to do list

Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List

Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List is a high school romantic comedy by Janette Rallison.

Plot introduction

The story takes place in the small town of Three Forks, New Mexico. Jessica, a totally ditzy blonde and a junior at Three Forks High, meets a boy who just moved in from Los Angeles, who happens to be the son of a famous actor. If she can get his dad to appear for her school play, Romeo and Juliet, then it may open the door for her to become a famous actress— her lifelong dream!

Plot summary

Jessica accidentally got into Jordan's identical car on the Wal-Mart parking lot, and he immediately took a liking to her (and for some strange reason, he wants to borrow her car but won't tell why). When Jessica finds out his father is the famous Christopher Hunter, Jessica decided that if she would get his dad to attend the school play and he would notice her wonderful talent and he would open the doors for her to Hollywood. The only way she could come up with to get him to come was for Jordan to appear in the play. Then he might give him some acting tips, too...

Rumor spread that Mrs. Shale, the drama teacher, was not able to afford Romeo and Juliet, so there would be a reader's theater of Hedda Gabler instead. Jessica tells the drama teacher that Jordan's dad is Christopher Hunter accidentally so that the school will do Romeo and Juliet. Jessica tells the teacher not to say anything about it though. Jessica has realized how much Jordan and Kate, her best friend, were alike...she thought maybe they could get together...then she could focus on winning Brendan, her ex-boyfriend back from Lauren. She decided to have Kate join the play, too, which would force the two to meet each other. The two then met, and Kate decided that she liked Jordan.

While practicing on Jordan's body language, Jessica realized how much she liked Jordan and finds out he likes her, as they share a kiss in her family room. She explained how she had "given" him to Kate, and Jordan doesn't get why. Then Brendan shows up to pick up his history book from Jessica, and tried to get Jessica to admit she took his history book as an excuse to see him— but then he saw Jordan, and left angrily. Jessica decided then that Brendan wasn't worth it, and focused on Jordan again, and they go out to dinner. She lets him kiss her goodnight.

The next day, when Kate found out Jessica "stole" Jordan back from her, she was furious. To add to the confusion, the updated version of Romeo and Juliet would be the musical West Side Story— which meant singing...something Jessica was terrible at, and she was nicknamed the "Screaming Madonna" at the Christmas play when she sang Silent Night. When Jessica and Jordan show up for tryouts for the play, there is a huge crowd.

The only explanation for the huge crowd that showed up for tryouts that week was Christopher Hunter. Apparently, Mrs. Shale told three or more people, who publicized the information. Jordan did not talk to Jessica for two whole weeks after that. As for the parts, Jordan would be the lead role, Tony, Mary East (Jessica's only rival in acting) would play Maria, with Lauren, Brendan's girlfriend, as her understudy, Kate as Anita (the second biggest female part), and Jessica as Velma, Jet dancer number four, and Kate's understudy, a part she got because she screamed and got steamed in front of Mrs. Shale. She believes this is the way Mrs. Shale is teaching her a lesson.

Jordan believes Jessica used him for just getting in the play, misunderstanding that she just wanted Christopher to show to open her doors to fame. She then realizes fame isn't really worth it, and feels guilty after revealing the secret. Jordan ignores her during rehearsals.

After two solid weeks of Jordan not talking to Jessica, he finally asks to borrow her car. She agrees, and he tells her his plan:

His parents are renting a cabin. He broke the faucet in its attic and called his dad to come in and fix it before they moved in. They would take his Honda so he could use his dad's Jaguar to impress his date (Jessica). But she would drive separately, in her own Honda. While they were at the cabin, they would switch the cars and drive back home. Later, the parents would try to start the car and it would not start (because they had the wrong key) and call Jordan to bring spark plugs. He would take extra-long to bring the spark plugs, allowing his parents time to bond. Once he got there, he would secretly switch the keys and the car would start, and he'd drive it back to Jessica's house to switch the plates back. It was so crazy it just might work. Except it didn't. Everything went as planned, except the cabin brought back too many bad memories for his dad. However, when Jordan dropped Jessica off again at her house, he said she had repaid her debt to him, meaning they could be friends again.

