Who's Your Daddy?

( 22 )

Overview

Lila Moreno and her two best friends, Meryl Morgenstern are social mutants. Not because of who they are, but who their guy-repellent daddies are. Lila's dad is the chief of police; Meryl's dad is the football coach, the driver's ed instructor, and the dean of discipline at the high school; and Caressa's dad is a famous musician. Boys are too terrified and intimidated by the girls' dads to come anywhere near them.
So Lila, Meryl, and Caressa decide to take matters into their own...
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Overview

Lila Moreno and her two best friends, Meryl Morgenstern are social mutants. Not because of who they are, but who their guy-repellent daddies are. Lila's dad is the chief of police; Meryl's dad is the football coach, the driver's ed instructor, and the dean of discipline at the high school; and Caressa's dad is a famous musician. Boys are too terrified and intimidated by the girls' dads to come anywhere near them.
So Lila, Meryl, and Caressa decide to take matters into their own hands. On the night of homecoming, instead of going dateless, they hold a Dumb Supper -- a Celtic ritual that shows single young women who their soul mates are. The dinner doesn't go exactly as planned, but never could they guess how much this loser's alternative to homecoming would change their lives.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A mouthy protagonist breathes life into a fun but fairly predictable novel about three best friends searching for love. Lila, Meryl and Caressa are 16-year-old "freaks" who blame their dads (a police chief, a vice principal and an intimidating musician) for their lackluster love lives. To change their luck, they turn to a metaphysical ceremony-a "dumb supper" (as in silent)-after which "whichever guy sees us first... will be the guy we're supposed to date." But while the ceremony is a disaster, the girls are split about its success: Lila, who sees "freakin'-totally-not-for-moi" Dylan, a lieutenant for the Police Explorers, refuses to believe, but Meryl is swept away by the Bosnian immigrant who fixes her tire, and Caressa has the hots for a young blues musician pictured on a CD cover. The characters are formulaic: Lila is the rebel (she is grounded after forging parent signatures for profit), Meryl is smart and does not watch TV, and Caressa is beautiful and makeup obsessed. But Lila makes a funny and feisty narrator (the others swap in to narrate occasionally, or chat with each other online), and she keeps the story rolling ("if fate thought I was destined to be with a guy like Dylan,... fate needed to back sloooooowly away from the crack pipe"). It's obvious how most of the plot will work itself out, and the author makes the lessons abundantly clear. Overall this is a charming, warm story, if not especially innovative. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Three sixteen-year-old girls find themselves out of the dating scene due to the fear their fathers' occupations instill in the minds of the local young boys. Beautiful Caressa's father is a famous, wealthy blues musician. Lila's dad is the chief of police—imagine the intimidation factor his position commands. Poor Meryl's dad is not only the all-important football coach but also the driver's education instructor—holding the fate of so many Colorado boys' freedom in his hands—and he is the dean of discipline. Desperate to acquire boyfriends and escape their feelings of hopelessness, the girls resort to a Celtic ritual which is supposed to reveal their dating destiny. Lila, the narrator, fills page after page with slang and popular culture references—which will quickly be outdated—and forces the reader to decipher much of the novel. While the "silent supper" is a cute alternative to traditional fortune-telling scenarios, the overall story line is long and drawn-out. 2004, Simon & Schuster, Ages 12 to 18.
—Kori L. Mullins
VOYA
In this light, entertaining read, the plot is full of holes, but with the reader laughing so hard, who cares? The heroines are Lila, Meryl, and Caressa, all juniors in high school, and social mutants. The reason that they are social mutants happens to be the same for all of them-their fathers. Lila's father is the chief of police, Meryl's is the dean of discipline at their high school, and Caressa's is a famous musician. The guys in their town are just too intimidated to ask these girls out. In desperation, Meryl, who works in a "new-age" store, suggests that they hold a version of an ancient Celtic ritual called a "dumb supper," which is supposed to show young women their soul mates. The lucky young man is thought to be the first one that they see after the ritual. Of course the dinner does not go as planned. Lila gets caught sneaking out of the house when she has been grounded, and Meryl gets a flat tire. Caressa decides to conduct the ritual on her own and is quite sure that it has not worked, especially when she does not meet anyone and the other two girls meet the most unlikely candidates imaginable. It is a funny, enjoyable book, and although the few dramatic incidents are fairly improbable, younger teen girls will devour it quickly. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2004, Simon Pulse/S & S, 320p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 15.
—Marlyn Roberts Beebe
KLIATT
"Sometimes, through no fault of your own, but based on who happened to bring you into the world, you become a social mutant with no foreseeable remedy beyond changing your identity and disappearing forever." So begins this fun book by an author known for adult romance titles. Through a humorous look at three best friends, Meryl, Caressa, and Lila, Sandoval brings authentic voices to a growing number of "chick lit" books. Each of the three friends has a father (a police chief, the school disciplinarian/football coach, and a Grammy-winning musician) who seemingly scares away potential boyfriends. So the girls try a little spiritual assistance to point them in the direction of the boys who are meant for them (and dates for the Junior Prom). Lila, the daughter of the police chief, is caught in a self-described entrepreneurial scheme involving forged parent letters for classmates and is the main voice of the story. But the voices of Meryl and Caressa are clearly and humorously shared with readers through alternating viewpoint chapters, e-mails, and instant messages as the girls eventually come to realize that they are not totally cursed by who their fathers are. A laugh-out-loud novel for readers who enjoy Meg Cabot, Louise Rennison, and Cathy Hopkins. Lynda Sandoval is an author to watch. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Simon & Schuster, Pulse, 318p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Stephanie Squicciarini
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416954088
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 4/22/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynda Sandoval is a former police officer turned fiction writer with fourteen adult books to her credit. Her first book for teens, Who's Your Daddy?, won the National Readers' Choice Award for young adult fiction from Romance Writers of America and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. When Lynda is procrastinating, she loves to quilt, hike, garden, make jewelry, bid obsessively on eBay, and read everything she can get her hands on. She lives in Denver with the world's coolest cairn terrier, Smidgey.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Here's what blows:

