Sunday, September 21, 2008

Excerpt - IT'S ALL ABOUT US by Shelley Adina

and her book:

FaithWords (May 12, 2008)


Shelley Adina is a world traveler and pop culture junkie with an incurable addiction to designer handbags. She knows the value of a relationship with a gracious God and loving Christian friends, and she's inviting today's teenage girls to join her in these refreshingly honest books about real life as a Christian teen--with a little extra glitz thrown in for fun! In between books, Adina loves traveling, listening to and making music, and watching all kinds of movies.

It's All About Us is Book One in the All About Us Series. Book Two, The Fruit of my Lipstick came out in August 2008, and Book Three, Be Strong & Curvaceous, comes out in January 2009.

Visit the author's website.

It's All About Us: A Novel

Tall, blonde Lissa Mansfield is used to being one of the "in" crowd--but being accepted by the popular girls at posh Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco is turning out to be harder than she thought. And then there's her New-York-loudmouth roommate, Gillian Chang, who's not just happy to be a Christian herself--she's determined to out Lissa, too! If Lissa can just keep her faith under wraps long enough to hook Callum McCloud, the hottest guy in school, she'll be golden.

But when Callum pressures her to go all the way with him, Lissa has to decide for herself how far is too far. How can she see that line when he's so gorgeous and popular and she's so dazzled? And besides, she's too busy shopping for a Valentino and booking the hottest celeb for the Benefactors Ball. Who knew finding a place at SpencerAcademy would be so complicated?

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (May 12, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446177989
ISBN-13: 978-0446177986


Chapter One

SOME THINGS YOU just know without being told. Like, you passed the math final (or you didn't). Your boyfriend isn't into you anymore and wants to break up. Vanessa Talbot has decided that since you're the New Girl, you have a big bull's-eye on your forehead and your junior year is going to be just as miserable as she can make it.

Carly once told me she used to wish she were me. Ha! That first week at Spencer Academy, I wouldn't have wished my life on anyone.

My name is Lissa Evelyn Mansfield, and since everything seemed to happen to me this quarter, we decided I'd be the one to write it all down. Maybe you'll think I'm some kind of drama queen, but I swear this is the truth. Don't listen to Gillian and Carly—they weren't there for some of it, so probably when they read this, it'll be news to them, too.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. When it all started, I didn't even know them. All I knew was that I was starting my junior year at the Spencer Academy of San Francisco, this private boarding school for trust fund kids and the offspring of the hopelessly rich, and I totally did not want to be there.

I mean, picture it: You go from having fun and being popular in tenth grade at Pacific High in Santa Barbara, where you can hang out on State Street or join a drumming circle or surf whenever you feel like it with all your friends, to being absolutely nobody in this massive old mansion where rich kids go because their parents don't have time to take care of them.

Not that my parents are like that. My dad's a movie director, and he's home whenever his shooting schedule allows it. When he's not, sometimes he flies us out to cool places like Barbados or Hungary for a week so we can be on location together. You've probably heard of my dad. He directed that big pirate movie that Warner Brothers did a couple of years ago. That's how he got on the radar of some of the big A-list directors, so when George (hey, he asked me to call him that, so it's not like I'm dropping names) rang him up from Marin and suggested they do a movie together, of course he said yes. I can't imagine anybody saying no to George, but anyway, that's why we're in San Francisco for the next two years. Since Dad's going to be out at the Ranch or on location so much, and my sister, Jolie, is at UCLA (film school, what else—she's a daddy's girl and she admits it), and my mom's dividing her time among all of us, I had the choice of going to boarding school or having a live-in. Boarding school sounded fun in a Harry Potter kind of way, so I picked that.

Sigh. That was before I realized how lonely it is being the New Girl. Before the full effect of my breakup really hit. Before I knew about Vanessa Talbot, who I swear would make the perfect girlfriend for a warlock.

And speaking of witch . . .


