Early Review: Lulu in La La Land by Elisabeth Wolf

Lulu in LA LA Land

Lulu in La La Land
by Elisabeth Wolf
Expected publication: August 6th 2013
by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Category: Middle Grade
Source: eARC received from publisher
in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

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Lights! Camera! ACTION! Lulu, a soon-to-be 11-year-old living in Los Angeles, prefers gardening to primping and homemade guacamole to five-star restaurants. You’d never know that Lulu is the daughter of Hollywood’s A-List power couple. This year Lulu is determined to throw the kind of birthday party her glamorous parents might actually attend (which means Watson the pug is not invited). But it’s so not Lulu. Should she morph into the Tween Queen of Tinseltown or stay true to her book-loving, mis-matched socks self?

Fall in love with Lulu as she tells her story in an innovative script-novel hybrid. After all, everyone is LA is writing a screenplay!

My Thoughts

Lulu in La La Land is a fun middle grade tale with a serious undertone. Have you ever felt like the odd girl/boy/woman/man in the room? What about in the company of your own family? Well, Lulu couldn’t be any different than the rest of her family. She enjoys and appreciates the simpler things in life while her parents and older sister wholly believe that life without extravagance is not a life worth living. In an attempt to spend time with her parents, something that never happens, Lulu sacrifices the simplistic birthday party she really wants for something that will sparkle enough to catch the eye of her family unit. Lulu is a character that I quickly fell for. She is highly amusing and was a blast to hang out with. This books fits perfectly into the middle grade category. I look forward to her adventures in Honolulu!

MBA underline

~Guest Post by Lulu~

Lulu’s Ultimate LA City Guide: Featuring locations mentioned in the book, Lulu takes us to her favorite spots in LA. You’re going to want to save this one for your own trip to Tinseltown!

As a girl growing up in Los Angeles, not too many zillions of years ago, I wished I had nine lives and one shiny, foreign-make car. Los Angeles is so many different cities in one. I was never sure what type of Angeleno to be. In my book, Lulu in LA LA Land, my main character, Lulu, knows exactly who she is. Lulu embraces the Los Angeles that’s full of natural beauty, year-round growing seasons, and people doing imaginative, adventurous things.

Here is a perfect LA Lulu Day: go down to the beach at Pacific Coast Highway and Channel Road early in the morning and walk the shoreline. The air is cool and salty fresh and the gulls poke at anything that could be food. Lulu would pick up any trash in her sandy path.

Next: Santa Monica Farmers Market. It’s colorful, and tasty, and buzzing with the chatter of farmers, chefs, mothers, hipsters, and comfortably dressed food lovers. Lulu would keep her eyes peeled for Amelia Saltsman, author of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. She’s often there giving tips about what’s freshest.

Afterwards: ZJ’s Board Shop for t-shirts. Ask for Teddy! Although ZJ’s is a “board store” (selling every kind of skate, surf, or snow board), they also sell cool clothes for anyone (even non-boarders like Lulu). ZJ’s has been around for 25 years and it’s still an under-the-radar place.

Driving East: the Getty. Lulu would tram up and find Beverly! She’s THE best docent for the Getty Central Garden. Beverly would explain that the huge garden is full of different plants, flowers, and sculptures but was designed by an artist, not a landscaper. The artist used plants instead of paints for color and texture to create this living work of art. Beverly will even let you roll down the metal sides of the garden and touch the waterfall that empties into an azalea maze.

Lunch stop: the Beverly Hills Hotel Soda Fountain located on the bottom floor of the big, pink, lushly landscaped hotel. Everyone sitting on one of the 18 stools is treated kindly by Ruth or Eucario, longtime servers.

Off to: Monogrammit. Lulu loves to give gifts so she’d see Elisa, the owner. This shop is off the Rodeo Drive part of Beverly Hills, which makes it way cooler. Elisa creatively monograms anything, even the tongue on high-top Converse tennis shoes! Now that it’s later afternoon, Lulu would want to go home and swim but not without two more stops: First, Joan’s on Third. This is among LA’s best food stores for everything from the cloud cupcake to exotic sheep’s milk cheeses. While there, Lulu might spot celebrities but even better, she’d see Joan, the dynamic owner who is also a grandmother. Second, Chateau Marmutt. Lulu would never go home without stopping at this doggie day care spa and making an appointment for her smelly, disheveled dog, Watson. Where else but in LA does a pet store boast about its “aromatherapy grooming”?

About the Author

Elisabeth Wolf

Elisabeth Wolf is a bit Lulu. She lives in Los Angeles where she grows fruits, vegetables, and native flowers. Before that she worked in public policy and media both in California and Washington, D.C. She has two children, Philip (15) and Emmeline (13). Her inspiration for writing Lulu was based on their growing up in Los Angeles and seeing how fast childhood can zoom by. She bakes her children’s birthday cakes and eats spicy Mexican food. Each year for her birthday she asks her children to give her the same present. “Turn off the lights to help save the earth.” But make NO mistake: she loves a good shopping trip and pedicure. Lulu in La La Land is her first book. The second book in the series, Lulu in Honolulu will come out in Spring 2014. To slow life down, Elisabeth and her children spend time living in Cambria, California and Kennebunk, Maine. Before writing the Lulu Series, Elisabeth worked in media and government. She’s a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA and Stanford’s School of Education. She also was a Fellow with the national Coro Foundation.

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Follower of Jesus, loving wife, homeschooling mom, blogger, author, gamer, and a lover of the culinary arts. Toni lives in Michigan with her husband and four children. If she's not writing or curled up with a book, you'll most likely find her playing with her kids, baking cupcakes, or killing zombies.
  • Lucy

    I just saw this book on GR for the first time today! What a coincidence to see your review. I live in LA and think it’s fun to read books set in my city so I’m eager to check this one out. Fun author guest post- I’ll have to check out some of those spots soon! Fab post, ladies!

    • That is an awesome coincidence, Lucy! I’m so glad you stopped by today. I hope you enjoy the book when you get the chance to read it!