View Full-Size Image
If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor
A Novel by: Barbara Ehrentreu
Genre: Young Adult
Release: September 16, 2011
Editor: Nancy Bell
Line editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover Artist: Kaytalin Platt
Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too heavy for fashion body and not being a cheerleader. Hyperventilating when she gets nervous doesn’t help. When she is paired for a math project with the girl who tormented her in middle school, Jennifer Taylor, she is sure it is going to be another year of pain. With Carolyn’s crush on Jennifer’s hunky junior quarterback, Brad her freshman year in high school looks like a rerun of middle school. When Jennifer is the only student who knows why she fell in gym class, Carolyn is blackmailed into doing her math homework in return for Jennifer’s silence. Jennifer takes on Carolyn as a pity project since she can’t be seen with someone who dresses in jeans and sweatshirts. When Jennifer invites Carolyn to spend the night to make her over and teach her to tumble, Carolyn learns Jennifer’s secret and lies to her own friends to cover it up. Will Carolyn become a cheerleader and popular? Does she continue to keep Jennifer’s secret? Or will she be a target of this mean girl again?
Feeling my old hatred of gym, I glance across the locker room and see Jennifer in red designer shorts and a tight sleeveless shirt to match. She's standing in front of the only mirror in the room turning back and forth.
Becky and I slide into our loose camp shorts and a T-shirt, and once they're on, we race onto the gym floor. Always better to be early for gym the first day. You never knew what kind of teacher you'd have. My athletic ability is zero, so I don’t take chances. Once I was a few minutes late, and the gym teacher in middle school made me run around the gym ten times. It took me the whole gym period.
Becky and I sit on the low seats in the bleachers, but Jennifer and her group saunter into the gym and choose the highest seats avoiding the rest of us. Miss Gaylon, the gym teacher introduces herself and gives us a few minutes until the last stragglers come from the locker room. For those few minutes, I almost feel comfortable. My breathing returns to normal. I hear giggles from Jennifer and her group, but I ignore it.
"Maybe it won't be so bad this year, Carolyn." Becky always tries to cheer me up now. This wasn’t true a few years ago. I had to cheer her up a lot. Becky’s brothers are just turning five, and they’re both in kindergarten. Her mom remarried after being divorced for ten years. Becky was just getting used to her new stepfather when her mom got pregnant. I remember how miserable Becky was the first year of middle school when her mom spent so much time with her twin brothers and didn’t have enough time to help Becky with her homework. Luckily, Becky’s stepfather is a history teacher, so she got very interested in history and current events.
"Right, Becky, and maybe I'll learn to be a gymnast in ten minutes. Reality check, remember last year?"
"Okay, I'm hoping it won't be so bad."
"You mean like the dentist finding you only have one cavity and filling it the same day?"
"You’re so lame, Carolyn. Since we're all older, maybe she'll treat us differently. People change over the summer you know."
"Look at her, Becky."
Becky turns to look over at the group at the top of the bleachers and then turns back to look me in the eye. “You know you have to put that stupid day behind you.”
I pretend not to know what she’s talking about. “What stupid day?”
Like I don’t remember every detail.
“The zip line day.”
“Oh, that day,” I say with a combination grimace and smile. “The day I wound up having to climb off the platform. I wanted to bore a hole into the ground so I wouldn’t have to walk past them but couldn’t, and everyone screamed at me: ‘Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.’”
“You have to admit it was funny the way the gym teacher ran up the ladder like a squirrel to rescue you. Everyone laughed at how stupid she looked. Jennifer got the whole class going with that ridiculous ‘breathe, Carolyn, breathe.’” Becky looks behind her to Jennifer. “You know I wanted to run over and punch her, but I couldn’t because I was still on the platform, and it was my turn to go.”
“Yeah, if I had a few more minutes, I would have been able to get up the courage to grip the zip line and hook myself to it. Stupid teacher didn’t give me a chance. This not breathing thing when I get nervous really sucks.”
Becky nods because she knows me so well.
“So then Jennifer started with that horrible chant, and of course, the whole class followed her, like always.” My eyes fill with tears as I remember, and my breathing is getting worse by the minute.
“I thought it was a dumb idea to do ropes course stuff in school. We did it at my camp the summer before, and no one was forced to do it. Anyone could get nervous with Jennifer in front of them,” Becky comforts me.
I continue talking as if I’m in a trance. “Remember how last year whenever I ran into Jennifer she would whisper ‘breathe, Carolyn, breathe,’ so no one could hear it except me. Once she did it just before I had to go up in front of the class in math. Sometimes she would do it in front of everyone and, of course, get a big laugh while I wanted to turn into a piece of furniture.”
Becky grabs my arm. “Do we have to go back over this again? You need to forget about it.” She takes her hand away from my arm as I continue to speak.