Note: my name is not Melissa. But on the first day of classes, I'd made the mistake of correcting Vanessa, which meant that every time she saw me after that, she made a point of saying it wrong. The annoying part is that now people really think that's my name.

Vanessa, Emily Overton, and Dani Lavigne ("Yes, that Lavigne. Did I tell you she's my cousin?") are like this triad of terror at Spencer. Their parents are all fabulously wealthy—richer than my mom's family, even—and they never let you forget it. Vanessa and Dani have the genes to go with all that money, which means they look good in everything from designer dresses to street chic.

Vanessa's dark brown hair is cut so perfectly, it always falls into place when she moves. She has the kind of skin and dark eyes that might be from some Italian beauty somewhere in her family tree. Which, of course, means the camera loves her. It didn't take me long to figure out that there was likely to be a photographer or two somewhere on the grounds pretty much all the time, and nine times out of ten, Vanessa was the one they bagged. Her mom is minor royalty and the ex-wife of some U.N. Secretary or other, which means every time he gives a speech, a photographer shows up here. Believe me, seeing Vanessa in the halls at school and never knowing when she's going to pop out at me from the pages of Teen People or some society news Web site is just annoying. Can you say overexposed?

Anyway. Where was I? Dani has butterscotch-colored hair that she has highlighted at Biondi once a month, and big blue eyes that make her look way more innocent than she is. Emily is shorter and chunkier and could maybe be nice if you got her on her own, but she's not the kind that functions well outside of a clique.

Some people are born independent and some aren't. You should see Emily these days. All that money doesn't help her one bit out at the farm, where—

Okay, Gillian just told me I have to stop doing that. She says it's messing her up, like I'm telling her the ending when I'm supposed to be telling the beginning.

Not that it's all about her, okay? It's about us: me, Gillian, Carly, Shani, Mac . . . and God. But just to make Gillian happy, I'll skip to the part where I met her, and she (and you) can see what I really thought of her. Ha. Maybe that'll make her stop reading over my shoulder.

So as I was saying, there they were—Vanessa, Emily, and Dani—standing between me and the dining room doors. "What's up?" I said, walking up to them when I should have turned and settled for something out of the snack machine at the other end of the hall.

"She doesn't know." Emily poked Dani. "Maybe we shouldn't tell her."

I did a fast mental check. Plaid skirt—okay. Oxfords—no embarrassing toilet paper. White blouse—buttoned, no stains. Slate blue cardigan—clean. Hair—freshly brushed.

They couldn't be talking about me personally, in which case I didn't need to hear it. "Whatever." I pushed past them and took two steps down the hall.

"Don't you want to hear about your new roommate?" Vanessa asked.

Roommate? At that point I'd survived for five days, and the only good things about them were the crème brulée in the dining room and the blessed privacy of my own room. What fresh disaster was this?

Oops. I'd stopped in my tracks and tipped them off that (a) I didn't know, and (b) I wanted to know. And when Vanessa knows you want something, she'll do everything she can not to let you have it.

"I think we should tell her," Emily said. "It would be kinder to get it over with." "I'm sure I'll find out eventually." There, that sounded bored enough. "Byeee." "I hope you like Chinese!" Dani whooped at her own cleverness, and the three of them floated off down the hall.

So I thought, Great, maybe they're having dim sum today for lunch, though what that had to do with my new roommate I had no idea. At that point it hadn't really sunk in that conversation with those three is a dangerous thing.

That had been my first mistake the previous Wednesday, when classes had officially begun. Conversation, I mean. You know, normal civilized discourse with someone you think might be a friend. Like a total dummy, I'd actually thought this about Vanessa, who'd pulled newbie duty, walking me down the hall to show me where my first class was. It turned out to not be my first class, but the teacher was nice about steering me to the right room, where I was, of course, late.

That should've been my first clue.

My second clue was when Vanessa invited me to eat with them and Dani managed to spill her Coke all over my uniform skirt, which is, as I said, plaid and made of this easy-clean fake wool that people with sensitive skin can wear. She'd jumped up, all full of apologies, and handed me napkins and stuff, but the fact remained that I had to go upstairs and change and then figure out how the laundry service worked, which meant I was late for Biology, too.

