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My Almost Epic Summer (Splashproof ed.) Paperback – May 17, 2007

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Splashproof edition (May 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142408603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142408605
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,237,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10-Avid reader Irene, 14, keeps a sketchbook of famous literary hairdos for her future salon, Heroine Hairstyles, to be located in L.A., about as far from New Jersey as she can get. Things go awry when she's let go three weeks into her summer job at her mother's beauty shop. Forced to take unglamorous work babysitting two fidgety kids, the teen ignores her friends' e-mails (they're on interesting vacations), is impatient with her young charges, and generally feels sorry for herself. At Larkin's Pond, she meets gorgeous lifeguard Starla Malloy and becomes fascinated by her looks and cutting attitude. Irene tries to cultivate a friendship with the girl and suddenly life goes from dreary to exciting. Starla scoffs at Irene's literary interests but uses a blog to write bad poetry to D, the boyfriend who dumped her, and to make veiled (and atrociously misspelled) digs at Irene. Summer gets more complicated when the latest of Irene's mother's volatile, drifter boyfriends takes off and the teen is left trying to console the heartbroken woman. As she gets in deeper with Starla, who is obsessing over her ex-boyfriend's rejection, Irene finds herself attracted to the young man who spurned the lovely but spiteful lifeguard. Sometimes the protagonist acts like a typical teen and at others she seems too wise and well read for her age, but Griffin has created vivid scenes, believable dilemmas, and satisfyingly human characters in this novel of self-discovery.-Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-10. Irene loves hair and plans to open a salon someday. In the meantime, she combines her stylist yearnings with her love of literature, drawing hairdos from great novels in her ever-present sketchpad. After she flops at washing hair at her mother's beauty shop, she's forced to take a job babysitting. It's at the beach, where she takes the kids to swim, that she first observes lifeguard Starla, a beautiful drama queen on whom she gets a girl crush. Soon Irene is checking out Starla's blog, and she quickly realizes that Starla has noticed her--and appointed her the Witness, the person who will observe her vengeance against D., the boyfriend who dumped her. The role includes Irene's watching Starla key D.'s car. With Starla so hung up on D., it's disconcerting for Irene to realize that D. is interested in her. The operative words here are light and fluffy, but since the writer is the talented Griffin, the book is much better than most chick lit. The characters, young and old, are all neatly, if not broadly drawn, and readers will have lots of fun with this. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE is out right-this-minute.

LOST AWAKE AND LOST will be in paperback Spring 2015.

Watch for THE OODLETHUNKS, a middle grade series illustrated by Mike Wu, Summer 2015

You can find me on twitter at @adelegriffin or on the web at

I update my author page on facebook a few times a week, too--

Drop me a note and I promise to answer ...

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
After being fired from her mother's salon, Irene has to find a summer job quickly. She'd rather be drawing the hairstyles of heroines from literature, her passion. She carries her notebook and a few classic books everywhere, looking for inspiration.

However, the job she ends up taking doesn't seem to provide much inspiration. She will be spending the summer babysitting young siblings Lanie and Evan in a house that only has television for one hour a day.

Luckily, Irene is creative. She comes up with Food Chicken, a dare-style game where each person puts a food item into a bowl, mixes it up and takes turns taking a couple of bites. But getting sick is not her plan for the summer, especially as she continues to receive emails from her far-away friends about all the acquaintances and boyfriends they're making at their camps and relatives' houses.

At the beach, where Irene and the kids bike to in the afternoons, Evan is "rescued" from a fake injury by gorgeous Starla, the lifeguard. Starla has the nerve to ask Irene for $10 to pose for a drawing in her notebook. Then she starts telling Irene about her love gone wrong, D., who dumped Starla at the end of the school year. She's out for revenge and wants Irene to be a witness to the nasty things she does to get his attention. Then she posts information about these actions on her blog along with her horrible poetry. Is this the kind of friend Irene wanted to make?

As she grows more uncomfortable with Starla, she becomes sort of comfortable with D., who turns out to be Drew, a boy she knew in grammar school. Irene thinks he's a hottie --- and he's interested in Irene, too.
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Format: Paperback
Irene has a dream--to one day open a beauty salon specializing in the hairstyles of famous book heroines. You know, Great Women in Literature, like Franny Glass, Shug Avery, Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God. The only problem is, she's just been fired from her own mother's hair salon. Fired. By her own mother. Clearly, this hairstyling business is going to need a bit of work.

But her mother and Judith Prior, owner of a secondhand shop a few doors down from her mom's shop, approach her with a proposition for a summer job-- Judith will pay Irene to babysit her two children, Lainie and Evan, for the summer. Suddenly Irene's plans of drawing more hairstyles in her Heroine Heads notebook, of sunning herself on the beach, are thrown out the window in return for watching two kids.

She's relegated herself to a boring summer when she meets Starla, a new lifeguard at Larkin's Pond, and suddenly Irene's days are looking up. Starla is everything that Irene is not--beautiful, outspoken, brazen, and obsessed with boys. As Starla appears to take Irene under her wings, other things begin to fall by the wayside--like Irene's responsibility towards Lainie and Evan, her good sense, and her easygoing nature.

MY ALMOST EPIC SUMMER is a quick, entertaining read that will have you both laughing and cringing at the situations Irene finds herself in. Although not as emotionally involved as most of Ms. Griffin's previous releases, this is a great book for summer reading!
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Format: Hardcover
Irene is not your normal teenager. You see she has plan to open her own hair style shop in the big city. It's going to take the fashion world by storm and it's going to be called Heroine Hair styles. All the famous female hair styles from books to movies will be on display! It will be a hit! She will be famous!

Well, maybe not as soon as she wants since she got fired from her mom's hair salon after her first week. One small misstep on her road to greatness. But you know what her mom just doesn't get it and neither do all those fussy ladies who want latest and greatest hair styles.

Mom has a backup job though since she doesn't want Irene sitting around all summer. Her friend has two rambunctious children that need watching while she is at work and with some reassurance from Irene's mother she gets the job. The kids love Irene but, its the kind of job you expect from trying to entertain two pre-teen kids during the long hot summer months.

Irene would much rather be talking to her friends about all the exciting things they are doing and she is not, gossiping about the local boys and working on her ideas for Heroine Hairstyles. One fateful day though the kids drag her off to the beach and after a brief misadventure she meets Starla.

Starla is everything that Irene is not. She is outspoken, everyone pays attention to her and she doesn't care about what any one thinks. Irene can't help it, she wants to know more about this girl. As Irene gets drawn farther into Starla's version of the world she must confront what she thinks about herself, what her beliefs are, and if she is willing to pay the price of being "noticed".
This is not the type of book that I normally read, but I picked it up at a thrift shop since the story sounded interesting.
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