“Becky, I can’t. The thing is it’s this bad movie in my brain looping the same horrible scenes. The funny thing is, most of the time, she would ignore me. I would never know what she was going to do. You have to admire someone so single-minded she managed to get to me at just the right time.
You remember don’t you? And today did you see how she wore the same outfit as me? It’s spooky.”
My funny breathing returns as Miss Gaylon tells us to line up on the yellow line alphabetically. I hope there will be someone to go between Jennifer and me. No luck. Jennifer is going to be behind me all year. I hold my breath. I couldn't stand more of the same this year. I pray for the day to end soon. A glance at my new watch shows me fifteen more minutes left of the period. Is Miss Gaylon's voice getting lower? What is that pounding in my ears?
Jennifer turns to face me, and I hear, "Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Then my world turns black.
The hard topics of bullying, self-centeredness, serious health issues some young girls deal with, and so forth was all told so well I could go on and on, but I don't want to give away spoilers. The story left me smiling, certain more teenagers are actually like Carolyn, Jennifer and the rest, capable of doing the right thing, and because of that this novel is on my treasure and re-read pile. In all honesty, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is one of the best novels about teenagers I've read. AMAZON REVIEWER...READ FULL REVIEW
Author Barbara Ehrentreu takes readers both adult and teen inside the mind of two young girls: Carolyn and Jennifer in her outstanding debut novel "If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor." Ehrentreu brings to light the pressures and issues teens face when trying to fit in, dealing with bullies, weight problems and just surviving in high school. This is one novel that all teens and YA's should read. AMAZON REVIEWER...READ FULL REVIEW
In Stock: 99
Customer Reviews:grumpygirl (Sunday, 08 July 2012)
Madeleine (Saturday, 25 February 2012)
HM Prévost (Friday, 03 February 2012)
MarvaD (Thursday, 20 October 2011)
Drpkp (Friday, 16 September 2011)
You may also be interested in this/these product(s)
Teachers Guides (15)
SHORT STORIES (82)
List All Products
Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF
Adobe Digital Editions for Epub
Mobipocket Ebook Reader for Prc
New Muse e-books released on the first of each month!
What is an e-book?
It’s an electronic file that can be read on your computer or a handheld e-reader.
Why purchase an e-book?
You get immediate download satisfaction at affordable prices. With an e-reader you can carry hundreds of books with you instead of lugging only a few print books.
The Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec
All materials on this site © 2010-2012 MuseItUp Publishing and its imprints.
MUSEITUP E-BOOK CLUB
MuseItUp authors span worldwide and are eagerly waiting to meet you in our readers groups. Be the first to get a glimpse of their upcoming books, excerpts, author interviews, advance notice of any upcoming contests, time sensitive discount coupons…and have an all-around fun time!
Why not join one of our two groups today!
Facebook (Interaction and discussions)
Facebook (Discover our authors and books)
Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this very charming and witty book to read on the skytrain. But I have to say it was kind of embarrassing. I couldn't stop giggling out loud at Maggie Lyon's humour. People kept looking at me, and I tried my hardest to hold in the laughter, but it was impossible. What a delightful story! What child wouldn't love this. It's a story for 6-10 year olds. It's a great book to read to your children when they're young or by themselves when they're older. If your child likes Geronimo Stilton, they'll fall in love with Dewie the little dragon and his friend Jones the toad. I hope Maggie Lyons will turn this into a series.
Joy Smith pulled me into the story on the very first pages. Fast moving, first I hated Victor, than I love him, than I hated until I loved him. And Marisol with her guarded heart had me hoping throughout that she'd open it again to love.
I loved her descriptions. They created such visuals, I felt I was traveling and discovering Colombia with Victor.
Ms. Smith writes believable, flawed characters that I wound up cheering and caring for on each page. I can't wait to read her next book. Goodreads Reader Review - Five Stars
"...murder, mystery and intrigue..plus did I mention our hero is a witch? Tex and his best friend Olivia are brilliant characters, really well written and I love tex's dad. Can't wait to read more about tex in the future! -Amazon Reader Review
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot of this novel. From Annabelle putting her life in danger when running away from Boarding School where she has lived since the age of five to her tenacious pursuit in finding clues as to her origins.
She is rescued by Roland, who is too much of a gentleman not to help the intriguing young lady. I relished the suspense of the reciprocal desire between Roland and Belle which is thwarted by misunderstanding after misunderstanding and prevents them achieving mutual fulfilment. The reader yearns for the truth to replace the false pretences and for Roland and Belle to overcome each other's prejudices.
Rosemary Morris' major and minor characters spring to life. I sympathised with Annabelle and found Roland charming. Apart from this, Rosemary's great attention to every aspect of the Regency era is impressive.
False Pretences is a ripping read and I look forward to reading this author's next novel. - F.Way- Amazon Review