On Thursday Dani apologized again, and Vanessa loaned me some of her Bumble and bumble shampoo ("You can't use Paul Mitchell on gorgeous hair like yours—people get that stuff at the drugstore now"), and I was dumb enough to think that maybe things were looking up. Because really, the shampoo was superb. My hair is blond and I wear it long, but before you go hating me for it, it's fine and thick, and the fog we have here in San Francisco makes it go all frizzy. And it's foggy a lot. So this shampoo made it just coo with pleasure.

You're probably asking yourself why I bothered trying to be friends with these girls. The harrowing truth was, I was used to being in the A-list group. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't fit in with the popular girls at Spencer, once I figured out who they were.

Lucky me—Vanessa made that so easy. And I was so lonely and out of my depth that even she was looking good. Her dad had once backed one of my dad's films, so there was that minimal connection.

Too bad it wasn't enough.

jolie.mansfield L, don't let them bug you. Some people are
threatened by anything new. It's a compliment

LMansfield You always find the bright side. Gahh. Love you,
but not helping.

jolie.mansfield What can I do?

LMansfield I'd give absolutely anything to be back in S.B.

jolie.mansfield :(

LMansfield I want to hang with the kids from my youth group.
Not worry about anything but the SPF of my sun

jolie.mansfield It'll get better. Promise. Heard from Mom?
LMansfield No. She's doing some fundraiser with Angelina.
She's pretty busy.

jolie.mansfield If you say so. Love you.

Copyright © 2008 by Shelley Adina


  1. This book sounds really fun! I love Kristin Billerbeck and this sound a lot like her style!
    Thanks for the review.
    cmrobin[at]bellsouth net

  2. I really enjoyed this interview. Her books sound like fun! Thanks, Cindi

  3. I would love to be entered in the drawing for the bracelet! Thanks so much!

  4. The book sounds like fun! Can't wait to read it.

  5. Hey! What a cool idea the bracelet is! That is so awesome! Please enter me in the drawing and thank you SO much for having it!

    liatheddrfreak (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. I would like to be entered in the giveaway of the bracelet! Thanks!

  7. The book looks like a great story.

  8. I'd love to be entered in the contest, also these are great books!

    phillipsonlygirl at gmail dot com

  9. I loved the first chapters. The author really seems to have a pulse of the teen world. If I had a teenage daughter, I would definately buy these for her. Please enter me for the contest as well!
    Thanks! Stacie

  10. yey! I'd love to win this bracelet!

  11. I would like to be entered into this cool contest! Thanks. :D:D:D

  12. I enjoyed this interview and the book sounds great. Please enter me.


  13. I've been the 'new girl' at quite a few schools and this sounds like it looks at the situation very well...though not really one I've been in, it does sound realistic :)


  14. What pretty covers! Love the bracelet!!!

  15. Thanks for holding the contest here. :-) Let me know who wins and I'll post it on Teen FIRST as well. :-D (No need to enter me...I think that would be a little strange if I actually won it. LOL)

  16. count me in!

  17. me too!

  18. I would love to be entered for this contest - the two books are fantastic and I know the bracelet is too!

    ryanx6 at msn dot com

  19. sign me up please.

  20. I'd love to win this bracelet for my daughter. Congrats on the award you won too. Please enter me in the bracelet drawing. Thanks.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  21. Ooh Me! Pick me! I'm excited about these books, they remind me of Melody Carlson's Carter House Girls, but possibly better. Please choose me. :)

    cherryblossommj (at) gmail [dot] com

  22. These books are wonderful! Please enter me in the drawing for the bracelet. Thanks.


  23. Great books. Lovely bracelet.

    =) melanie
    melanieadey at hotmail dot com

  24. Wow, word gets out fast. What I want to know is how you get those cool first chapters imbedded into your blog, Camy.

    Well, duh, I never win, but throw my name in for this bracelet. What a great drawing, Shelley. Totally fun.

    mrsinewaTG [at]aol dot com

  25. ooh what a great prize - please enter me in the drawing! I can't wait to read thi sbook!

    adw7984 (at) gmail (dot) com

  26. I really liked these first chapters. I am going to get these for my teenaged daughter. Please enter me in the drawing for the bracelet. Thanks!