Sometimes, through no fault of your own, but based on who happened to bring you into the world, you become a social mutant with no foreseeable remedy beyond changing your identity and disappearing forever. How fair is that?

Take my best friend Meryl. Named after Meryl Streep, I suppose. But really, when you're sixteen it's just a weird name, and it makes no sense that she's named after Meryl Streep anyway because Meryl's parents don't even own a TV, much less patronize the theaters. Meryl Meryl, that is. Not Meryl Streep. I'm sure Ms. Streep's parents go to movies -- seeing as how their daughter stars in them and they'd want to be supportive -- and they probably have a TV, too. Probably a fifty-inch HDTV flat screen. Probably a gift from their daughter.

Whatever.

The point is, Meryl Morgenstern's dad comes with the triple whammy mutant-making qualities of (1) he's the VP of discipline in our school, i.e., if you're a troublemaker or a rebel, he knows it and you've probably spent quality time in his detention center, and (2) he's also the driver's ed teacher, so you can guarantee HIS daughter isn't going to get in the car with any of the guys, because he knows how incredibly bad they drive. Finally, (3) he's the assistant football coach, so none of the jocks want to piss him off.

Couple the triple whammy with the fact that Meryl's family is so anti-pop culture that you can mention the name BUFFY and Meryl's like, blink, blink, "Who?", and I can guarantee you the word DATE in Meryl's life refers solely to fruit.

Then there's Caressa Thibodoux, my other best friend, who has a few marks against her as well. First, she's the late-in-life daughter of a very famous, semiretired blues musician from Louisiana and his third wife, who doesn't seem like she's much older than us but is probably fairly old, like in her latish thirties. I mean, I don't think Mr. Thibodoux totally robbed the cradle in a creepy way when they got together. Caressa's dad is the richest and most famous person in our town, even though, to us, he's just some old guy who comes down the stairs every now and then, in his bathrobe and these grandpa-looking slippers, to grab a piece of cold chicken from the fridge and stick his head into the family room to tell us to "keep it down."

Meaning the noise.

We can get a little loud.

Their house is the closest thing to a mansion in all of White Peaks, which is mostly made up of your typical Colorado mountain homes -- cabins, the stone or cedar-sided types, the occasional A-frame or prefab. The Thibodoux house is sort of log-cabinesque, but it's the kind of place you'd move into if, say, you were Christie Brinkley and you survived a helicopter crash over the Rockies, had a romantic epiphany, and decided to stay west instead of moving back to your estate on Long Island.

Like, a log cabin mansion.

It has a portico and a recording studio. Need I say more?

