“Liz Maccie’s debut novel is as tough, optimistic, and beautiful as her heroine, Roberta Romano. Roberta’s voice is heartfelt and funny. Her story is exceptionally moving and honest. I love this book and the hope it has for young women everywhere.” —Stephen Chbosky, New York Times bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The most important lessons aren’t learned in the classroom.
It’s the first day of sophomore year for Roberta Romano, but instead of the comfort of her local high school, she’s been thrust into the elitist embrace of the affluent Meadowbrook Academy.
Surrounded by wealth, Roberta battles her own insecurities, as well as evil teachers and mean girls, to prove her worth and maybe land the boy of her dreams. With the help of two unlikely allies—and an inflatable toy raft—Robert embarks upon a journey of dark secrets and self-discovery to learn the true meaning of friendship and acceptance.
“Roberta will charm and delight you with a voice that’s candid, hilarious, and hopeful, as she narrates her first day at a new high school, reminding us of the epic nature of each hour in our adolescent lives. Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy will make you laugh, cringe, cry, and cheer for the power of friendships that can change us in a single day.” —Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead
“You wish your first day of prep school was this epic! Every single page of Lessons I Never Learned sparkles with heart and humor. Like a teenage Bridget Jones, Roberta Romano will make you laugh, cry, and cringe as she tries to navigate her first day at Meadowbrook Academy. She finds friends and enemies, earns detentions and serious respect, and makes memories that will last her a lifetime.” —Siobhan Vivian, author of The List
I think it’s true that you can learn a lot about someone by the type of shoes they wear. I personally was sporting a highly nondescript pair of brown (fake) leather lace-ups, also compliments of Kmart. I spotted a pair of trendy snakeskin ankle boots, or at least they looked like snakeskin. They were brown and white with just a hint of green running between the scales. I wondered what the snake was like who died to make those shoes and if, in the snake community, it was considered an honor to be transformed into a lavish pair of footwear.
Another pair of feet quickly ran past, and I noticed the black leather penny loafers attached to them. I loathed penny loafers. My mother bought me a pair of loafers last year. She shoved a quarter in them, instead of a penny, because she thought that would make them look more expensive. I used one as a pen holder, filled the other with rocks and used it as a doorstop, and took the two quarters to buy a candy bar.
A very sophisticated pair of navy blue, high-heeled pumps strutted by.Perhaps looking at people’s shoes wasn’t the best idea. It was making me very anxious. My palms and armpits started to sweat. My family genetics yielded a plethora of physical undesirables, two of them being an unreasonable amount of facial hair and sweat glands that behave like an unpredictable sprinkler system.
I wiped my hands across my pants to dry them off. I glanced down at my light brown cords, now covered with two moist handprints. Humiliating. Everything about me was humiliating.
“The bell rang. You don’t want to get a detention on the first day, do you?”
I turned to see a petite, thin woman with thin brown hair tightly pulled back into a bun. Her pale blue eyes were covered with a pair of square, silver, wire-framed glasses. Her skin was so white I could see the veins in her face. She had on a light grey suit with a cream silk shirt and black flats. And she smelled like mothballs.
I had been so absorbed staring at footwear that I hadn’t even heard the bell ring.
“Last name?” She held onto a small wooden clipboard.
She flipped through some pages and pursed her lips. “Sophomore…Romano. Go into the auditorium and find a seat in the third or fourth rows. Morning meeting is about to start and if you are late, you will get a detention. I am in charge of all disciplinary action at the academy, and I abhor tardiness.” She lifted her finger, which was so thin it looked like a twig, and pointed to the left. “Chop, chop, a Meadowbrook girl is always on time.”
ABOUT LIZ MACCIE
Liz Maccie was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Bucknell University. After college, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television writing. She has had two movies produced, “The Thirst” and “Black and Blue.” She went on to work at The Disney Channel until she found a home at the breakout ABC Family show, “Make it or Break it.” She is currently adapting the wildly popular YA book, “The List” for MTV as a television show. “Lessons” is Liz’s debut novel.