by Alex Flinn


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In Diva, the companion to Alex Flinn’s YA novel Breathing Under Water, Caitlin is dealing with a lot. She’s living through the aftermath of an abusive relationship, she has a youth-obsessed mother who just doesn’t understand her, and she’s on a constant yo-yo diet to live up the standards of her nitpicking friends.
All Caitlin wants is to escape her not-so-glamorous life and pursue her dream of becoming a singer, but when she’s accepted into the Miami High School of the Arts, her life doesn’t magically become perfect. Yet despite some struggles to keep up with her competitive classmates and the distraction of cute new crush, Caitlin never loses her sense of humor and eventually gains the confidence to achieve her goals.
Perfect for fans of such books as Carolyn Mackler’s The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062124340
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/14/2013
Pages: 263
Sales rank: 541,845
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Alex Flinn loves fairy tales and is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beastly, a spin on Beauty and the Beast that was named a VOYA Editor’s Choice and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Beastly is now a major motion picture starring Vanessa Hudgens. Alex also wrote A Kiss in Time, a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty; Cloaked, a humorous fairy-tale mash-up; Bewitching, a reimagining of fairy-tale favorites, including Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, and The Little Mermaid, all told by Kendra, the witch from Beastly; Towering, a darkly romantic take on Rapunzel; and Mirrored, a fresh spin on Snow White. Her other books for teens include Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva. She lives in Miami with her family. Visit her online at www.alexflinn.com.

Read an Excerpt


By Alex Flinn

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Alex Flinn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060568453

Chapter One

Lots of girls I know call themselves divas. "I'm such a diva!" they say, as they're rubbing your nose in some five-hundred-dollar shoes their daddy bought them. But being a diva's a lot more than just being a rich grrrl. It's about singing, about getting flowers thrown onstage--about being brilliant. I plan to be a diva someday. But first, I have to get through this audition.

And--wouldn't you know it--there's a wad of phlegm stuck in my throat.

The scene: I'm in an auditorium with, maybe, fifty other wannabes, trying out for the musical theater program at Miami High School of the Arts. Goths sit with goths, punk rockers with punk rockers. The girl next to me has an eyebrow-ring and hair Jell-O-dyed acid red. Everyone here has something freaky about them . . . except me. I'm the one and only person here in a dress (which maybe is freaky).

And I bet I'm the only one here with gunk in my throat.

Don't think about it. But I can feel it lying behind my tongue like cafeteria spaghetti, at a life-changing audition. I clear my throat and Eyebrow-Ring Girl gives me a look and nods at the person onstage.

'Scuse me--I'll choke more quietly in the future.

I sneak another look at her. My cheerleader friends would say she probably isn't getting enough attention at home. But I think anyone who'd wear that outfit has to be cool, and Iwonder what it would be like to want to be noticed.

Me, I'm all about not being noticed. I'm sixteen, and for the first fifteen, I was a fatgirl, invisible as they come. I was okay with that. Well, maybe not okay, but . . . used to it. But last summer, I went to fat camp and lost thirty-five pounds, and became (at least temporarily) a thin girl, a blond prettygirl. I actually made the homecoming court and dumped the hottest guy in school . . . and still became one with the walls most days.

If any of my friends knew I was here, auditioning for a performing arts school, that they'd notice. In a bad way. But I didn't tell them. I didn't even tell my mother. This is the first time in my life I've ever done anything all by myself. There's a bunch of reasons for that.

First, my friends all want me to be like them--cheerleaders, homecoming queens. I thought by losing weight I could be like that. But now, even though I'm thin enough, I'm still not cheerleader material. Funny, changing how I looked didn't change who I am. I picture myself doing a pyramid or making up a cheer and . . . oh, puke.

"See anything interesting?"

Too late, I realize I'm still staring at the girl with the eyebrow ring. I am a dorkus maximus.

"Um . . . I love your hair."

"What are you doing?" she asks.

I stare at her. Is it that obvious I don't belong here? Is it the dress?

"For the audition? Habla ingles? What are you performing?"

"Oh . . . I sing . . . opera." I wait for her to laugh or make a snarky comment.

"Cool." She raises her pierced eyebrow. "You have one of those horn helmets?"

I make the face Mom calls my diva face--eyeballs up; trying not to snort. "Um, not yet."