Caressa's also some kind of reluctant musical prodigy and, at least in my mind, the girl most likely to blow this town and become someone famous (even if it's not in music) after we make it through the Seventh Circle of Hell which is White Peaks High School. (I swear, if one more adult tells me these are the best years of my life, I'm going to shave my head and tattoo a four-letter word on the back of my bare skull, and -- oh yes -- it will start with an F.)

To make matters worse, Caressa's also beautiful. The kind of breezy beautiful that makes high school guys dumber than they already are organically, what with all their blood rushing south Vogueon a regular basis. She's the kind of beautiful that's intimidating. Like, Vogue beautiful. Fly girl, J-Lo beautiful. But she doesn't even know it. So, you see, she's pretty well hosed in the guy department, despite what you might imagine. But think about it. A gorgeous, poised, rich, musically gifted daughter of a famous musician?

Yeah, the date thing? Not likely.

Not in high school, at least. Not in White Peaks, freakin' Colorado, for cripes sake. Mind you, Caressa does attract the attention of older guys, but like, have they not heard the term "jailbait" before? Please.

Then there's me, Lila Moreno. I have the lovely distinction of being the only daughter of our town's zero-tolerance-for-screwups police chief, and the little sister of four nosy, meddling brothers who intimidate every guy in town. Bad enough already, right? Well, sit back. It gets worse. Not only is my dad the aforementioned Intimidating Authority Figure, but -- and I must cringe while I admit this part because the BLECH factor is SO off the scale -- he's a hottie.

Yep, my dad. I mean, for an old guy.

He's a hottie, and he's a widower, and since that's a well-known fact, all the mothers, attached or otherwise, seem to become even dumber around my dad than the high school guys get around Caressa. Which sucks! I ask you, what guy in his right mind would want to date a girl when his own MOTHER has the hots for the girl's FATHER?

It's so gross! Really.

I mean, how much am I supposed to take?

For example, how would YOU like to go bra shopping with your FATHER, and then have the stupid bra lady pay more attention to him than to the fact that it's excruciatingly heinous to be browsing bras with (1) a man, who is (2) your father, in the first place?

Anyway, the whole bra thing? A psychic wound perhaps, and worth exploring later in my journal, but so not the point.

The point is that Meryl, Caressa, and I are White Peaks freaks, and there's nothing we can do about it except wait to grow up, move away, and forevermore lie about the identity of our fathers to any potential dates. Right?

HELLO! We're sixteen!

We have eons before we can blaze, and frankly, we wouldn't mind having a little guy action before the big exodus from White Peaks. Is that so much to ask?

It's not that we don't love our fathers. We do. But we are ostracized directly because of who they are, rather than who WE are, which is why we've come to affectionately refer to ourselves as the "Who's Your Daddy?" club.

Caressa made it up. She's creative that way.

My brother, Luke, claims the name has vague porno flick overtones, but (1) he shouldn't eavesdrop on us, and (2) I'm 99.9 percent positive he doesn't have any direct knowledge of the porn industry, because my dad would wholeheartedly thrash him if he did. So, how would he know?

Luke's my only brother still at home (thank God). He's a senior and a cretin to boot and, although he's got the high school girls snowed into believing he's as much of a hottie as our father (lemmings), the ugly truth is, Luke indulges in, well, gross bodily functions more often and louder than any human being I've ever had the misfortune to encounter in all of my sixteen years. He's no catch, trust me. And I will use this information against him if need be.

So, yeah, his opinion matters. Not.

Anyway, back to us.

My whole point (my teachers say I have a hard time getting to the point, blah blah blah whatever, so here goes) is that in the string of mediocre days and weeks that added up to our full-on mediocre freshman and sophomore years at White Peaks, no day was quite so bad as that particular day in September of our junior year.

You know, the day when all hell broke loose.

The whole thing actually started the summer before my sophomore year. Bored one day, I found myself thumbing through some of my dad's training materials from a fraud and forgery conference he'd attended, and that's what gave me the idea.

Throughout tenth grade, I had gained quite a rep as somewhat of a groundbreaking entrepreneur in our school, using the knowledge I'd gained from my dad's info. Don't wig -- it wasn't anything THAT illegal. It's not like I was floating checks or printing up phony money. My foray into the slightly illegal was really more of a public service, if you ask me. Teenagers are the silent oppressed, and my skills were an equally silent way to fight the oppression. Plus, we are given certain gifts in life, and I think it's almost a sin not to use what we receive.

