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Hot Dog Girl
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Hot Dog Girl
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A fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement part."I'm wrecked with love for this funny, joyful, bighearted book." —Becky Albertalli,...
A fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement part."I'm wrecked with love for this funny, joyful, bighearted book." —Becky Albertalli,...
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Description-

  • A fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement part.

    "I'm wrecked with love for this funny, joyful, bighearted book." —Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

    Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

      •  She's landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
      •  Her crush, the dreamy diving pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the princess of the park. But Lou's never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
      •  Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, has always been up for anything, but she's decidedly not on board when it comes to Lou's quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou's scheme to get close to Nick.
      •  And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland—ever—unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

    Jennifer Dugan's sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love—and themselves—in unexpected people and unforgettable places.

    "Both classic and new, hysterical and heartfelt, and packed with all the awesomeness and awkwardness of first love, first job, and the painful thrill of growing up." —Mackenzi Lee, bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter One

    Everybody seems to think the summer after your senior year is the stuff of legends. That it's two months of pure teenage bliss or something. It's almost as if there's this big conspiracy surrounding it, like, sure, kid, throw your cap in the air, cue up that hit pop song you will definitely hate by fall, and then you, too, will be guaranteed the most epic summer of your life. I mean, we all know that's not how it actually goes down, right?

    Even though I won't kick off my own senior year for another couple of months, I've already witnessed way more than my fair share of post-senior summers. It's a hazard of attending a tiny school—you can't really be picky about how old your friends are. But yeah, I think I can conclusively say that frantically searching Target for extra-long twin bedsheets while freaking out about what to major in does not an epic summer make.

    So no, I don't buy into that whole post-senior-year magic thing. I think pre-senior year is where it's at, and for me, that starts right here in this tiny breakroom—with a stomach full of butterflies and a brain full of fireworks.

    This is going to be my summer, no doubt about it.

    I take a deep breath and slide my finger down the crisp page in front of me, searching for my name on the corkboard of destiny. Seriously. That's what we call stuff like this at Magic Castle Playland. It's not a bulletin board; it's a "corkboard of destiny." It's not a list of job assignments; it's a "character reveal chart." I swear to god everything here is about as whimsical as it is rusty.

    I look lower, past the names of the ride operators and the food service people, over housekeeping and maintenance, until I get to the costume crew. I pause at the listing for princess. It's not my name. Okay, that's fine, disappointing but fine. I knew it was a long shot when I put in for it. My finger dips even lower, gliding past the prince, and the pirates, and all the furry park mascots, until it hits my name: Elouise May Parker. I drop my head against the board. No, no, no. Not again. I can't. This has to be a mistake.

    My best friend, Seeley, nudges me out of the way. "What's it say?"

    "I'm the hot dog."

    Pity flashes in her hazel eyes. "It could be worse."

    "Could it, See? Could it really?"

    "Yeah! What if they put you in housekeeping and you were stuck in the bathroom by Swashbuckler Bay?" She shudders, cracking herself up.

    "It's not funny." I pout, but technically, yes, that would be worse. I mean, the bathroom crew finishes every shift smelling like mildew and old diapers, so . . .

    Seeley holds up her hands. "Hey, I'm just kidding, but it's going to be okay, Lou, promise."

    She's right. I know she is. This is a minor speed bump. I mean, it's not like anybody died or there's a giant meteor about to strike Earth or anything. But still, there are so many things I have planned for these last few months before we're sucked up in the frenzy of senior year, and playing the hot dog isn't one of them.

    I glance back at the list, letting out a little humph, and then look back at Seeley with an exaggerated frown. She bursts out laughing, shaking so hard her teal hair tips right into her sun-kissed face. Seeley's always got it a different color these days, almost like a mood ring. The happier she is, the brighter her hair gets.

    Meanwhile I'm her slightly duller, significantly paler sidekick. My skin doesn't tan—it just burns—and my hair is this permanent mousy brown color because it doesn't hold dye. My dad calls it "caramel brown," which makes me think it's been way too long since he's actually...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 11, 2019
    Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to make the most of her pre–senior year summer. Never mind that it’s the last summer open for local amusement park Magic Castle Playland (the one place Lou feels safe and the first place she went to when her mother left). Or that she’s been cast as the park’s wandering hot dog for the second year in a row. Or that Nick Mulholland, the cute diving pirate, is dating the park’s literal princess instead of Lou, even after the moment they shared in a rainstorm the previous summer. Amid it all, Lou persuades her best friend, smart, beautiful Seeley Jendron, to be her fake girlfriend, hoping to spark jealousy in Nick and convince him to date her. And she hopes to get the town to raise money to save the park along the way. Easy, right? Relatable and funny, Dungan’s character dialogue and voice capture the awkward/messy/magical summer and keep both the characters and plot real and winning throughout this amusement park ride. Ages 12–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Janklow & Nesbit Associates.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2019
    This is going to be the best summer yet for Elouise "Lou" Parker, who is spending the months before senior year working at a local amusement park.This is the second summer Lou and her lesbian best friend, Seeley, are working at the park, and to her dismay, it will also be their last--the owner is closing it down for good at the end of the season. When she isn't in her hot dog costume, Lou spends half her time scheming to save the park and the other half trying to get closer to her crush, Nick. She's getting flirty vibes from him, but he's already got a girlfriend, so bisexual Lou's solution is to convince Seeley to pretend to be her girlfriend so they can go on double dates and she can get closer to him. They're so close people mistake them for a couple anyhow, so what's the harm? Dugan's debut has a clear and confident voice, and her characters are sympathetic in their desire for happiness and fear of change; the supporting cast members have their own fully-developed personalities without overwhelming the main storyline. Lou's inner narration is funny, clear, and emotional, especially when she is remembering her mother, who abandoned Lou and her father years ago. Set in rural New England, the white main cast has a few secondary characters of color. A fun romantic comedy that evokes the pleasures of summertime. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Dugan's debut coming-of-age romance features a charismatic, quirky protagonist with a delightfully sarcastic sense of humor, but the sophomoric plot may be a nonstarter for its intended audience. Sixteen-year-old Elouise (Lou) Parker has high hopes for the summer. She's got her seasonal job back at Magic Castle Playland alongside her best friend, Seeley, and her heartthrob, Nick. The only downside is that Nick's girlfriend, the perfect Jessa, is cast as the park's princess, while, once again, Lou is stuck in the hotdog costume. Lou won't let that ruin her romantic plans; instead, it is the park owner's announcement that this will be Magic Castle's last season that derails her perfect summer. Ever since she can remember, Magic Castle has played an important role in her life. Its closing is unthinkable, and Lou is determined to save the park. But Lou's poorly conceived plans keep falling flat, and the park-saving gradually takes a backseat to romance as the story takes a decidedly more mature turn. When her efforts to steal Nick from Jessa cost her Seeley's friendship, Lou belatedly recognizes that she and Seeley have had feelings for each other simmering in the background most of their lives. The roller-coaster story line draws to a bizarre yet tidy conclusion with a hot romance between the two girls. VERDICT Dugan does a nice job of character development, but the opening chapters of this high school queer romance read too much like a Shirley Temple/Mickey Rooney movie plot.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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