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Fredericks, Mariah

FREDERICKS, Mariah

(Emmi Fredericks)

PERSONAL:

Born in New York, NY; married. Education: Graduated from Vassar College, 1988.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—c/o Author Mail, St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Worked as lead writer for Book-of-the Month Club.

WRITINGS:

YOUNG ADULT

The True Meaning of Cleavage, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2003.

(As Emmi Fredericks) The Smart Girl's Guide to Tarot, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2004.

(As Emmi Fredericks) Fatal Distraction; or, How I Conquered My Addiction to Celebrities and Got a Life, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Head Games, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2004.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Romeo Wore the Dress, a novel.

SIDELIGHTS:

Mariah Fredericks is the author of young-adult books, beginning with her debut, The True Meaning of Cleavage. The book is about two teens, Jess and Sari, and how their friendship is changed by Sari's relationships. Jess and Sari, who have been best friends since seventh grade, are first-year students at Eldridge Alternative. Jess, the intellectual narrator, worries about their friendship when the attractive Sari pursues soccer star David, a senior who is already seeing the most popular girl in the class. They begin a secret sexual relationship, while David is still seen in public with his girlfriend. Jess feels left out and abandoned and is angered by Sari's lies and continued self-destructive behavior. She comes to realize that the true meaning of cleavage is the division of two people.

A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that Fredericks "realistically captures high school society, as well as neatly nailing the poignant voice of teenage obsession." "Readers will be intrigued by" the relationship between Sari and David, noted Angela J. Reynolds in School Library Journal, "but the real story is Jess dealing with the pain of betrayal and beginning to understand human nature."

Fredericks also writes as Emmi Fredericks. Her first novel published under this name is Fatal Distraction; or, How I Conquered My Addiction to Celebrities and Got a Life. Protagonist Eliza is a celebraholic, obsessed with the rich and famous. She works in a bookstore by day and spends her free time reading magazines and watching television programs that fixate on the stars. Eliza scans the faces of the people she passes on the street, hoping to spot a celebrity, but the only one she knows is Norm the Wonder Dog, who does commercials. Eliza's boyfriend dumps her, and her best friend, Dinah, says she was behind the wheel when she and her rapper boyfriend are involved in a hit-and-run. Eliza thinks Dinah may be lying to get media attention. A Publishers Weekly contributor called Fatal Distraction an "entertaining look at America's cult of celebrity."

In the novel Head Games, Judith's online gaming identity is male. Judith realizes that she can not have a relationship with her online competitor, Jonathan, unless she gives up her real identity, and her gender. Judith is comfortable with her male identity because she is recovering from a sexual attack, and she is also trying to get over the loss of her best friend, Leia. A Kirkus Reviews contributor said that the story leaves readers with a "wistful feeling," and that Fredericks "has a gift for replicating teen vernacular."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of The True Meaning of Cleavage, p. 1322.

Horn Book, July-August, 2003, Lauren Adams, review of The True Meaning of Cleavage, p. 455.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2003, review of The True Meaning of Cleavage, p. 60; December 15, 2003, review of Fatal Distraction; or, How I Conquered My Addiction to Celebrities and Got a Life, p. 1413; August 1, 2004, review of Head Games, p. 741.

Kliatt, July, 2004, Claire Rosser, review of The True Meaning of Cleavage, p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, December 9, 2002, review of The True Meaning of Cleavage, p. 85; January 26, 2004, review of Fatal Distraction, p. 230.

School Library Journal, February, 2003, Angela J. Reynolds, review of The True Meaning of Cleavage, p. 141.

ONLINE

Emmi Fredericks Home Page,http://www.fataldistraction.com (August 11, 2004).

Mariah Fredericks Home Page,http://www.mariahfredericks.com (August 18, 2004).

Vassar College Web site,http://www.aavc.vassar.edu/ (August 11, 2004), Corinne Militello, "Captivating a Young Audience."*

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