My gift was this: I could, after studying a parental signature only once, perfectly forge said signature on an absentee excuse note, report card form, or what have you, and I would perform this valuable service for my fellow students at the bargain price of five dollars per John Hancock.

Really, I think I could've raised my prices to ten bucks a shot and people would've still flocked to me, but I didn't want to go all inflation-crazy on my peers.

I'd had such a good thing going.

It had almost made me popular (almost).

The whole reason I'd started the forgery service was because Dad had promised to match however much money I had saved when it came time for me to buy a car (which was NOW, but he kept ignoring that fact), and as a babysitter in White Peaks, I was firmly second string. I'd already stockpiled two grand from my, ah, business. Plus another thousand from my more legitimate pursuits, i.e., the occasional babysitting gig, extra chores, bribing my brothers. Three thousand bucks, with the promise of much more to come before all was said and done, because I was never hurting for clients when it came to forged parental signatures.

Until I got busted that day.

I won't go into detail about how it happened because it's a way ugly memory for me to relive. But it was mostly coincidence and pure bad luck. Suffice to say, questions were raised by key school administrators after a certain parent called claiming no knowledge of a note she'd supposedly provided, and one of my clients rolled on me.

Don't worry. He'll pay.

But that's basically how I ended up hanging out with Mr. Morgenstern on day one of my five-day, in-school suspension, stuck in a little jail-like cubicle stealing peeks at US Weekly which I'd smuggled in with my Biology II homework, and knowing that getting suspended was a freakin' cakewalk compared to the punishment my dad would dole out when I got home.

I just never thought he'd actually cancel my driver's license with the Department of Motor Vehicles and cut it up right there in front of me. I mean, this was my LICENSE. And not only that, but for the first time, I hadn't looked like a vacant-eyed, fashion-victim knuckle dragger in a photograph. Where's the justice? As if I wasn't already considered a freak of monster proportions, now I wouldn't be able to drive until I turned eighteen. He might as well have whipped out his Sig Sauer P220 and shot me dead right there on the Pergo floor.

He also restricted me from my social life for the rest of the semester, which was no punishment at all really considering I didn't HAVE a social life, but I didn't tell him that. The only real social contact I had was hanging out with Meryl and Caressa, which we refer to as "studying" in front of the parents, and Dad said I could continue that because it was, he thought, schoolwork-related.

I should've been happy to have pulled at least that off, but I wasn't. Not with my shiny, brand new, Colorado driver license sitting like confetti in the bottom of the trash can. Plus, my dad told me I would have to perform some sort of community service, but he hadn't decided what yet. Fine with me, because I didn't want to know.

I spent the dinner hour sullenly pushing my food around my plate and trying my best to ignore Luke's smirks while simultaneously wanting to kill him. I needed to get out of the house and let off steam, so thank God I was still allowed to "study" with my friends. I think my dad was sick of the tension in the house too, so he was more than happy to sequester himself in the dining room after dinner to avoid us.

Not wanting to push my luck, I dutifully cleaned up the kitchen, then hooked my backpack over my shoulder and stood in the entrance to the dining room. My dad was frowning over a bunch of case files spread out on the table in front of him, looking vaguely like Esai Morales from NYPD Blue, with a little more distinguished gray at the temples.

I cleared my throat. "I'm going to Caressa's to study."

Dad's arms remained braced on the edge of the table, but his eyes raised from the files. "Is the kitchen clean?"

"Yes."

"How are you going to get there?"

Rub it in, why don't you? I thought, fighting not to roll my eyes. "My bike," I said, attempting to sound stoic and martyr-esque, hoping the guilt would eat him alive when I made the front page of the Peaks Picayune after getting munched by a wild animal or kidnapped by a freaky mountain man with a meth lab in his basement. "Or I'll walk."

"Don't be silly. It's cold."

Not to mention the bears and mountain lions and freaky mountain dudes with bad tooth-to-tattoo ratios, but whatever.

"Have your brother take you." He turned toward the family room and called, "Luke?"

I shifted on my feet, but knew I was in too much trouble already to pitch a fit. Truth was, I'd rather end up hypothermic or mauled by a bear than ride in the car with my smug, smirking brother and his "I told you so" attitude. I clamped my lips together and said nothing.

Luke stuck his head into the dining room, all freakin' zoned out from a dose of The Man Show or Jackass or some other equally brain-numbing anti-stimuli -- just what he needed. "Huh?"

"Drive your sister to Caressa's."

"But, Dad -- "

"Now."