  27. These books look great. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

    Rebekah E.

  28. Please enter me in the drawing for the bracelet. Thank-you.

  29. Sign me up for the contest for the bracelet.

  30. Sounds like a good book. I'm linking this post to my kid's book review blog. Teen books are close enough. ;)

    Please enter me!



  31. Thanks for the first chapters, and for the giveaway!

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  32. Congrats on your award. This book sounds unique and special. Thanks for this lovely giveaway.

  33. I would love to be entered for this giveaway! Thanks so much!

    ladyufshalott at

  34. Thanks for this delightful and unique giveaway. The book intrigues me greatly.

  35. I am captivated with this great book. Thanks for the chance.

  36. looks like a great book...thanks for the chance

  37. Sounds like a great book and I would love to give my daughter this cute bracelet.

  38. count me in please!

  39. first chapters got me hooked...

    id love to read more and win a bracelet!

  40. my teens would love these books and I'd love to win the bracelet!

  41. This book is appealing and unique. thanks for this great giveaway. Wonderful and sweet.

  42. oh go ahead and throw my name into the hat, who can resist something from tiffanys?

  43. I loved these books!
    Please enter me for the bracelet :)
    joyfuljewelz (at)

  44. I love seeing contemporary CHristian Lit that I can steer my daughter towards. Love to be netered in the drawing. Thanks!

    angelahipp at charter dot net

  45. Sounds like some great reads. Please include my name.
    sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

  46. Such cute chapters! Thanks for sharing.

    If I'm not too late, please enter me in the drawing.

    missytippens [at] aol [dot] com

  47. Oh I want to enter to win the bracelet...those books look fabulous I am passing them on to my girls I work with and hope they enjoy them.

    cmaemac at yahoo dot com

  48. Please enter me as well in the drawing! :)

  49. What a great prize. Thanks for the interview, it was very entertaining.

  50. I love Kristen Billerbeck her books are always so much fun.

  51. These books sound like a good read. I would love to be entered into the contest too, Thanks

  52. this sounds like a book i would read. i would love to be entered in this drawing!

  53. I'm glad there's someone finally filling this niche. I wish there had been books like this when I was in college!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  54. I am really excited about all I have been hearing about this series of books. These books will definitely are needed.

  55. hey, how long is this contest gonna run for? i mean the bracelet one

  56. Wow! So many comments! Your blog is totally great. I read it every daaaaay! YAY! Please enter me in your extremely awesome contest that I have about no chance of winning!

    liatheddrfreak (at( gmail (dot) com

  57. Please add me to the long line of wannabeawinners. :) Great first chapters. I think my neice would eat these books up!


  58. Sign me up to win the bracelet.

    stang_jess (at) hotmail (dot) com

  59. ouu@ please please enter me! :)

  60. These sound like interesting books. I know some peopl at church that would really like them.
    bluenichols (at) sbcglobal (dot)net

  61. My love of reading really started with all those great young adult books I read. It sounds like the books kept getting better and now I know what I've missed out on since then.

    sueahn [at] telus [dot] net

  62. I am so glad I was introduced to these blog forums by a friend of mine (Janna). Thanks for the great book reviews... looking forward to reading them!
    Please enter me in your contest. :)

  63. IF its not too late, I definately want to be in for the drawing!
    RoherynLOTR [at] hotmail [dot] com

  64. The book and the bracelet look lovely! Please enter me.
    Elaine R

  65. Wow two books and a bracelet..yes, count me in!!! I have read good reviews on the second book and would love to be introduced to this author through your contest!
    Thank you for the opportunity!
    darbyscloset (at) yahoo (dot) com


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