"Sorry. It's just, you don't look like an opera singer. You're not . . ."

"Fat?" No. Not anymore.

The girl laughs. "That's not what I was going to say."

But I know it was. It always is.

The woman up front calls a name (not mine). Eyebrow-Ring Girl turns to look.

Opera is the second reason I'm here. I love it. Most people think opera is a weird thing. Probably so. But it's my weird thing--the one thing I'm really good at. Maybe good enough to get a dessert named after me someday (Peaches Melba was named after a diva) or maybe a town. Maybe even good enough to get into this school.

The biggest, hugest reason I'm here (and the reason I'd never tell anyone) is my ex-boyfriend. I need to go somewhere where everyone hasn't already heard the sad, sad saga of me and Nick. And also, where I don't have to see him every day.

I pop a cough drop into my mouth and make myself sit still for two whole minutes, until the girl who's auditioning finishes singing.

Omigod! What if I'm next?

"Sean Griffin," the woman up front calls.

I actually really, really wanted to be next.

I read a book about auditioning. It said the worst thing that could happen in an audition is that you don't get the part, so you have no money, so you can't buy food, so you die. Like . . . if you thought that the absolute worst thing that could happen at an audition was death, then you'd be less nervous about screwing up.

That so did not make me feel better.

"Here I am!" a voice sings.

The guy, Sean Griffin, is skinny and wears a purple unitard, which seriously clashes with his blond hair, and eyes so blue I can see them even from a distance. He looks older, and he's been standing with the teachers, so I thought he was an assistant or something. Guess he's just a suck-up. He walks onstage, plunks a Burger King crown on his head (Really!), and starts to sing.

Everything has its season. Everything has its time.

Show me the reason and I'll soon show you a rhyme!

As soon as he starts singing, I'm nervous. I mean, more nervous. Lots of people at the audition were good. But Sean Griffin is the first person who's like a professional, even in that geeky outfit. I now know why he was standing up there with the teachers, like he belonged there. He knows he's going to get in.


Excerpted from Diva by Alex Flinn Copyright © 2006 by Alex Flinn. 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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Diva 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
DIVA tells the story of Caitlin McCourt, a sixteen-year-old opera fan and singer, as she attempts to break out of her old life by transferring to a performing arts school. Among the things Caitlin is escaping are an abusive ex-boyfriend, vacuous "friends" who don't understand her interests, and the advice of her overbearing and superficial mother. However, her new school comes with its own share of difficulties. She has to learn to dance and act as well as sing, and she's afraid she's too "normal" to fit in with the artsy students.

Caitlin is an incredibly sympathetic character. Despite being burdened with a mother who's more interested in flirting with Caitlin's guy friends than supporting her daughter, and a father who has started a new family that rarely includes her, she manages to believe in and look after herself. Her voice is realistic and open, letting the readers in on all of her insecurities (which many teens will share). Her decisions make sense for her, even if readers don't always agree with them, and throughout the story she comes more and more into her own.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Caitlin's story is how her relationship with her mother evolves. Much of Caitlin's personality appears to be a product of her mother's hot-and-cold attitude toward her daughter. As Caitlin steps out from her mother's shadow, she sees not only her own needs and desires more clearly, but also her mother's. Caitlin's discovery that there's more to her mother than she realized is poignant and believable.