The air of pissed-offedness hung thick and ominous in the house, premonitions of butt-kickings to come, so Luke shut his trap, too. He snagged his keys off the hook by the door with an angry swipe and glared at me. "Come on, Felon," he growled under his breath.

I punched him in the arm. "Don't call me that."

He ignored me, instead spreading his thumbs and forefingers and placing them tip to tip to make a box. "Forgery for Fun and Profit, by Lila Moreno. I can just see the book cover."

"Bite me, buttwipe," I said, pushing past him into the cold, dark, Rocky Mountain night. The elk had been bugling earlier in the day -- a sound I'd always loved, like whale song -- but now the black night fell silent.

Thankfully, so did Luke. I had expected him to taunt me about getting busted, but instead he drove to Caressa's with Disturbed pounding and vibrating from the stereo speakers, drumming his fingers on the wheel. He'd left his window open to the thirty-five-degree air, though, because he knew being cold annoyed me, and he loved to annoy me. I just concentrated on the flashes of gold from the aspen trees between the black of the pines along the sides of the road.

When he screeched to a stop in the portico, I leapt from the car and muttered, "Caressa will bring me home," trying not to let my teeth chatter.

He snorted. "Like I offered to pick you up."

I slammed the door, wanting to stick out my tongue but deciding that was SO seventh grade. Why did I let him get me so riled up? Luke wasn't that bad of a brother overall. He was just a guy. What can I say? Guys often suck, as a rule, and brothers are the worst. We used to be pals until...I wasn't sure when it had changed. I think it had something to do with me entering high school and immediately being shuffled into the loser corral. God forbid Luke would stick up for me. Apparently the attentions of a certain cheerleading überskank were more important than blood relations to His Shallow Highness. But I set his lameness aside, glad to be with my friends at last.

They say misery loves company, and if so I was in for my first bit of luck. As it turned out, I wasn't the only one who'd suffered a heinous day (although we all agreed, due to the license thing, I was in first place on the suck scale). Meryl had been trying out for the debate team, but in the semifinal round that afternoon, she'd tanked in a big way when most of her topics dealt with the worst of all possible things -- movies and television. Bummed didn't come close to describing her mood. Meryl is so smart, we were bummed for her, too.

Caressa, on the other hand, had what most people would consider a good day -- on the surface. Even though she hadn't formally auditioned, she'd been cast for the lead in the spring musical -- Beauty and the Beast. The only problem was, Caressa didn't want the lead. She had no desire whatsoever to sing -- it was the whole totally "doing whatever your parents had done" thing. Blech.

The coolio-factor of playing Belle and wearing kick-butt costumes weren't even enough to drag Caressa out of depressionville. She had joined the theater club because she likes makeup, not singing. No, she LOVES makeup -- worships at the temple of Sephora.com on a regular basis, if you want the whole truth. She wanted to work behind the scenes, doing makeup and costuming for the various productions. But, of course, having Lehigh Thibodoux, aka Tibby Lee, for a father meant, once again, Caressa got jammed. The theater club sponsor, Mr. Cabbiatti, who is a celebrity-wannabe to an epic degree, couldn't pass up the publicity opportunity. Now all the girls who wanted to play Belle were angry with Caressa for getting a part she didn't even want, and Caressa was angry because she just wanted to put makeup on the beast. Go figure!

We were all sitting around that night, painting each other's toenails, complaining about our parents and our horrid luck, and bemoaning the fact that homecoming loomed and none of us had dates or even prospects.

Surprising? No. Depressing? Uh, yes.

Fiona Apple was playing on the stereo, because we wanted to feed our already depressed moods, and so far, no directives from Mr. Thibodoux to "keep it down."

Caressa was bent low over my feet painting my toenails with this sweet OPI shade she'd just bought, "I'm Not Really a Waitress." It's kind of a red with sparkly gold in it. I had a hard time deciding between that and another shade from OPI's European collection called, "Amster-Damsel in Distress," but the gold shimmer in "Waitress" really won me over.

Caressa always has the best makeup.

Anyway, she was concentrating on my pinky toe, left foot, when out of nowhere Meryl goes, "We need to change our lives. Homecoming is on the autumnal equinox this year."

As though those two comments were related.

"Huh," Caressa and I said in unison, not knowing what type of response was appropriate to the equinox-announcement-slash-life-change directive. I mean, we'd been talking about how much our lives sucked, but the equinox? All I knew for sure was that homecoming had been rescheduled and would commence the following Tuesday night. Yes, a freakin' Tuesday, if you can believe that lunacy. The switch was the school district's brilliant solution to avoiding a big, heinous snowstorm expected on Friday.

