cover image The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door

Karen Finneyfrock. Viking, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-670-01275-6

Ninth-grader Celia Door lives in Hershey, Pa., home to chocolate and a sea of vanilla classmates. With a black wardrobe to match her outlook, Celia considers herself “Dark,” a permanent outsider who has accepted that she’ll never be one of the cool kids. The arrival of Drake, a new student from New York City, is a bright spot in Celia’s Dark life. She starts to fall for him, but it turns out that Drake is gay; far from a problem, it sets up a wonderful scenario for friendship, as Celia helps Drake woo his crush back home, and Drake helps Celia prioritize her dreams of becoming a poet rather than revenge over mean girl Sandy Firestone. In her YA debut, Finneyfrock gives Celia a drily funny voice that keeps the narrative zipping along. Although the serious secret Celia has been keeping comes a bit out of nowhere, readers who also feel like they have no place in the mainstream will easily identify with her, even when she makes a few seriously Dark mistakes. Ages 12–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Feb.)