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The Helen of Hollingsworth Trilogy #1

Choose Your Weapon (The Helen of Hollingsworth Trilogy)

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"A well-written, intelligent, exciting choice for readers looking to get hooked on a new fantasy series." --Kirkus Reviews

One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Sci-Fi and Fantasy of 2013 books!

Helen dreads every day at her high school. The other kids call the quiet, overweight Latina sophomore a nerd—if they notice her at all. Her boyfriend prefers LARPing to hanging out with her. Her best friend wants to ditch her for the popular crowd. If only she’d become a Glorious Dragonfighter four years ago in the magical world from her favorite fantasy books. Too bad her sorceress friend—the one who first brought her over to the beautiful land of Erwingdon—mysteriously abandoned her.

But when Helen suddenly receives a second chance to become a Dragonfighter, nothing can ruin her happiness—until she has to train with two arrogant jocks and a bitter “weirdo” from her school. The teens struggle to find common ground in the grassy Erwingdonian hills…and pretend not to know each other in the gossipy school hallways. And when catastrophe strikes, Helen must discover who her true friends are—because the only thing more dangerous than a dragon is betrayal.

Part “The Lord of the Rings,” part “The Breakfast Club,” the first story in the exciting, fast-paced Helen of Hollingsworth trilogy will delight teen and adult readers.

306 pages, Paperback

First published July 13, 2013

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About the author

Sarah Rodriguez Pratt

6 books13 followers
Sarah Rodriguez Pratt grew up in McAllen, Texas. She has a Bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University, and a Master's degree in Information Studies (formerly Library Science) from the University of Texas at Austin. Her first young adult book, Choose Your Weapon, was one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of the Year in 2013. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Learn more about Sarah's books at QuailSchoolPress.com. Visit her blog at WhattheKidsWereWatching.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @QuailSchool.

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for Ashley.
9 reviews3 followers
August 23, 2013
This book was recommended to me by my English teacher. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself hooked. It is the best book I read all summer. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves an adventure dragon filled book. Thank you Sarah Rodriguez Pratt for a great book!
Profile Image for Grace.
434 reviews15 followers
September 20, 2013
The following review was originally posted to my blog, Books Without Any Pictures: http://bookswithoutanypictures.wordpr...

I've been following Sarah Rodriguez Pratt's blog, That's a Girl's Car, for a long time now, and when she contacted me about reviewing her book, I was thrilled to accept.

Choose Your Weapon, the first book in the Helen of Hollingsworth Trilogy, is the story of a dragon-slaying high school girl trying to find her identity.

As a child, Helen loved the Glorious Dragonfighter books. She also knew something that most people did not. The world of Erwingdon isn't just a fantasy, and people from our own world travel there in their sleep to help fight dragons. Recruiting warriors from our world is better, of course, because if someone dies in Erwingdon, they only die there, and not in real life. Helen was supposed to join the ranks of the warriors and become a Dragonfighter, but then one night, all communication with Erwingdon stopped. Years pass, and Helen loses touch with her nerdy interests because she sees them as incompatible with having a social life in high school.

Out of the blue, Helen is summoned back to Erwingdon. The land is under threat by powerful dragons, and the people there have again called upon our world for aid. Helen is grateful to be back, but not so thrilled that her new comrades are people she knows from school. Helen must discover her own inner strength and learn to get along with her classmates in order to have any hope of saving the world.

Choose Your Weapon is kind of like Narnia for teenagers, but without the whole Jesus-lion-allegory thing. Helen's got the same issues a normal teenager does. She feels like her interests aren't good enough and that she can't speak out in classes and still fit in. She's got a crush on the head of the academic quiz team, but doesn't know how to act on it. She's also just lost her best friend, who ditched her to hang out with the dance team. Helen also has problems in Erwingdon. She's not particularly athletic, and fighting dragons requires a lot of coordination. She's also the only girl.

I liked the fact that Helen was awkward and yet believable. She's the kind of teenager that a lot of us remember being, and I was constantly rooting for her as she began to come into her own. Choose Your Weapon focuses on finding one's inner strength rather than succumbing to peer pressure and apologizing for being oneself, and that's an important lesson for teens and grown-ups alike.

This book rocks! Sarah is a sophisticated and talented new writer, and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.
Profile Image for Jean ~ Kindle Queen.
586 reviews38 followers
January 8, 2014
Now this is how I remember high school. Well, besides the "traveling to an alternate realm to fight dragons" part. :P I have trouble with a lot of YA, because love triangles just aren't realistic. But there were a lot of issues addressed in this book that were very realistic. Sure, there were a few life lessons that I saw coming (very obvious), but that doesn't make them any less true. I would have preferred a little bit more time in Erwingdon (especially in the second half of the book), but it was still quite good.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
Author 42 books120 followers
December 3, 2013
Helen lives a double life - high school is spent deflecting the scorn of the "cool" kids, while in another world she trains to slay the dragons who terrorized the fantasy novels she enjoyed as a child. Choose Your Weapon is like Pleasantville meets Mercedes Lackey - where a young woman becomes empowered in fantasy and carries it through her reality. A great read for young adults.
Profile Image for Amy.
354 reviews6 followers
January 15, 2014
The premise is really interesting--Helen is a high school student by day and a warrior-in-training in another world by night. I thought the writing was flat. So much telling, not nearly enough showing. The world of Erwingdon could have been more richly described. The morals were smack-you-in-the-facr heavy, and at the end of the book, Helen is still passive and conforming in her real life.
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