for revenge against Sandy Firestone, the girl who did something unspeakable to Celia last year.
    But then Celia meets Drake, the cool new kid from New York City who entrusts her with his deepest, darkest secret. When Celia’s quest for justice threatens her relationship with Drake, she’s forced to decide which is sweeter: revenge or friendship.
    This debut novel from Karen Finneyfrock establishes her as a bright, bold, razor-sharp new voice for teens.




    I want to start by saying I really love this cover. It's so simple, but really conveys everything we need to know about Celia right off the bat. She's quirky and different, and that's cool!




    Celia is really well written. She really strikes me as a young teen going through changes during her first year of high school. A girl who has been bullied and thrown down, but still stands on her two feet and keeps up appearances. She wounded, but she has a spark that allows her to trudge on. I envy her ability to go from day to day knowing how others have treated her. Of course, when she meets Drake, things change. He's a bit quirky, too. And he holds a secret that only she knows. Him trusting her makes her feel special and worthy. And having a new best friend gives her courage for sure! Their interactions are really sweet. I think what really makes Celia special is her poetry. She is able to express herself so well with it. It gives great incite into her personality. How she has overcome being bullied and is ready to turn it around, though with revenge at first, later with just words.




    I love the school backdrop. How everything really happens there. How seeing the people who bullied her day in and day out affects her as she plans her revenge. And each character is so unique. I found myself remembering what it was like to be a freshman in high-school, how it was hard to adjust and find my place. I see this very much in Celia because, despite her past of being knocked down by others, she perseveres.




    I commend Finneyfrock in writing a funny, moving, completely honest story of a young girl finding her way in the tough and sometimes scary world of high-school. She gets her story across in a witty and humorous way, drawing the reader forward with her words and flowing storyline. She had me laughing, and crying, being a bit nervous and cheering, all at the same time.




    4 out of 5 stars from me!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2014

    If I had read this book a few years ago, I probably would¿ve giv

    If I had read this book a few years ago, I probably would’ve given it a five-star rating. As it is, I’ve read too many similar books in the past couple of years to still be impressed or affected by this type of story. I expected revenge, but that’s not what I got. 

    I appreciate the positive messages hidden in this story and how it focuses on more than just a girl being bullied at school. What also makes it slightly different from other such books is that it shows how revenge can sometimes backfire and that it might not always be the best solution. Still, I wanted Celia to get even with Sandy and Mandy (original names for two bullies, right?), because I felt they deserved it. Yet, it seemed that The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door should’ve more aptly been titled, The Angst-ridden Coming-Out of Celia’s Gay Best Friend and His Obsession with a Certain Self-help Book. 

    Oh, alright, that might be a little harsh, but honestly guys, I’m rather disappointed that the title is somewhat misleading. 

    Speaking of gay besties coming out…I was not impressed by all the drama surrounding Drake falling in love with Japhy. (Japhy???? Who names a character… Never mind). It was just too much. Drake was constantly fretting about Japhy not coming out the same time he did, and whether Japhy has the same feelings for him, and, and, and… It was all he could talk about THE. ENTIRE. TIME! He carried on worse than a hormonal love-struck girl!  So, that’s all I have to say about that.

    Apart from love-sick Drake, the rest of the story was okay. I like how things got resolved at the end between Celia and her mother, and that everything wasn’t too much of a happy ending. I don’t care for poetry at all, but I did enjoy Celia’s poetry entries into her journal. It gives the reader a deeper insight into her thoughts and feelings. Many times I felt sorry for her; especially when it came to light about “the book” that nearly destroyed her life. But like they say: all’s well that ends well. 

    My final thoughts are that it’s a good book if you haven’t read many such books before. Otherwise, it doesn’t really offer anything new, and I was glad when it was over and I could move on to a different book that would hopefully be more engaging. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I seriously fell in love with this book. When I finished readi

    I seriously fell in love with this book. When I finished reading the last page, I sat and I tried to take in everything the book encompassed. It was vast and it was powering! Words… no words cannot describe what I read. Goosebumps, tears, anxiety, thrilled, evil thoughts, ecstatic, disappointed, cautious….yes, these were the words that describe me as I read this book. This book is painful and honest and that’s why its words are so powerful.
    We’ve seen them, the girls who try to be invisible. The girls who keep their heads down, who pretend to be reading the same page in a book forever, you know…..those invisible girls. We’ve also seen the initiators, the provocative ones, the ones smiling, those individuals who just never give up the taunting until they find a new victim. Let me introduce Celia, Sandy and Mandy. Celia turned Dark because of what Sandy and Mandy did to her in 8th grade. I didn’t find out what their stunt was until the end of the book but Sandy and Mandy sure wear their titles of Mean Girls proudly. Celia started out 9th grade with the intention of getting back at the duo but when Drake shows up, she gets side-tracked. Celia was pretty crafty with her lists of methods of retaliation. I am a list kind of girl and I laughed when I saw Celia’s list with the negatives and the positives listed under each method, this girl was thinking and thinking hard. Drake’s supposedly only visiting for a short while, and he befriends Celia who is not used to having friends. Celia’s used to hiding out at the library and keeping her nose in her poetry journals, so being out in the limelight with Drake is totally different for her. Everyone likes Drake and being around Drake, Celia finds herself as a target for ridicule even more so. The cruelty of bullying was relentless. I was getting so irked off with their snide comments and actions, I had to close the book a few times to calm myself. I know it happens, I know it shouldn’t but I have been there myself on the receiving end so I know the humiliation and the embarrassment individuals feel. Celia feels her revenge is going to set things right but I am getting so emotional with these girls. The bright side is Drake. Celia wonders if perhaps something could evolve with Drake and when he starts to read a self-help book, their relationship changes. As Celia writes in her poetry journals, her style of writing says something about how unique she really is. There is lots of Celia’s poetry in this novel and it is her list of Never Words that pushes her to be creative. While other writes fall back on typical words found in poetry, her list of Never Words, allows for more visual and emotional presentation. As I read her poems, I felt as if there was so much going on. Her poems were being orchestrated from the words on the page to provide sights and sounds and not just words to me When Celia finally pulls the trigger on her retaliation, she thought it would be sweet, hence the title. It was an OMG moment for me as I raced forward to finish the book. Her relationships within the book, her parents and the revenge that she was searching for …….it was truly a fantastic read for me!
    “The sky opened its mouth and cried all over us.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    AMAZING

    I read it in one day it is so amazing but the end was kind if sad

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2013

    I want to read it soo bad!!

    Where can i find it?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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