EXTRAORDINARY: The True Story of My Fairy Godparent, Who Almost Killed Me, and Certainly Never Made by a Princess
by Adam Selzer (Coming Fall, 2011 from Delacorte Press)
"So all I have to do is get that boy to kiss me at the dance, and I'll be a princess?"
Jenny drew a sharp breath. The air was filled with the smell of daffodils, and the very stars in the sky seemed to be taking on a purple hue. First she'd found out that her naturally purple hair meant she was a fairy, and now she could become a princess, too?
"Just let me take out my wand," said her fairy godmother. "Jenny Van Den Berg, you were born to be extraordinary...."
- From Born to Be Extraordinary by New York Times bestselling author Eileen Codlin
Eileen Codlin sucks cheese.
And I should know. I'm Jennifer Van Den Berg. The real one.
While Eileen is sleeping on mattresses stuffed with money, I get to deal with all the idiots who think I'm really a fairy princess, and that I can make other girls princesses, too, if they just bug me enough.
And their moms.
Especially their moms.
I'm not a princess. I don't even want to be one. I believe in democracy, and I think it'd be super awkward to have a servant hanging around me all the time.
But that's only one of a thousand things Eileen changed around for her book to make it more like "what readers want to read." That was nice of her, huh?
When she showed me the first draft, I felt sick to my stomach before I finished the first page.
"So, I guess you're not going to say it was a true story after all, huh?" I asked. "This girl isn't anything like me."
She just laughed. "I want this book to really connect to teens and tweens," she said, "and they probably don't want to be like the real you."
Gee, thanks, Eileen. That just makes me feel super.
"If you want to connect with them, stop calling people 'tweens,' I said. "That's the stupidest word ever."
"But I know what they want," she said, with that stupid, fake smile of hers.
"What?" I asked. "Pure crap?"
She just kept on smiling.
But obviously she knew what she was talking about, seeing as how about eleven million people bought the book, and even more saw the movie.
Now, I'm not trying to be mean or spoil your fun or anything, but I feel like I need to clear a few things up.
Also, I need some money.
So this is the real story. Exactly as it happened. I've cleaned up the language in a few places, but that's about it.
First of all, my parents want me to make it very clear that I'm not an orphan. Mom got really upset when she read that she got mowed down by a truck when I was four. Dad wasn't too upset when he read that he was a billionaire playboy who didn't even know I existed, but that's way off, too.
My "fairy godmother" did not smell like daffodils, unless those daffodils were growing in a public restroom that hadn't been cleaned since the early 1980s.
And I know I've been going around saying that Mutual Scrivener, the nerd who keeps trying to kiss me in the book, was a fictional character, but, well...you'll see.
And here's a fair warning: if it's crap you want, well, you're gonna get it. The real story has a lot more unicorn poop in it than the version you've already read. Just, a lot more. Born to be Extraordinary didn't mention that stuff at all, which is probably just as well, but I can't tell the real story without it.
To be fair, though, Eileen did get some things right.
When the story began, I really was a normal, smart, slightly chubby, but totally lovable (most of the time) teenage girl from Iowa.
And I do have purple hair (though I wasn't born with it or anything - it's dyed). I also have purple clothes, purple walls in my bedroom, and anything else purple that I can get. I'm purpliferous. And yes, that's a real word (especially now that it's in a book).
And I do have a friend named Amber. She's really awesome, too.
And the guy you've seen in pictures with me isn't really Fred, but Fred was a real guy. He was really a vampire, too.
And the story of my fairy godmother really did start out on a lousy, crappy, soul-sucking, butt-sniffing, very bad day...