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Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance
by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Release Date: 05/05/15
Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.
Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at McGill University, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto's SummerWorks Festival in 2005, and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008. Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.
#3 Casting LOLA CARLYLE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE
Anna Sophia Rob Bella Thorne Lily Collins Elle Fanning Bonnie Wright (from Harry Potter) Lucy Hale Chloe Grace Moretz, Zoe Kravitz for Jade Ellen Page
Hello! I thought, for today’s post, that we could play, Cast the Movie.
Lola: Lola has strawberry blonde hair that’s at least long enough to put in a ponytail, cat-like green eyes. But in this case, the acting is more important than matching her physical description too perfectly. This role has to be played with equal parts sass and vulnerability, and she has to have good comic timing! My dream actress for this would be Anna Kendrick—perfect range of talents. However, she’s not in her teens anymore. Since Anna might not pan out, I’m going to go with Molly C. Quinn, from Castle. She looks perfect for the role, plus she can do funny, which is an absolute necessity.
Wade: (Lola’s old friend and love interest—a dazzlingly hot and charming TV star) I have to admit, Ian Somerhalder was in my mind when I wrote the part of Wade, although again, can he play a teenager? It’s him, or a Hemsworth brother kind of guy, but I can’t figure out who the “real teen” equivalent would be.
Adam: This is Lola’s mentor, who turns out to be both infuriating and interesting. Lola describes him as looking like a Jonas Brother, but a little rougher. So, are you kidding? Give me a Jonas Brother! Nick can act, right?
Talia: One of Lola’s roommates—very sweet, quite weird, has multiple addictions, a big personality, deep down very needy. (I can’t have Anna Kendrick for this either, right?) Ellen Page! I think she would bring the perfect combo of sweetness/neediness/crazy person to the character of Talia.
Jade: Lola’s second roommate. This is a challenging part because she doesn’t talk much but is a huge presence, so you need someone who can act the crap out of a substantial, but non-speaking role. Actually Ellen Page would be great for this too, but I was also thinking Zoe Kravitz.
Dr. Koch: The charming-but-shifty guy who runs Sunrise Rehab. He doesn’t fit the physical description, but if I could I’d cast Charlie Sheen.
Let’s get this out in the open. Some of the adults who’ve read LOLA CARLYLE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE do not approve of Lola. Because, well, she fakes her way into rehab because of a boy. Sure, she has good intentions—wants to rescue him, help set him back on the right path—but she also hopes he’ll fall in love with her. Yeah.
It’s a CRAZY thing to do. Irresponsible. Disrespectful to the “real” addicts. Completely the actions of a crackpot. And Lola herself starts out spoiled and bratty and a total potty-mouthed smart-ass.
So I get it. And it’s fine—some people are just not going to like or approve of her.
Those readers maybe don’t remember being younger and doing crazy things. Or maybe they don’t want to think about the crazy things they did. Or maybe they didn’t do many crazy things. Maybe they never even considered doing anything crazy.
Maybe they didn’t hand-deliver a perfume-doused love letter to the house of a boy in third grade. Maybe they didn’t play Truth, Dare, Double-Dare in a darkened math lab during recess. Maybe they didn’t show up all dressed-up, everywhere they thought a certain boy would be and then feel too shy to talk to him, and ending up feeling like a freakshow stalker type. They probably didn’t take the screen off their window and sneak out of their house at night and run wild with a pack of kids who’d done the same, diving into bushes every time they heard a car coming. Perhaps they were never in love with somebody they couldn’t have, never kissed someone “inappropriate”, their parents never ruined any of their romantic opportunities, they never signed on to a summer program just so they could be near a boy who’d already dumped them, but they couldn’t get over. Maybe they didn’t dance on any tables and never fooled themselves, lied to themselves, did crazy, stupid things for “fun”, or out of loneliness and desperation.
I did, though. I was an unstoppable, wild, foolish mess. And I remember. And although I have a few regrets, a few memories that make me cringe and blush even now, I’m glad I did/tried to do most of those things. I was a disaster most of the time, yes. But I was intensely alive, and growing, and taking action and sorting things out in my own way. Usually the wrong way, sure. But I wasn’t sitting on my butt waiting for anybody to fix things for me.
And neither is Lola. Yes, faking her way into rehab is an officially Bad Idea. A ridiculous idea. I don’t approve, either.
But I survived a lot of bad ideas and a ton of self-inflicted ridiculousness, and I’m still here—a mostly well-adjusted and functioning adult, with a very full, happy life, and a sense of humor forged in the fires of wild/stupid/foolish/crazy. And I suspect there are a few readers out there who are, or were, just like me. Lola is for them.
Thanks for hosting me today, and happy reading!
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