Marlene Perez Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Roaring Brook Press, 2 Old New Milford Rd., Brookfield, CT 06804.
Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and Best Book for Young Adults nomination, both 2005, both for Unexpected Development.
Unexpected Development, Roaring Brook Press (Brook-field, CT), 2004.
NDER PSEUDONYM LANA PEREZ
Bright Lights for Bella ("Star Sisterz" series), Mirrorstone (Renton, WA), 2005.
Figure in the Frost ("Knights of the Silver Dragon" series), Mirrorstone (Renton, WA), 2005.
Bella goes Hollywood ("Star Sisterz" series), Mirrorstone (Renton, WA), 2006.
Marlene Perez made her publishing debut with the young-adult novel Unexpected Development. The Southern California-based writer became inspired to write the diary-style book after attending a conference in Los Angeles held by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the day-long schedule of seminars and round tables, noted YA author Norma Fox Mazer discussed the obstacles presented by a writer's internal critic, Mazer suggested ways of turning off one's internal editor and focusing on writing freely. Returning home, Perez sat down at her desk the very next day and started on the manuscript that would become Unexpected Development. In addition to this novel, she has published several books for role-playing-game and book publisher Wizards of the Coast, all under the pen name Lana Perez. Part of the "Star Sisterz" series designed for pre-teens and featuring characters from a related game, Bright Lights for Bella and Bella Goes Hollywood follow the adventures of a fourteen year old as she struggles through the first year of high school and successfully resolves an assortment of dilemmas that many teens can relate to. In an online review for Book-Loons, Ricki Marking-Camuto noted that Perez "has an uncanny ability to capture in her writing the way a young teenager thinks."
Unexpected Development follows seventeen-year-old Megan, a teen plagued with overly large breasts. Made uncomfortable by the constant notice paid her double-D cleavage by ogling men, Megan begins to question the motive behind male attention, particularly after her boss at the pancake house attempts to fondle her. Feeling doomed in romance due to being upstaged by her chest, Megan questions the seeming romantic possibilities that arise when her long-time crush, Jake Darrow, asks her out. Readers follow Megan as she weighs her romantic options in a novel Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman praised as a "wry" story in which Perez conveys a "rare honestly about body image, romance, and sex." "Perez is an author worth watching," commented Susan Riley in School Library Journal, while a Publishers Weekly critic concluded that "Megan's appealing character will draw readers in, and will likely make the audience hope for more from this promising writer."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 15, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of Unexpected Development, p. 598.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2004, Deborah Stevenson, review of Unexpected Development, p. 95.
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, September, 2005, June Harris, review of Unexpected Development, p. 79.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of Unexpected Development, p. 872.
Publishers Weekly, September 6, 2004, review of Unexpected Development, p. 64.
School Library Journal, October, 2004, Susan Riley, review of Unexpected Development, p. 175; November 25, 2005, Mary R. Hoffmann, review of Unexpected Development, p. 60.
Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 2004, review of Unexpected Development, p. 392.
BookLoons.com, http://www.bookloons.com/ (April 11, 2006), Ricki Marking-Camuto, review of Bright Lights for Bella.
Crescent Blues Online, http://www.crescentblues.com/ (April 11, 2006), Lynne Marie Pisano, review of Unexpected Developments.
Kidsreads.com, http://www.kidsreads.com/ (April 11, 2006), Paula Jolin, review of Bright Lights for Bella.
Marlene Perez Home Page, http://members.cox.net/ mardperez (April 11, 2006).