Notes from the Blender

  • Interest Level: Grade 9 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 9

Declan loves death metal—particularly from Finland. And video games—violent ones. And internet porn—any kind, really. He goes to school with Neilly Foster and spends most of his classroom time wondering what it might be like to know her, to talk to her, maybe even to graze against her sweater in the hallway.

Neilly is an accomplished gymnast, naturally beautiful, and a constant presence at all the best parties (to which Declan is never invited). She’s the queen of cool, the princess of poker face, and her rule is uncontested—or it was until today, when she’s dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her former BFF Lulu, and then informed she’s getting a new brother—of the freaky fellow classmate variety.

Declan’s dad is marrying Neilly’s mom. Soon. Which means they’ll be moving in together.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 9 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 9
Genre Young Adult
Copyright 2011
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 240
Publication Date 2011-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 6.2
Reading Counts! Points 14.0
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF018080, YAF058040, YAF031000
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.1875 x 8
Lexile 900
ATOS Reading Level 5.5
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 144052
Accelerated Reader® Points 8.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Trish Cook

Trish Cook is the author of four young adult novels, including Notes from the Blender and A Really Awesome Mess, and a graduate of the University of Chicago's Graham School program in Creative Nonfiction. Her essays have been seen most recently in the Manifest-Station, Graze Magazine, and Spittoon. Trish is currently in the process of putting the final touches on her memoir/essay collection. In her spare time, she rows with a masters crew, most recently competing in Masters Nationals and the Head of the Charles Regatta. Trish dreams of being on The Amazing Race, but the closest she's ever come was being chosen as a finalist for casting on I Survived a Japanese Game Show (and unfortunately did not survive that last casting cut). You can visit her at and

Author: Brendan Halpin


  • Tayshas Reading List, Winner, 2011
  • Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children, Winner, 2011
  • Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers Nominee, Nominated, 2011
  • ALA Rainbow List, Winner, 2011


Publishers Weekly

“The swift plot and sympathetic characters result in a moving story about embracing change.” —Publishers Weekly

Library Media Connection

“This well developed story gives readers an opportunity to see teens ‘taking the high road’ as they deal with both peers and parents in a novel teens will not want to put down.” —Library Media Connection


“[T]his light-hearted novel will prove popular.” —starred, VOYA


“It’s a rare treat to find a teen novel with both heart and humor in such great and equal quantities.” —Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“[A] sweet, emotional, but never hokey mix.” —Kirkus Reviews