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Olivia Whitehead (book character)

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For the character from the film, see Olivia White.

Olivia Whitehead

Friends:

Wen Gifford (boyfriend, first kiss, in love with, dating)

Charlie Hirsh

Stella Penn

Mo Banerjee

Naomi Fishmier

Lyle Dwarkin

Rajeev Kumar

Sydney Gifford

Family:

Jess Russo (mother)

Ted Whitehead (father)

Brenda Russo (grandmother)

Unnamed grandfather

Enemies:

Ray Beech (former)

Scott Pickett (former)

Mudslide Crush

Patty Norris

Patty Keane

Mr. Brenigan

Earl Decker

Occupations:

Lead singer

Song-writer

Student

Band member

Interests:

Singing

Song-writing

Poetry

Cats

Reading

Vulnerabilities:

Bullies

Weight issues

Shyness

A need for a mother

Strengths:

Song-writing

Comforting others

Her relationship with her dad

Keeping secrets

Singing

Weaknesses:

Fear

Public speaking

Singing voice

Confrontation

Confidence

Self-esteem

Openness

Insecurities

Nicknames:

The Insane Asylum (Ray Beech)

The Fat Chick, Girl (Patty Norris)

That Messed-Up Freak Who Looked Like A Drowned Rat, A Real Whack-Job (Scott Pickett)

One Of Us (Mo)

Scooby-Doo Girl, The Silent Nut-Job (Charlie)

Diva Daughter, Biggest Fan (herself)

The Poor Kid, A Hard Nut To Crack (Stella)

My Girlfriend, Somebody's Little Girl, A Large, Silent Girl With Shapeless Hair That Hung In A Flat Sheet Around Her Head And Often Looked Like It Could Use A Good Wash (Wen)

Honey, My Little Girl (Jess)

First Appearance:

Lemonade Mouth

Olivia Whitehead is the singer in Lemonade Mouth who is supposedly bullied on a daily rouitine and shy about her talent. Only living with her grandmother, Olivia has a hard time accepting herself but as the book progresses, she comes out to her friends about her life: her father's arrest and her mother leaving.

In the second book, it is learned that her ambition is to find her biological mother, who is learned to be a woman named Jess Russo. She comes into contact with her mom, and the two reconnect with one another. She and Wen eventually kiss for the first time, becoming a couple.

Story Lines:

Early Life:

Prior to the book, Olivia's parents were both high school drop-outs. At a party, Olivia's father, Ted, got drunk with Olivia's mom, Jess, and the two had unprotected sex, getting her pregnent. When Olivia was one, her father got arrested, again, and her mother left. Olivia's mom was out of control and had health problems, such as kidney issues, and even problems with alcohol.

One night, when Jess threw a party, she got so wasted she woke up by a Dumpster the next morning and ran home to see Olivia. Jess, horrified at the thought of Olivia being ashamed of her because of the bad choices she made, left her daughter to be raised by her father, not out of hatred or disgust, but because she loved Olivia and didn't want her to get hurt. Olivia ultimately has a distanced yet good, loving and healthy relationship with her father, who she often turns to for comfort.

According to Olivia, when she was a baby, her dad spoiled her in literature and the arts, saying he was always singing and reading to her when she was a child and named her after a character from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Olivia also mentions that she threw up all over the other kids in a school musical, proving her extreme shyness.

Olivia went to an alternative private school (for kids that are problematic) in Pawtuckett, Rhode Island with no detention (due to the fact that growing up, she didn't like going to school very much due to being so shy), but during the summer between eight and nineth grade, her grandmother told her they could no longer afford the tuition to the school, which forces her to transfer to public school, Opequonsett High, where she feels out of place, depressed, lonely, unhappy and perhaps a little suicidal, part of the main reason as to she went to a high school with an alternative program in the first place.

Book 1:

Olivia gets detention for skipping class in the janitor's closet, finshing The Great Gatsby. In the detention room, Olivia starts signing for the first time while not feeling nervous for singing in front of people. The next day, Olivia, Charlie, Stella, Wen and Mo all meet with the music teacher, Mrs. Reznik, who wants them to perform as a music group for the up-coming Holiday Talent Show in November, but Olivia ends up stuttering out that she can't sing because she gets nervous, making Charlie breifly think of her as the silent nutjob. At a meeting at the ultimate teen hang-out, Bruno's Pizza Planet, Olivia is still unconfident when Stella attempts to get them to form the band. After some encouragement from Wen, whom she is instantly smitten with, Olivia agrees.