Whatever. Tuesday, Friday. Equinox Schmequinox. You could only complain for so long, and Meryl always launched interesting conversations, so we went with it. That's one cool thing about having a friend who's completely Laura Ingalls Wilder-ish out of touch with the American entertainment scene (or any entertainment scene, really) -- she has tons of time to read stuff the rest of the high school universe would pass up in favor of this week's installment of The Real World. She's always popping off bits of useless but nevertheless pretty interesting trivia.

Meryl also works a couple of nights a week at the local metaphysical shop downtown, since Mr. Morgenstern put the giant kibosh on her first choice job at Blockbuster. Frankly, I think the metaphysical shop is a much better place to work anyway. It always smells good in there from the flickering candles and essential oils, and the tinkling bells and gurgling serenity fountains are soothing.

Compare that atmosphere to one of bright, corporate clone paint, fluorescent lights, zit-faced, overzealous assistant managers, and nonstop video background noise, and the choice is obvious. Plus, at Inner Power, she only has to work with the two way-mellow women who own the shop rather than all the mouth-breathing vidiots who work at Blockbuster, and she's learning all kinds of sweet stuff about, well, metaphysics.

"Since we're not going," Meryl continued, "we should all spend the night at Caressa's and have a dumb supper."

That made both Caressa and I blink up at her in confusion.

"If it's okay with your parents, of course," she added, glancing over at Caressa.

"It always is." Caressa shrugged. Her parents, as a rule, were totally cool about stuff like that.

"A dumb supper?" I interjected, just as Caressa and I exchanged a look. "You mean, like something we all hate? Great idea, Meryl," I said, not bothering to hide my sarcasm. "Brilliant. That would really cheer us up."

"No, goof. It's a tradition that dates back to seventeenth-century England. It's a midsummer's eve custom -- "

"Yeeeeeah, newsflash. It's not summer," I pointed out, even though it had to be obvious, even for a person who didn't watch the evening news. Hello, snowstorm!

"Still," Meryl said, unfazed by my sarcasm. "I think it's adaptable. It's all about our intent." She shrugged. "If they can hold homecoming on a school night, I figure we can host a dumb supper on the equinox rather than midsummer's eve."

She had a point.

"What do we have to do?" Caressa asked, her eyes glowing with curiosity that mirrored how I felt.

"Well, there are lots of details, but in general we have to hold a silent dinner that starts at midnight, with only black linens and total darkness. Well, except for candles. We have to make and serve everything backward, and -- oh, it's a long story. I'll explain it all later." She flipped her hand. "The point is, it's supposed to help us predict who we'll marry, but since we're only sixteen, I'm thinking it will help us predict who we might date instead. What do you think?"

"Is it reliable?" asked Caressa.

Meryl quirked her mouth to the side. "Well, it's been going on since the sixteen hundreds. It can't be all stupid." She looked from one of us to the other. "So?"

"I'm game," I said. Anything to take my mind off how much my life blew major chunks.

"Me, too," said Caressa.

Meryl's face spread into a huge smile. "Then it's a date."

"A date? Well -- " I said, "even if this dinner turns out to actually be dumb, at least we'll each be able to say we had ONE date this year."

We all laughed, but the truth was, we couldn't wait. I could hear it in my own breathlessness, in the equally nervous and psyched laughter of my two best friends. It gave us something to look forward to, and boy, did we need it.

Little did we know how this harmless, losers'-alternative-to-homecoming, dumb supper would end up changing our entire lives.

Copyright © 2004 by Lynda Sandoval Cooper

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Easy to relate to

    My dad helps people and he is really tall so no boyfriend for me, and my brother is a cop so that makes it worse

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    SO CAN RELATE.

    i loved this book. as soon as i saw the cover, i thought what the heck ill read it. It changed everything i thought about my dad. My dad is the outreach coordinator everyone from my town fears. All the boys are scared to even hang out at my house because my dad is harsh. He jst...travels alot and...well ur personality comes out when your dad is selling info for his new job. :/ anyway this book really made me think. Not that anyday ill have a boyfriend this way but...i think it could once you get what love these girls have to go through. its alot no doubt. But with their friendship they get along way.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    i actually read this book(i hate to read)

