Surviving High School

Surviving High School


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Surviving High School by Lele Pons, Melissa de la Cruz

Vine superstar Lele Pons—“one of the coolest girls on the web” (Teen Vogue)—teams up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost) in this lovable debut novel about the wilds and wonders of high school that’s as laugh-out-loud addictive as Lele’s popular videos.

Ten million followers and I still sit alone at lunch. Lele is a bulls-eye target at her new school in Miami until, overnight, her digital fame catapults the girl with cheerleader looks, a seriously silly personality, and a self-deprecating funny bone into the popular crowd. Now she’s facing a whole new set of challenges—the relentless drama, the ruthless cliques, the unexpected internet celebrity—all while trying to keep her grades up and make her parents proud.

Filled with the zany enthusiasm that has made Lele into Vine’s most viewed star, this charming novel is proof that high school is a trip. From crushing your crushes (what’s up with that hot transfer student Alexei??) to throwing Insta-fake parties with your BFFs and moaning over homework (GAH) with your frenemies, high school is a rollercoaster of exhilarating highs and totally embarrassing lows. Leave it to Lele to reassure us that falling flat on your face is definitely not the end of the world. Fans of Mean Girls will love this fun and heartwarming fish-out-of-water story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501120534
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 04/05/2016
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lele Pons was born in Caracas and moved with her family to Miami when she was five years old. She grew from five thousand local followers to over ten million by November 2015 and is the creator of the popular “Do it for the Vine!” tagline. She has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a Streamy Award and has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Time, and more. In 2015, she was invited to the White House to create Vines to support the First Lady’s campaign for disadvantaged kids to go to college. Lele graduated from high school in 2015 and moved from Miami to L.A.

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 bestselling author of books for readers of all ages, including the Witches of East End, Blue Bloods, and Descendants series.

Read an Excerpt

Surviving High School

  • To my lovely and beautiful readers. Before I tell you the story of how I vowed to survive high school, I’d like to talk about something near and dear to my heart.

    See, every human being (and most animals, I find) have their own unique essence, an essence comprised of deeply rooted qualities that make them who they are. Ancient Greek philosophers would refer to this as the “soul”—but I am not an ancient Greek philosopher, I am a teenage girl, and so I will call it Lele-ness. Of course, you wouldn’t call it Lele-ness, you would call it Sara-ness or Jason-ness, or whatever your name might be.

    My point is: I believe that YOU-ness is something very special, no matter who you are, and it ought to be celebrated. So I shall now tell you how I came to be truly Lele, a person I love for better or for worse.

    Of course, part of your essence comes into this world with you at birth, but it’s really what happens next that starts to shape you into you. I was born in Caracas, a major city in Venezuela, but quickly moved to the countryside where I—get this—lived in a barn. I mean, can you even? Picture this: baby Lele running barefoot through cornfields miles and miles away from civilization. I didn’t have dogs or cats as pets, instead I had baby tigers and monkeys as close friends. My whole childhood I knew nothing of shopping malls or (gasp!) the internet. For entertainment I had only nature—bird-watching and berry picking and, best of all, stargazing.

    For as long as I can remember, language has been a struggle for me. Words didn’t come to me as a child, so I used my body to communicate. It felt so much more natural to express myself that way. I felt comfortable drawing out my thoughts and feelings, instead of verbalizing them, so I’d often draw out storyboards—sometimes eight pages long—to explain to my parents or teachers what it was that I wanted. Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses: for me, artwork and movement were strengths, while speaking to others using words was a weakness.

    Now take all of that and add immigrating to the United States, and you have a potential disaster on your hands. I knew nothing about American culture, and my differences paralyzed me with anxiety. For comfort and peace of mind, I turned to entertainment. I found I was embraced by my peers for being physically dramatic and, well, funny. I found that I knew how to make people laugh, and so I held on to that as a life raft in the sea of the most confusing and alienating time in my life.

    I believe it was my wild upbringing plus my verbal disadvantages that led me to be the performer and one-of-a-kind weirdo with a heart of gold that I am today. It’s not always easy being Lele, but every morning when I wake up I say, “Bring it on,” and that attitude is what has taken me on this incredible journey.

    I encourage you to think about the life events and circumstances that have made you truly YOU, and to celebrate every single part of yourself—the strong, the weak, the good, the bad, and the ugly—because each part contributes to making you special and AMAZING. Trust me.

    So that is the story of how I developed my Lele essence. What follows is the story of how I survived my first year at Miami High and how I got to share my message with almost ten million followers. I hope you enjoy it!