The next day, the band gets into a disagreement over music, causing Olivia's nerves to kick in. Finally, after Wen begins a rift on his trumpet, Olivia sings "Singing a New Song," the band's first single. Olivia later on writes to her father about the band.

Soon, after the band can't think of a name, Olivia ends up getting targeted by the school bully, Ray Beech, a cunning, vicious and sadistic member of a popular rival heavy metal band, Mudslide Crush, who begins harassing her with the help of his vicious and cold-hearted Prom Queen girlfriend, Patty Norris, and Patty's equally obnoxious sidekick, Patty Keane, who make snide remarks towards her about her weight issues, hair and Scooby Doo backpack, and Olivia, too shy and nervous to stand up for herself, falls silent. Mo and Charlie, who are watching in the distance and realizing how uncomfortable Olivia is feeling, walk over, asking their lead singer if she's okay and the two confront Ray immediately, telling him to back off. During the ensuing fight, Stella jumps in to defend them by spitting a gigantic mouthfull of Mel's Organic Frozen Lemonade all over Ray. When a teacher asks what had happened, Ray makes a comment that "Lemonade Mouth"----referring to Stella----"let loose." Although Stella ends up getting a detention, she doesn't even complain because she did it to help a friend, and the band decides to use Lemonde Mouth as their band name.

At a later rehearsal, Olivia goes to get a lemonade, comes back clearly upset and reveals to the band that the Mel's Organic Frozen Lemonade vending machine is getting removed from school proporty. Stella and Charlie later learn it's because the school is sponsored by a soda company that offered money to help finish the school's new gym, as long as the school agrees to remove any competing drink machines.

The next night at the school's Bash, the band members wait for Olivia to show up, Charlie, Wen and Stella in particular because Mo's boyfriend and Mudslide Crush's drummer, Scott Pickett, dumped her for his ex-girlfriend, Lynn Westerberg. Olivia is shown in the girls' bathroom, throwing up from nerves, and is saved by Wen, Charlie and Stella, who find her just in time, but unfortunetly, Mudslide Crush performs first.

On stage, the band performs songs the Olivia wrote, and Olivia begins to feel more comfortable and more confident by the end of each song. Later, Stella makes a speach, which opposes the decisions for the school, angering their vice principal, Mr. Eliot Brenigan, who shuts them down.

On Halloween, Mo, Stella, Charlie and Wen go to Olivia's house to console her when her cat, Nancy, dies. They gradually open up to one another and reveal their personal struggles, all except Olivia, who is not comfortable.

The fallowing Monday, Olivia and her friends get called to Brenigan's office, who angrily tells them they aren't allowed to perform at the Holiday Talent Show. Although devestated, Olivia also feels a little bit of weight lifting off her shoulders. Soon, Charlie's best friend, Lyle, gets Lemonade Mouth a gig at Bruno's Pizza Planet. Charlie reveals to Mo that although he talked to Olivia about it, she doesn't want to because even the first time was hard for her. Later, after seeing a chalk drawing of her and her friends, Olivia tells Stella and Wen that she wants to perform at Bruno's. Olivia tells her father about the show and how she heard the song "Skinny Nancy," inspired by Olivia's cat, on the radeo. Later, Mo, Olivia, Stella, Wen and Charlie reconnect with their music teacher.

On the bus to New Hampshire, Olivia tells the story of her life. She introduces her father as a seventeen-year-old high school drop-out, who took Olivia's mother's virginity and got her pregnent. At the time Olivia's mom was living with her mother, Brenda, and her father was staying with friends because he and his dad didn't get along. When Olivia was a baby, her parents started fighting. When Olivia was one, her dad got arrested for three months for robbing the department store, and as soon as he got out, Olivia's mother, who never seemed to love or want her and had issues with fights and drugs, left Olivia's father to raise his daughter by himself.

Olivia reveals what a good father her dad was to her, how he loved to buy her pretty dresses, give her all the love, kisses, hugs, attention and gifts a little girl could want, and spoil her in liturature and the arts, and named Olivia after a character from the Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night. In addititon, Olivia's father was also an alcoholic, and one day, when Olivia was eight, her father started drinking again and decided to hold up a store. Olivia's dad held up the store with a toy gun, but the store owner had a real gun, and Olivia's dad lost his head. He jumped him and the bullet went off in the owner's leg, but he didn't die from the bullet, it was a heart attack. They go to visit Olivia's father in prison, and after that, Wen, Mo, Charlie and Stella grow into realizing how important Olivia's friendship with them is to her, as they are the closest thing she has to a family.