DIVA will be enjoyed by any teen, especially girls, struggling with the pressures of friends and family. With its colorful and well-developed characters, it's an easy story to get drawn into. The only criticism I could make is that the novel doesn't offer a great deal more than other good titles with similar subject matter, but what it does offer is so involving that it's hard to complain.
TigerLMS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Caitlyn, the girlfriend who got beat up in Alex Flinn's Breathing Underwater, still has issues with ex-boyfriend Nick and the group of fake friends she inherited when she began dating him. She's been to the 'fat farm' over the summer where she lost 30 pounds, and is still weight-obsessed. What she really wants to do-- but no one can understand-- is sing opera. She secretly auditions for a spot at a Miami High School for the Arts, which would keep her from running into Nick, get her away from the friends she knows are real friends, and give her some space from her divorced and cranky mother. The narrative switches back and forth from a first-person narrative, emails, and blog entries from Caitlyn's online alter-ego, Opera_Grrrl. This is essentially a tale of self-discovery for a number of characters, most especially Caitlyn. Nick is a minor character but still looms large for Caitlyn as she occassionally runs into him and is reminded of their abusive relationship. Caitlyn's mom dates a married man-- a rich doctor-- with the hopes of luring him away from a wife he doesn't like. Caitlyn struggles with the morality of this, as well as her mother's wish to be seen as Caitlyn's sister rather than her mom. Caitlyn's fears and doubts about herself and her talents as she moves to a new school are evident, and it is on this score that the book succeeds. We feel for her and relate to her, but Caitlyn seems to believe she is alone in these universal feelings. Diva is a good-stand alone book, but also a great companion read with Breathing Underwater.
lalalibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
light fun. This book is the sequel to Breathing Underwater, which was about a boy who beat his girlfriend, told from his perspective. Diva is what happens to the girl, Caitlin, after the relationship is over.
Phantasma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Suprisingly not cheesy. It was a decent read, very teenagery but I do believe that was the point. It was strangely engrossing and dealt with some VERY serious issues in an amazingly tactful manner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I j ust finished the book breathing underwater and i loved it. Does anyone hink that diva and breathing underwater are realted kind of like beastly and bewitching? Please i have to know!! And this was a very good book. A little slow sometimes but all in all pretty good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thos book was great. I recommend it to everyone and yeah. Anyway, does it seem that in some book comments, no one talks about the books?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this after reading beastly and bewitching. I was surprised that flinn could write normal teen fiction opposed to fairy tale teen fiction. This was one if the best books i have ever read. Even though the top layer of this book is a typical teen novel this book has many layets to it. The relationship with her mother, her father, and her weight really brings the story togther. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a really good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My opinion of this book was good. I can relate to the main character, Caitlin, in dealing with a mother who doesnt and wont try to undersand her and a father who doesnt seem to care. I don't have a passion for anything like she does for opera, other than to get good grades, and its good she has something to drive her. I think if you don't have something to drive you through the hard points in your life then you wont get through it. I think thats what the author Alex Flinn was trying to relate with all the characters in the book. Each of them either had a hard life and a passion for something or, like Caitlin's old friends, an easy life and were just twiddling their thumbs all the way through it. Also, with her ex-boyfriend, Nick, when she got in the car with him and they kissed- I think she needed that as a closure to get on with her 'new beginning to a new start.' If that hadn't happened, she would always go through life wondering about him, wanting him back but worrying at the same time. This was an awesome book for life lessons and showed me that if you're passionate about something and want it enough, it happens, through mysterious ways. It doesn't always seem to be the path you want but it works out in the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Diva' is about a girl named Caitlin McCourt who has one true passion opera. She loves to listen to it and loves to sing it. Caitlin auditions for a performing arts school and is accepted. She threatens her mom, with what she fears the most, just so she can go to the school. Caitlin makes a few really great friends during the year. During the year, Caitlin pushes herself to be the best she can be. She decides not to let anything hold her back. Especially not her fears of rejection. She realizes that to make it far she has to let go of those that don't support her. She also learns that you have to be truthful with the ones you love, no matter how much it might hurt. I loved the book because it dealt with a lot of real life issues that real people go through. It deals with issues like peer pressure from friends, abusive relationships, and trying to find yourself. One thing I loved about it is that it had some very surprising and unexpected parts. I didn't always know what was going to happen next. That is something that I like in a book. 'Diva' is a great book for teens and young adults. It will be enjoyed by anyone who reads it. Even though there were a few slow parts, it will captivate you from beginning to end. I would recommed 'Diva' to anyone who likes to read books that are unpredictable and close to real life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ok i love breathing under it was so good then i found out about diva i was happy. diva was about finding yourself
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeeeeeuuuuussseeee will call he will come to our siiiiidddeesss he wont walk away he wont stay he got other things to handle but hes with everybody.but you need to know one thing that jeuse will call jeuse will ring.everybody need to express there feeling some people dont trust everybody but you can tell jeuse anything hes on your side just say please and dont rush him please treat him kindle he not different so trust him because nobody can treat you like jjjjjjeeeeeeeeuuuussssseeeee he wiil cccccaaaalllllllll just wait on him just trust him he made use he made the world so eait on his call.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How many pages are in this book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok how about result 3?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ha ha if your reading this you really are a nerd :D dueces;p