The opening night of West Side Story was an absolute disaster. No-one remembered their lines, and Lauren had brought cookies shaped like the cast with their names. Mary refused to eat hers, thinking it was poisoned, so Kate ate it for her...and became sick during intermission. Jessica got to step in for her. Lauren and Mary broke out into a brawl during Act II, Tye couldn't find the gun, and Jessica kissed "Tony" when he was supposed to kiss "Maria." Whoops. But, good news for Jessica because she kissed Jordan in front of everyone, but that proved to him that she really wasn't using him to get into the play. They become a couple again. Everything went fine the second and third nights, but not the first night, on which the reporters and Christopher Hunter and his agent came!

Mr. Hunter apologized to Mrs. Hunter for not being a very good husband and they went with Jordan and Jessica out to IHOP that night to celebrate. Mr. Hunter ended up noticing how great Jessica's acting was, and the story ends happily.

Characters in Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List

  • Jessica – a blonde and a junior in high school who works at Wal-Mart and drives a silver Honda Civic. Common name, common job, common car, could it be any worse? Her dream is to become a famous actress. And how would the everyday Jessica who works at Wal-Mart and drives a silver Honda make it to Hollywood? It all starts with the school plays, so she's been growing her hair out for a whole school year now, in hopes of getting the part of Juliet in the school play. The novel is written in first person from her perspective.
  • Brendan Peters – is a football player who just broke up with Jessica to go out with Lauren Riverdale. And Jessica is still trying to win him back from her.
  • Lauren Riverdale – is a cheerleader and that means she is stuck up and has no sense of fashion. Like, the school colors, purple and gold, go together just fine, but the uniforms are purple and yellow...Jessica would never be caught wearing those two colors together. She hates Lauren with a passion.
  • Jordan Hunter – a new boy from Los Angeles. He wears a ponytail, has one gold earring, and his parents are divorced. His dad is the famous actor Christopher Hunter, who won't be coming in until the day after Thanksgiving. Jessica thinks that if she can get Christopher Hunter to come in a month sooner, he might come to the school play and she might get "discovered." And maybe Jordan will discover her, too. Jordan just hopes no one discovers who his dad is.
  • Nicki – is Jessica's little sister that can't keep her big mouth shut; as soon as she finds out the latest on Jessica's embarrassing moments or love life, she calls and IM's all of her friends.
  • Jessica's parents – are the stereotypical parents: Her mom is worried about stalkers every time Jessica steps foot out of the house, and her dad wants her to be more responsible and learn how to fix her car and stuff.
  • Jordan's parents – are divorced, but if his mom would take his dad back if she knew he had changed, his dad would take his mom back if he knew she would take him back if he told her he'd changed. Like that will ever happen.
  • Kate – is Jessica's best friend, who hates all guys ever since her parents divorced. She is very liberal and thinks Jessica has some sort of lucky charm about her that makes her stay petite and stumble across things like fifty dollar bills blowing down Main Street.
  • Mrs. Shale – is the theater teacher. She's fat, and she always wears black. And black turtlenecks don't do anything for fat people. Jessica is her favorite student in the class, and she's one of the only four who didn't sign up just for the elective so they wouldn't have to take band, orchestra, art, or choir.
  • Mary East – is the daughter of the school superintendent...that's the only reason she got the lead in Oklahoma! last year— well, and her looks...but she doesn't even stand a chance for trying out as Juliet...her hair isn't long enough!
  • Andre, Jeff, and Tye – are the class criminals of drama class. They aren't there to learn about theater, just to get easy credits.
  • Mr. Cranston – is the manager at Wal-Mart. And he's not too happy about Jessica's theater practice schedule.
  • Mr. Poure – is the proud principal of Three Forks High. And he won't allow any racial slurs or name-calling in his school's play. That would give them a bad name.

Major themes

Comedy, Romance, High School Life

Allusions/references to other works

The main plays referenced in this work are Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, and Oklahoma!

Allusions/references to actual history, geography and current science

Jessica works at Wal-Mart, drives a silver Honda Civic (and so does Jordan). Jordan's dad drives a Jaguar.

Release details

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