At a very crucial Bruno's show right before a big music contest, Catch a RI-Zing Star, Ray Beech provokes Lemonade Mouth and steps up his bullying towards Olivia, reffering to her as "the insane assylum," causing Olivia to shrink against a wall, enraging Stella, who lashes out at Ray angrily for using the term. A riot gets summaned and Lemonade Mouth gets banned from playing at Bruno's again.

The next day, Wen informs Olivia that Mo and Charlie called him. Charlie got second-degree burns in his right hand and Mo is sick with a fever of hundred and two. Olivia feels terrible for her drummer and bassist, but also a little weight coming off. Soon, Olivia and Wen meet at Paperback Joe's, a book store and coffee shop, where Wen tells her that when his father will be marrying his girlfriend, Sydney, he wants his son to be his best man. Olivia is pleased about that, but Wen isn't because he tells Olivia, "Just because Sydney leached her way onto my family doesn't mean I have to be happy about it," Olivia laughes, saying he's being ridiculous.

After seeing Wen's hurt look, she doesn't realize what she did wrong but feels bad. When Wen says he's backing out of the competiton and he doesn't even care because he claims Olivia would have backed out anyway, Olivia screams at him saying that he knows it's not about Lemonade Mouth; that it's about how happy Wen's father and Sydney are and he can barely see it because he's too busy living in the past when his mother left. Olivia claims that Wen should just be thankful that although Wen's mom left, Sydney is at least trying to be his friend and that she loves him and cares for the band. Then when Wen demands why Olivia did the band in the first place, Olivia reveals how she feels about him by screaming, "Oh for you, you jerk!" Angry and heartbroken, Olivia goes home, where she realizes she damaged her vocal choards from all the yelling.

Olivia is summaned to the school by Stella, and runs into the other, because the Mel's machine at the middle school is going to get removed to improve the school grounds. They lie down in front of the truck, and Olivia refuses to move, along with the others. The men removing the machine call the cops, which gets the group arrested.

At Catch a RI-Zing Star, Lemonde Mouth tries to perform one of their songs, but they quit because neither of them could play, much to Ray Beech's happiness. The crowd then begins to sing Lemonade Mouth's song to show their support.

Later on, Wen realizes his true feelings for Olivia and redeems himself by giving Olivia a new kitten, much to Olivia's joy, and it is hinted that the two of them are in love, leaving an open door for the second book.

Book 2:

The second book revolves mostly around Olivia's family life and her increasing crush on Wen. She comes into contact with her biological mother, Jess Russo, and she and Wen kiss for the first time, becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. In addition, Decker & Smythe, a talent agency that they signed up for, begins using Lemonade Mouth as some kind of tooth paste commercial ad, and makes the band mates look too perfect in small yet segnificant ways, such as slimming Olivia down.

The band fights back on national television, however, this protest causes the band members to get into trouble with Earl Decker, who demands to see them. When he starts to explain the "rules," Olivia, who has now gained her confidence, speaks up, saying that she doesn't like what this has become. Earl, angered, begins to yell at Olivia for saying what she said, but Stella angrily stands up for her and informs Earl that nobody owns Lemonade Mouth and that if Earl wants to get rid of them, he can go right ahead, because Olivia, Wen, Charlie, Stella and Mo will never change. They then walk out, and with the help of Naomi and Lyle, the band members learn that even though Earl Decker can bribe them with all the money he wants, but they are already successfull enough.

Personality:

Olivia is introduced as a painfully shy, insecure and nervous girl with abandonment issues who is intimidated by more popular girls, but aside from that she is very sweet, sympathetic, innocent, soft-spoken and has a strong love for her friends, who she often looks up to for support. It becomes clear in the beginning of the book that she is so shy and isolated, she occassionally feels suicidal, which, in result, makes her not like going to school very much, so for most of her life, she attended a private alternative junior high school in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, called St. Micheals.

