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Derby Girl Hardcover – September 4, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The novel shines in describing the dashing world of roller derby, where the players are hot and have nasty names like Dinah Might, Eva Destruction and Princess Slaya. [Shauna Cross shows] naked enthusiasm for the edgy, underground sport.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“This first-time author combines roller-skating and coming-of-age with a sardonic heroine to create an enjoyable, quick read. Whether Bliss is battling menacing derby mavens or discovering the perils of lying to parents, she is quirky and likeable despite her prickly exterior. . . . Fans of Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson books will be pleased with this American counterpart.”—Voice of Youth Advocates
 
“Sharp humor dominates this entertaining debut from Cross, who weaves her own experience with roller derby into the fun and traumas of a small-town girl experiencing major rebellion. . . . plenty of laughs and adolescent insights . . . exuberant and insightful.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Roller derby . . . is conveyed with sexy, enthusiastic energy that injects the whole novel with a warm and authentic vibe.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

About the Author

Shauna Cross's Derby Girl was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and Quick Pick for Young Adults, a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. It is now a major motion picture, Whip It, directed by Drew Barrymore. Cross is a screenwriter and a member of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls roller derby league. She skates under the name “Maggie Mayhem.” She grew up in Austin, Texas, and now lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805080236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805080230
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,124,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While wandering through the young adult section of my local library, I came across DERBY GIRL. I had seen the book in the bookstore on other occasions but never bought it. I picked it up at the library and took it home with me. Not knowing what to expect, I started reading, and was instantly enthralled by the life of Bliss Cavender.

Fans of A&E's Rollergirls will especially enjoy this book.

Bliss is too big for Bodeen, Texas. Bliss is a sixteen-year-old high school student that can't wait to get out of her small town. Her mom is obsessed with beauty pageants, and expects Bliss to follow in her footsteps. However, Bliss is better known for receiving the "certificate of participation" rather than the tiara. She is more comfortable in her 80's thrift store T-shirts rather than teased hair and evening gowns.

On a shopping trip to the big city of Austin, Bliss snags a flyer advertising Roller Derby. In her younger days, Bliss was pretty good on four wheels, and she hatches a plot with her friend, Pash, to sneak back to Austin (an hour from Bodeen) for try-outs. After a shaky start on skates, Bliss soon remembers the feel of the wheels under her feet and is totally addicted.

Sneaking out twice a week under the guise of an SAT-prep course, Bliss soon becomes Babe Ruthless and a fan favorite for the Austin Roller Derby scene.

Covering the topics of fitting in, parental disagreements, first love, and finding out who you are meant to be, DERBY GIRL does not disappoint. The story moves quickly without any needless sidelines to interrupt the plot. Ms. Cross's style is hip and spunky. She uses many slang phrases as well as abbreviations to keep in touch with the teen audience.

Bliss is a lot of fun and independent. It's refreshing to read a story where the lead character is comfortable with who she is meant to be and stays true to herself the entire way through the story.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
bliss cavendar wants all of this stuff to happen, and.. luckily, it all just kind of happens. without trying, without much strife, without much conflict, without much conversation, she magically finds herself the best roller derby girl in austin with the hottest boyfriend and the best grades. then her parents come around and let her do what she wants despite having the opposite feelings slightly earlier, and when her boyfriend betrays her, she.. kinda gets over it in a way that a sixteen year old girl never, ever has.

the book was fluffy and enjoyable, but for a book written to empower girls to follow their dreams and carve out places to fit in, and a book glorifying the inclusive pro-girl sport of roller derby, the book was rife with fatphobia- on almost every other page, bliss complains about fat tourists, fat customers at her restaurant, roller derby women who are fat, any woman who is fatter than she is, and how fat her mother is. what a bummer.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up Shauna Cross' "Whip It" because I enjoyed the movie. If you like roller derby, you'll kind of like this book, which shows some of the fun of participating but glosses over training, injuries, and getting to know any of the characters besides the narrator. There's no discussion of the background of derby or why any of these women participate in it, leaving the book to focus solely on a narrator whose story, once the glossy trappings of derby are stripped from it, isn't all that original or engaging. It's a typical teenage coming of age novel, and once you strip it of the trend factor that roller derby brings there isn't really anything original left. We've seen this all before, but it's on skates now.
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Originally published as Derby Girl this American classic deserves to be widely read. It is really a growing up story and concerns the plight of the last abused minority – children. Along the way we learn lots about Roller Derby and the people who people that sport. Roller Derby started here in the good old USA and was recreated in Austin, Texas. Do you know what a whip-it is? How about the meaning of derby kiss, dork, mod, raver, goth, and kibosh? Here’s your chance to learn and have a fun read along the way. For me, one of the big interesting and endearing features of Derby life is the names of the teams and the names of the ladies on the teams. Where else can you find a team named Cherry Bombs or Holy Rollers or Fight Crew? In what other sport will you find players named Tinker Hell, Dinah Might, or Malice in Wonderland. The names add to the fun. By the way the movie Whip it is just as good but slightly different. Razor starts off as Blade in the book, but he is always Razor the coach in the movie. Bliss dumps her rocker boy friend in the book and keeps him in the movie. Earl is the shape-shifter in both narratives but his shape shifting is off stage in the book and on stage in the movie. Movie and book – experience both and then hit the trail and see an actually event. You’ll be fully informed about jammers and blockers and have a great time in the process.
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I find it astounding that the same woman who wrote this book also wrote the screenplay for the movie. The two are night and day, barely even the same story. For one, none of the characters in the book are likable. For another, the roller derby and feminist undertones of the movie are barely even there. I would never recommend this book to someone who loved the movie.
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