    I really liked this book because it had a lot of things happening in it. There was a lot of drama like fighting between the popular girls and the non-popular girls. The characters did a lot of stupid stuff like sneaking out and driving when there was a big snowstorm that is fun to read about.
    There are these three girls named Lila Moreno, Meryl Morgenstern and Caressa Thibodaux. They are all best friends. Lila's dad is a policeman; he not always home. Meryl's dad is nothing and Caressa's dad is a songwriter. On homecoming night, they all went to Caressa's house, but Lila wasn't supposed to because she was grounded. So she snuck out. They all were doing this supper thing to see who their boyfriends would be but then Lila's dad found out she snuck out.
    Most girls round the age 13-14 would most likely enjoy this book because it has a lot of girly things in it. It wouldn't really be good for anyone any younger than that because it has some naughty words in it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2009

    This book is great!!!!!!!!!!

    This book is one of the best books I've read. The characters seem so real and the siduations seem very realistic. The girls even remind me of people I know which makes the book an easy read. I love how each girl ends up having their own little story about what happenes after the dinner. My favorite thing is the complete one-eighty that Lila goes through in what she wants in a guy.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    There is only one word for WHO'S YOUR DADDY?--laugh-out-loud hilarious. Wait, I think that might actually count as four words. Or if you take into account the hyphens, at least two. Anyway, you catch my drift. I laughed through the entire three-hundred plus pages of this book, and now have only one request. Please, please, please make this book into a movie! <BR/><BR/>Meet three best friends unlike (or very much like) anyone you've ever known. There's Lila Moreno, whose dad happens to be not only a hottie widower sought after by all the town's women, but the police chief of White Peaks, Colorado. Then there's Meryl Morgenstern, who although she was named after Meryl Streep, is totally anti-pop culture, including television. Her dad is also the Vice President of discipline, the driver's ed teacher, and the assistant football coach at the high school they attend. And then there's Caressa Thibodoux, who has a very famous retired blues musician for a father, and also happens to live in a log cabin house that can only be described as a mansion. When you're sixteen, having the types of fathers these girls have does not put you high up on the popularity list. You're either too pretty and rich (Caressa), too weird (Meryl, who doesn't even know who Buffy is), or way, way off the instant-dateability list (Lila, whose dad is, you remember, the Chief of Police). <BR/><BR/>So what are three girls to do? Especially three girls who are desperate to gain dates to the homecoming dance? Well, the only thing three pretty, intelligent, intimidating girls can do. They stage a Dumb Supper, hoping that between the supernatural energy of having a meal entirely backwards combined with the helping-hand of the ghost of Lila's mother will help them in their search for a date. All they have to do is write down their wish, and after the Supper the first guy they see will be their one-true-love. At least that's how it's supposed to work, but in the lives of Lila and her friends, few things rarely ever go as planned. <BR/><BR/>The first guy Lila runs into is Dylan Sebring, lieutenant of the junior narcotics squad, otherwise known as the Police Explorers. If there's anything Lila doesn't need in her life, it's another cop. Her father and brother are enough, thank you very much. The first guy Meryl meets is Ismet, previously known only as That Bosnian Guy. Meryl's pretty sure things are looking up, until she realizes that the only type of girl Ismet wants is a typical, fully-submerged-in-American-culture teen, which Meryl most certainly is not. And as for Caressa? Her bright idea is to get musician Bobby Slade to ask her to the dance, which ends up with, you guessed it, some humiliating results. <BR/><BR/>WHO'S YOUR DADDY? is a downright funny, entertaining read. You won't go wrong reading this book for many reasons, the least of which is the exercise to your smile muscles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2008

    LIKEABLE~

    this book was very good. thrilling and a total truth of a life of high school minorities. this book may be inapropiate for children ages under 13. but i truly love this book with its beautiful text and story. i would definitely read this book again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    this book is totally awsome and i cant wait for the next book. rock on dudes and dudettes!!!!!!CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    i luv this book bc it is like they way i feel.lol i cannot put it down. i can read it over and over again

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2007

    Great

    This was an amusing book that is very enjoyable to read. Each girl has their own story, and i think everyone can relate to at least one girl at some level. I would reccomend this to all fiction lovers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2006

    A huge book reader!

