Robin Palmer grew up in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and graduated from Boston University before she hit the road for Hollywood. Starting as an assistant in the television literary department of the William Morris Agency, she quickly moved up the ranks and spent the next decade as a literary agent, producer, and television network executive at Lifetime Television, where she developed over one hundred scripts and oversaw the production of over thirty of the cable network's original movies. In 2001, she remembered that she had originally intended to spend her life either as a writer or a toll booth collector (so she could indulge her penchant for spending her days alone reading), but as there are no toll roads in southern California, she decided to give the writing thing a try. Since then, she's written everything from screenplays to essays to a novel to a preschool guide. Although she's constantly threatening to move, she currently resides in New York City.
Gr 9 Up-Dylan Shoenfield is the stereotypical "popular girl" at Castle Heights High. Spoiled and shallow, she's obsessed with high fashion, maintaining her position on the top of the social ladder, and with dating the most popular guy in school. Enter Josh Rosen, self-proclaimed film geek, who uses his inhaler to calm his social anxiety. When Josh helps Dylan retrieve her expensive handbag from the mall fountain, he uses this good deed as an opportunity to get Dylan to agree to let him film her for a documentary on popularity that he hopes will help get him accepted into film school. Circumstance places the two teens in the position where they get to know one another and learn that they are each more than meets the eye. Palmer's story (Speak, 2009), told in alternating chapters by Dylan and Josh, is light, funny, and avoids being predictable. Jessica Almasy's narration has a fresh and lively feel. She keeps Dylan sounding sincere as opposed to annoying, and easily transitions into voicing Josh. Give this to fans of Lisi Harrison's "The Clique" series or Meg Cabot titles.-Rebecca Flannery, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.