Mundie Moms

Monday, September 5, 2016

LUCY AND LINH by Alice Pung / Book Spotlight; Read An Excerpt

Hello and welcome to today's spotlight for LUCY and LINH by Alice Pung,  which will be hitting book store shelves tomorrow (September 6th, 2016). For readers ages 12 and older, LUCY AND LINH looks closely at issues of racism, privilege, and opportunity, while Lucy struggles to remain true to herself in her new environment (per the publisher). Today I'm thrilled to share a little bit more about it, as well as share an excerpt from the book. First, a bit about the book:


Gilmore Girls meets Fresh Off the Boat in this witty novel about navigating life in private school while remaining true to yourself.
Lucy is a bit of a pushover, but she’s ambitious and smart, and she has just received the opportunity of a lifetime: a scholarship to a prestigious school, and a ticket out of her broken-down suburb. Though she’s worried she will stick out like badly cut bangs among the razor-straight students, she is soon welcomed into the Cabinet, the supremely popular trio who wield influence over classmates and teachers alike. 
Linh is blunt, strong-willed, and fearless—everything Lucy once loved about herself. She is also Lucy’s last solid link to her life before private school, but she is growing tired of being eclipsed by the glamour of the Cabinet.
As Lucy floats further away from the world she once knew, her connection to Linh—and to her old life—threatens to snap. Sharp and honest, Alice Pung’s novel examines what it means to grow into the person you want to be without leaving yourself behind.

Purchase from: Penguin Random HouseAmazon | B&N 


“Part Mean Girls, part Lord of the Flies, and part Special Topics in Calamity Physics, this well-observed and unsentimental novel taps into what is primal within privileged adolescent girls.” - The Bulleting of the Center for Children’s Books 


On that rst day at lunchtime, I found my rst friend. Or, more accurately, she found me. Katie sought me out and gave me a more interesting tour of the school than Mrs. Grey had, that was for sure. I discovered that all the opulence my father and I had seen on the of cial tour was in contrast to the stu- dent corridors, which were littered with rubbish.
Our lockers were our only private spaces, and some girls lined them with photos of their pets or pop icons, and inspi- rational cards. The inside of my locker was completely blank, which was the way I wanted it, and I always shoved my bag in there. I decided not to leave it on top of the lockers, because Katie had warned me that some girls would trawl through bags; anything inside was fair game.
There weren’t many places to go at lunchtime. So that the grass would stay perfectly green, we weren’t allowed on the lawn at the front of the school. According to Katie, the per- forming arts center had taken up most of the space where an oval used to be, and we weren’t allowed in there during lunch or recess. Yet even back when there was an oval, the girls weren’t allowed on it, because it was connected to a little park reserve and the teachers were scared that pedophiles or ash- ers might be loitering nearby.
There were two tennis courts, but those were usually locked during lunch and recess, as were the seven music rooms. You weren’t allowed to go in there to jam with the guitars, be- cause that kind of thing was reserved for the talented.
Katie, who had been at Laurinda since kindergarten, pointed out all the occupied places: this corner was where the musicians hung out, in that stairwell dwelled the de- baters, on this patch of concrete were the high-achieving Mediterranean girls (at Christ Our Savior we called them the Smart Wogs, remember? Yvonne was the smartest of them all), and here and there sat the little satellite groups of Year Sevens, Eights or Nines, who might as well have been invisible.
There was one unoccupied bench, near the rose garden—in fact, with a direct view of the blooms—but Katie steered me away from it. “The Cabinet sits there,” she said. “They’d start a War of the Roses if anyone took their spot.” She laughed.
“What’s the Cabinet?” I asked.
Katie told me how, in the 1890s, Laurinda had been a n- ishing school for young ladies. After the girls were educated, they were said to be “in the Cabinet”—which meant on dis- play to eligible bachelors who might become their husbands. Those who did not get picked from the Cabinet were left on the shelf, shoved to the very back, where they were con- demned never to appear in the wedding announcements of newspapers. Many of them had returned here to teach.
Although most girls these days aimed to go to university, not to sit at home embroidering linen for their hope chests, the things that mattered then—attractiveness, wealth, personality—still mattered in determining your Cabinet po- sition. Over time the term had evolved to name the unspo- ken hierarchy at Laurinda: a trio of girls so powerful they were collectively known as “the Cabinet.” It seemed that the Cabinet had always existed, although its members constantly changed, morphing into new faces every few years. They
were the ones responsible for keeping the elusive “Laurinda spirit” alive.
This year it was Amber, Chelsea and Brodie, three top- shelfers who were protected like nest porcelain by the ad- ministration and taken out regularly to show off their kiln marks, the stamp of the school’s quality.
But I didn’t understand why it was Amber, Chelsea and Brodie who were at the top, Linh. Sure, they were pretty enough, but (with the exception of Amber) there were a dozen more beautiful girls on campus. Amber and Brodie were also teacher’s pets of a kind, and in any other school that did not lead to high status. But here, strangely enough, it seemed to increase their power.