    XO Lele

  • Customer Reviews

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    Surviving High School 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I LOVE LELE AND HER VINES saddly vine ended
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    Lele is the best
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love her youtube channel. It made me laugh so hard that I cry.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Oh my gosh I lov her so much!
    beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
    Entertaining, in a train-wreck kind of way--it's hard to stop reading, even when Lele goes a little (okay, more than a little) bit off the rails. Short, short chapters (a la James Patterson) make it a really fast read. If you're a fan of Lele on Vine, you'll probably really enjoy it. If you've never heard of Vine, you're probably not part of the intended audience. Lele is a little crazy. a lot insecure, fairly self-involved--in other words, a pretty typical teenager who just happens to make videos on Vine that strike a chord with people. A LOT of people. This book is a "fictional memoir" of the real Lele Pons--inspired by her life but not her actual story. I liked the chapter titles--at least some of them are titles from her videos, so I suspect they might all be--and the way we can watch her "followers" grow as the story progresses. I appreciated the fact that even though she went to a lot of parties she didn't drink much if at all (as she points out, she already acts drunk while sober--people drink to keep up with her) and when young girls would stop her in the street or at the mall she tried to give them good advice. It's definitely a more positive look at fame than we often see--it's not sugar-coated (see "Partied Out"), but she's also not all about what it can do for her. Not all the time, anyway. I did like when her shoe collection grew from 2 pairs to 15 in a single shopping trip--live the dream! I don't know how much of the book was Ms. Pons and how much was Ms. de la Cruz, but the result was a fun collaboration. It's definitely not for everyone, but again, if you're a fan, you'll probably get a kick out of it. I'm definitely not part of the target audience, but it did have me laughing out loud more than once, and I can now say that I've watched a half dozen of her videos ("When you leave your crush alone with your mom"--a cautionary tale for the ages.) Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
    BooksDirect More than 1 year ago
    "Surviving High School" is the fictional memoir of Lele (pronounced "leh-leh") Pons, social media and Internet sensation, and the first Vine user to reach one billion loops. For those of you who don't know, Vine is a social media platform where you can share 6-second video loops. Lele takes us from the time she grew up living in a barn in Caracas, Venezuela, to her time at a small Catholic School in Miami, to being a sixteen-year-old beginning her junior year at Miami High School. Starting off as the weird outcast, things start looking up on her second day of school when she hits it off with Alexei, the hot guy newly transferred from Belgium. Then she befriends, Darcy, the girl who always seems to witness her most clumsy moments. Meanwhile, she has to deal with mean girl Yvette and her minions, for whom Lele and Darcy constantly try to find a collective name (they settle on "Sausages" for a while - you'll see why). Turns out Lele has a knack for using her humor and honesty to make friends. It also doesn't help being famous. Each chapter charts Lele's growth in number of Vine Followers, from 0 to over 10 million, with most chapters leading to the filming of a Vine on the topic of the day. Throughout the narration, Lele makes cute little "notes to self" about Vine ideas. In fact, she sees her life as a series of Vines and, with her tendency to be overly dramatic, she's a natural. Lele documents her missteps so that other outcasts like her won't feel like they're alone. She's "taking over the world one Vine at a time." But, as her fame explodes, Lele has less and less time for schoolwork, and making Vines begins to feel like a full-time job. She starts to resent the fact that everyone thinks they know her, she can't say anything serious without everyone thinking she's trying to be funny, and she discovers that living on social media means you can't even get away with skipping school! Looks like fame really does have its downside. This book has a central message of discovering and embracing your "you-ness". The authors do a great job of channeling Lele's sixteen-year-old character and her friends; they remind me of my sixteen-year-old daughter and her friends, always worried about looks, hair, makeup, body shape - and obsessing over boys they've only just met (or haven't even met in person yet). Although I'm guessing Lele's character is slightly exaggerated for comic effect! Yvette's comment about losing your virginity is sad but probably true for this millennial generation. Throughout the course of the book, we see Lele grow and mature, as she starts believing in herself and becomes a role-model for young girls all around the world. But she never stops being herself. As Lele says, "On Vine I can rewrite history to make it the way I want it to be, I can re-create reality to match the vision in my mind, the version of reality that transcends the mundane. It's my playground, my laboratory, my escape, and my sanctuary." And that's what makes her such a good story-teller. Warnings: some swear words in Spanish, sexual references, drug references, underage drinking. Recommended for ages 15+. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (5 May):
    Bookaholic_Banter More than 1 year ago
    Going into this story I had never heard off Lele Pons, nor Vine for that matter. This is a fictional story of her life through high school. I decided to read this book because it is co-written by author Melissa de la Cruz. Lele Pons is a teenage girl in high school. Not too popular but tries to not let that bother her anyway. She can come off as a bit conceited and full of herself but don't all girls when they are a teenager? Lele tries to play it cool and come across as being confident but she's just like every other teenage girl-full of self-doubt and insecure. Lele copes with high school life by poking fun at her own problems and posting short videos of it on Vine. Lele gets a high from seeing new followers. She starts out with zero followers, and as the chapters progress you can see the amount of followers progress. Lele has a knack for connecting with others through video. When it comes to real life, however, she can be socially awkward.