As a result, she constantly tried pushing people away and protect herself from people who she felt uncomfortable with by staying silent whenever picked on and teased for her physical apperance. As a result, the only person she ever seemed to fully trust and consider a "friend" was Wen, who was the first person to actually talk to her and compliment her on her singing. However, after forming the band, Olivia becomes more comfortable with the learning enviroment of her new school and begins to form friendships with Mo and Stella, which seems to ease out her feelings of depression and sadness. The only time Olivia really allows herself to come out of her shell is when she sings. She, much like her dad, is portrayed as a very caring indevidual, but very quiet, a trait that her mom says Ted passed onto her.

Her grandmother also says that Olivia has a "selfless heart." She can't bear speaking in public because she is often nervous. She loves reading and has an obsession for poetry. She is shown to be very close to her dad, whom she often visits and writes to. However, having no mother around that she could completely talk to about her struggles and personal life, she can sometimes be seen slightly envious of her friends, who all have mothers or mother-like figures that they can turn to, showing this resentful and angry side of her, which she hides under this doe-eyed, sweet, shy, sensitive shell until something pushes her over the edge, as shown during the course of her and Wen's fight about the importance of family.

She is also seen as very intelligent, judging by her sharp use of vocabulary. It is assumed that Olivia is a Christian, as she is proven to be religious and prays often. Although she lacks confidence when it comes to getting things done, Olivia will pull through to support her friends and family when they need help, such as when she sympathises with Wen because his father will be marrying a younger woman, or when Stella calls her up to inform her that the Mel's machine will be removed from the middle school, Olivia, when told to get up by the delivery men, screams, saying she is not getting up.

Stella, on some occasions, describes Olivia as either her best singer or her favorite, and is one of the many characters Stella often shows her softer side towards. Olivia's search for a mother-figure has also been very important to her, which seemed to have ended after meeting Wen's stepmom, Sydney, whom she instantly bonds with. However, in the second book, Olivia becomes less insecure, a lot bolder and more confident, slowly developing from a quiet girl who is afraid to sing outside her bedroom door, to sort of becoming Stella's right-hand girl and co-leader of the band, as she will not hesitate to answer a yes or no question no matter what effect it might have, and even questioning Earl Decker when he explains the "rules" of show buisness.

Olivia's ability to keep secrets often causes her to lock it all up inside her, which causes her to get into angry outbursts whenever mad or upset, as seen when she and her mother meet for the first time, and Olivia takes out her frustrations on her mom by saying that hiding herself from Olivia's life completely isn't going to fix any of the bad decisions that Jess made, and that they should have had this kind of conversation a long time ago, showing that she can be pretty unforgiving.

However, much like her grandmother, Olivia has a strong tendency to think through what she says and does. Although growing bolder later on in the first book, Olivia still shows moments of shyness, such as when she vomits before going on stage at the Halloween Bash and blushing whenever spoken to directly. Although Olivia never actually stands up for herself, she will, on some occassions, try, as seen in the second book that she strongly dislikes any form of bullying and attempts to say that she refuses to accept being bullied by others. After dating Wen, however, Olivia slowly begins taking better care of herself and becoming more independent and vocal about her opinions and what she wants in life.

Appearance:

Olivia is a little over-weight, with flat, lifeless, light brown hair and dull, solemn, innocent, hollow, puppy dog eyes that range from dark brown to amber. She carries a Scooby Doo backpack and is often bullied by Ray Beech and the Patties for it. She has a low, scratchy, thin voice, which makes her think that she will never become a singer because her voice isn't strong enough.

Despite all this, her friends, grandmother and father adore her for who she is. However, in an advertisement by Decker & Smythe, the company slims her down, which enrages Stella, because Olivia represents kids- mostly girls- who struggle with things such as self-image problems, eating disorders, depression, and weight issues. In the second book, Olivia starts taking better care of herself and possibly lost a little weight. This is probably part of Olivia's journey of accepting herself for who she really is.

Quotes:

As I already said before, I don't believe in accidents.

The problem is, I'm not a real singer. And I'm not comfortable on stage.

Maybe you should give Sydney a chance. She's really not so bad.

Clouds. How, if you're in one, it can make you blind to see what's right in front of you.

And another thing about clouds is that they never disappoint you. They can be anything you imagine them to be....

But Mr. Decker, what if we don't like your map?

And that's it? That's why you disappeared out of my life?

I don't buy it! I think you could have at least tried to be a good mother.

That's crap! That's just an excuse!

Old habbits die hard.

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