Fifty States Of Fiction: New Jersey


We can’t always travel to the places on our bucket list. But we can go there with books! I started the Fifty States Of Fiction challenge with the aim of reading one book from every state in the country. Each week in 2017 I’ll be here to talk about a different state, share with you some geographical fun facts, and explore how a novel, play, or personal narrative captures the essence of the area. Want to follow along? Check out this free printable calendar I’ve created just for you! Let’s get started!


Today’s State: New Jersey

Nickname: Garden State

Motto: “Liberty and Prosperity”

Bird: Eastern goldfinch

Flower: Common violet

Entered the union in: 1787

Now, pack your bags everybody. We’re about to explore New Jersey as Dyan Sheldon portrays it in Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen.


Plucked out of The City and dropped in Dellwood, New Jersey, superstar-in-training Lola Cep has one mission and one mission alone: to inject some much needed flavor into the artistically-stifled suburb. With her bike and a strong pair of legs, she sets out to create a hearty dose of drama across the land. Everyday at rehearsals, Lola owns the stage of the Dellwood High auditorium with her stunning performance in Pygmalion. After school, she bikes to her best friend Ella Gerard’s house in Woodford, the ritziest “private community” in Dellwood. There, sprawling green lawns and electric security gates surround the mansions that play home to New Jersey’s most successful celebrity lawyers and talent agents. But, despite her temporary visa to the lands of the famous-by-association, Lola returns home at the end of each day to her mother’s humble rancher, a house severely lacking the glitz and glamor of Dellwood’s elite. The simple ranch house has no microwave. Instead, it has one large kiln for firing pottery. The food in the kitchen is constantly covered in a layer of clay dust from her mother’s creations. Instead of a proper room, Lola sleeps in a converted back porch bedroom. Luckily there are plenty of places to hide doughnuts and cheese behind her dresser and underneath piles of laundry. But, despite her rank as a meager potter’s daughter in a town run by advisees to the rich and famous, Lola is determined to make a scene.

Have you read any other books set in New Jersey? Have you traveled there yourself? Make sure to let me know what the Garden State means to you in the comments! Check back here next week to explore New Mexico through literature.

And remember, if you want to keep up with our schedule as we travel the country, you can download my free printable calendar.

See you all next week!


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