Aces Up. Lauren Barnholdt, Delacorte, $ trade paper (p) ISBN Enter Cole, leader of Aces Up, a clandestine ring of college-age. Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt – book cover, description, publication history. Barnholdt keeps her characters nicely varied and believable, and she doesn’t shrink from portraying the consequences her likable main.

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Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money.


And lots of it. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way.

She has enough to worry about: I will not freak out, I will not freak out, I will not freak out. It is only a dress. A flimsy, totally stretchable piece of fabric. A flimsy, totally stretchable piece of fabric that will not budge over my hips, but still. Totally not a big deal. And since they have somehow decided to give me a size two uniform, then really, they should be the ones apologizing to me.

Maybe I just need someone to zip me up? Or to lie down on a bed somewhere, like I have to do when my jeans just come out of the dryer. And so their two is actually a six. Like they do at the GAP. I give the dress a good yank, and it creeps up a little further over my hips. I give it another tug, this time as hard as I can. The sound of fabric tearing echoes through the dressing room as the side seam of the dress splits in two.

She reaches out and fingers the material. She has short black hair with thick bangs and a dark red mouth. At my interview last week, when she asked me why I wanted this job, I told her I loved interacting bafnholdt people, and she laughed, like she thought I was joking. You have to be eighteen to work as a cocktail waitress at The Collosio Casino, but I really, really need this job. So I bought a fake I. She sets her pen down on her clipboard and looks at me. Adrienne holds up her hand.

Acess smells like some kind of violet perfume. Because there are a lot of girls who would kill for upp job. And things did not go so well for her. I roll my eyes. Of course I can hang. One hundred percent hanging. She snatches the ruined uniform out of my hands. She looks like a Miss Hawaiian Tropic and definitely does not have a problem zipping up her uniform. She flips her long blonde hair over her shoulder. For that, I will earn my ten dollars an hour, with no tips.


I work on practicing The Secret, that book that says whatever you think will actually become your reality, and conjure up an image myself at Lauen, walking on campus with a book bag full of newly purchased schoolbooks in one hand, and a grande peppermint latte in the other.

I have a very good memory. She looks at me blankly, and then I get it. Mackenzie is one of those girls who never, ever writes things down.

Book Review / Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt ~ Debra’s Book Cafe

For example, freshman year overview:. For example, I need twenty thousand dollars still to pay my tuition. Suddenly, I am very suspicious of her. Anyone who can look this good in the Collosio Casino waitressing uniform and is also questioning the validity of taking copious notes and making diagrams, flowcharts, etc.

That size double zero I saw in the uniform closet? I pick it up and watch as she starts loading my tray with the little plastic cups of drinks that are sitting on the bar, already filled. But you need to keep a pad near you in case you need to take special orders. The lights overheard bounce off her perfectly white, perfectly straight teeth.

Start filling your tray. I am then bxrnholdt to heft it up over my head, and follow Mackenzie through the bar and out into the poker room. The poker room at the Collosio is huge, the biggest poker room in the United States. There are over a hundred tables filled with people playing cards, and even more standing around, waiting to get into a game.

No screaming slot machines. I try to keep myself from tripping as I weave my way through the tables. This is definitely not part of hanging. I take a deep breath and try to practice my yoga breathing I barnholct in the Young Meditators group I was in last year. Line from the Wellesley webpage under admissions requirements: Completely well-rounded with a variety of extra-curriculars.

And now I even have a job, yay!

She puts her hand on her hip, acea long nails curving around her slim waist. A man wearing a blue flannel shirt looks up at me from the table and gives me a dirty look.

Not too friendly around here, are they? I would, too, if I was risking hundreds of dollars. That just seems really stupid. She hands someone a soda and takes the dollar chip they hand her. She gives the guy a huge smile and drops it in her tip cup. Mackenzie rolls her eyes. In second grade I took gymnastics. We learned to do cartwheels and did a synchronized dance. He was perfectly nice about it. The dealer, I mean. And I can tell Mackenzie is not too pleased with me. You know, from all the heavy tray lifting and stress.


ACES UP by Lauren Barnholdt | Kirkus Reviews

Batnholdt that be some kind of record? And bring me a copy of your birth certificate. I need a backup form of identification. I wonder if I can get one?

Fake IDs are one thing acs needs them to drinkbut fake birth certificates? For all lwuren trouble, at the end of my five hour shift, I will have made fifty dollars. After taxes, that works jp to about forty dollars maybe? All that work for forty dollars. College textbooks can cost around a hundred and fifty bucks each. Not even, when you factor in the cost of the uniform I ripped.

I probably still owe them money. Adrienne walks our of the room and toward the bar area, mumbling something about food costs, so I turn around acrs nonchalantly ask Mackenzie if everyone has to have their birth certificate on file has spilling drinks made me seem suspicious?

George the bartender catches her just in barnohldt, right before she goes down. I know this because she told me. You yelled at me and then I spilled a big tray of drinks all over that man. She pulls her tips out of her tip cup, sits down at one of the tables in the break room, and starts to count them. The chips make a clinking noise as she stacks them up.

I subtract the forty dollars I made tonight, leaving the grand total of money still needed for my first year at 27, But how am I going to do this Every.

Is this what people talk about when they talk about the real world? I force myself up from the table and over to my locker on the other side of the room, where I place my borrowed shoes gently on the floor, lining the toes barnho,dt against the wall.

I hope their afes finds them. I cannot afford to buy her new ones, after a thirty twenty-five dollar payday. Then I have an laurwn thought: I think maybe pink slips are actually pink. I look around, half expecting to catch one of the waitresses hiding behind a table, a hand over her mouth to cover the giggles. So I sigh, shove my street clothes into my bag, and then head out toward the elevator and the Grand Mahnan Tower Hotel….