    I loved this book it was so good and funny. It had me laughing almost the whole time!! I recommended this to everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2006

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    There is only one word for WHO'S YOUR DADDY?: laugh-out-loud hilarious. Wait, I think that might actually count as four words. Or if you take into account the hyphens, at least two. Anyway, you catch my drift. I laughed through the entire three-hundred plus pages of this book, and now have only one request. Please, please, please make this book into a movie! Meet three best friends unlike (or very much like) anyone you've ever known. There's Lila Moreno, whose dad happens to be not only a hottie widower sought after by all the town's women, but the police chief of White Peaks, Colorado. Then there's Meryl Morgenstern, who although she was named after Meryl Streep, is totally anti-pop culture, including television. Her dad is also the Vice President of discipline, the driver's ed teacher, and the assistant football coach at the high school they attend. And then there's Caressa Thibodoux, who has a very famous retired blues musician for a father, and also happens to live in a log cabin house that can only be described as a mansion. When you're sixteen, having the types of fathers these girls have does not put you high up on the popularity list. You're either too pretty and rich (Caressa), too weird (Meryl, who doesn't even know who Buffy is), or way, way off the instant-dateability list (Lila, whose dad is, you remember, the Chief of Police). So what are three girls to do? Especially three girls who are desperate to gain dates to the homecoming dance? Well, the only thing three pretty, intelligent, intimidating girls can do. They stage a Dumb Supper, hoping that between the supernatural energy of having a meal entirely backwards combined with the helping-hand of the ghost of Lila's mother will help them in their search for a date. All they have to do is write down their wish, and after the Supper the first guy they see will be their one-true-love. At least that's how it's supposed to work, but in the lives of Lila and her friends, few things rarely ever go as planned. The first guy Lila runs into is Dylan Sebring, lieutenant of the junior narcotics squad, otherwise known as the Police Explorers. If there's anything Lila doesn't need in her life, it's another cop. Her father and brother are enough, thank you very much. The first guy Meryl meets is Ismet, previously known only as That Bosnian Guy. Meryl's pretty sure things are looking up, until she realizes that the only type of girl Ismet wants is a typical, fully-submerged-in-American-culture teen, which Meryl most certainly is not. And as for Caressa? Her bright idea is to get musician Bobby Slade to ask her to the dance, which ends up with, you guessed it, some humiliating results. WHO'S YOUR DADDY? is a downright funny, entertaining read. You won't go wrong reading this book for many reasons, the least of which is the exercise to your smile muscles.

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

    Posted August 10, 2006

    Evil Book

    This book is shameful I brought it for my daughter and it's about celtic rituals how evil is that. I dont reccomend tis book to no one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2006

    Awesome Book!!!!

    I loved the story, I read it over and over, and it never gets boring! Lot's of suspense, plus normal teen troubles, and a great ending!!! This book is a must-read for all teens! :D!!!!! (do not read book late at night, cuz u won't get any sleep!)

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

    Posted October 10, 2006

    EXCELLENT BOOK

    This book absolutely ROCKED. From its characterizations to its fun-filled, laugh-out-loud plot, I cannot recommend Who's Your Daddy? highly enough. The Celtic ritual is a cute, guileless, completely teenagerish way to approach the dating game. The book is a nice break from the now-popular sex-and-drugs-filled YA novels marketed to teens. It's about good kids who get a little creative in finding their dates. :-) Way to go, Ms. Sandoval!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2006

    This book was soo good!!

    i loved every moment of this book!!! Lila was hilarious!! i couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2005

    Ditto Alex

    This book was great.Lila is like me.Dylan sounds good 4 her.I read this book in 1 day it was that good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2005

    Loved This Book

    I loved this book because it made me laugh and I could kind-of relate to Lila and Meryl. I thought that Lila's part was the best since she tried so much to hate Dylan. I also loved how stubborn Lila was and how she wasn't going to let anyone walk all over her. Romance stories are my favorite and this was great. Great book for anyone who likes romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2005

    A Great Book

    I loved this book. The story being told by the girls was great because i like a story being told from more than one view. It reminded me of the Mates, Dates series. The girls may be different but they are connected by the well known fathers. They plan a 'dumb supper' to find dates for prom & what they ask for isn't what they expected. The more Lila & Meryl spends with their guy, the deeper they fall. As for Carissa, she's making it happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2004

    wonderful!

    I loved the dumb supper! I liked how Lila was a rebel even though her father was the police chief. She and I are like twins!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2004

    love it!!!

    i love this book! it's about three girls who have dads that make them have disadvantages finding boyfriends for themselves. this is a MUST read!!

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