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Stella Penn (book character)

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For the character from the movie, see Stella Yamada.

Stella Penn

Friends:

Olivia Whitehead (possibly her favorite)

Charlie Hirsh

Wen Gifford

Mo Banerjee

Naomi Fishmier

Lyle Dwarkin

Rajeev Kumar (boyfriend, in love with, dating, currently long-distanced)

Sista Slash (idol)

Family:

Leila Penn (mother)

Unnamed father

Leonard Penn (step dad)

Clea Penn (older sister)

Tim and Andy Penn (step brothers)

Enemies:

Ray Beech (former)

Scott Pickett (former)

Mudslide Crush

Patty Norris

Patty Keane

Mr. Brenigan

Earl Decker

Occupations:

Transfer student

Ukulele player

Band member

Interests:

Rock music

Sista Slash

Art

Being a vegan

Guitars

Rebelling against authority for attention

Standing up for her beliefs

Protest T-shirts

X-Men comic books

Animal rights

Fashion

Expressing herself

Theatricality

Vulnerabilities:

Believing she's stupid

Bad grades

Fighting with her mother and/or older sister

Hair dye

Loneliness

Temper

A need for attention from her family

Strengths:

Charisma

Standing up for what she believes in

Showing love, sensitivity and care towards her friends

Will power

Keeping secrets

Guitar

Song-writing

Powerful ballads

Strong vocals

Weaknesses:

Not getting in trouble

Anger

Dyslexia

Maintaining her grades

Not getting what she wants

Occasional diva-like attitude

Having Rajeev leave her

Nicknames:

Tizzy Over-Drive (Clea)

Hippie Big Foot (Unknown Student)

That Crazy Chick (Pete Boucher)

That Stella Kid (Patty Norris)

That Freak, The Ring-Leader Of The Freaks, Lemonade Mouth (Ray Beech)

Sista Stella, Your Dyslexic Diva, Your Pink-Haired Protagonist, Your Musical Maverick Sista, Your Troubled Troubadour (herself)

First Appearance:

Lemonade Mouth

Stella Penn:

Stella Penn is the ukulele player and leader. Although a rebel, Stella thrives to get attention from her family, particularly her mother and her stuck-up, academic, seemingly perfect older sister, Clea. A dyslexic, Stella constantly thinks she's stupid, unaware that she is smart in her own way. In the second book, she forms a bond with Mo's friend from Calcutta, Rajeev Kumar, who eventually becomes her boyfriend; the two decide to videochat and commit to a long-distanced relationship when Rajeev leaves for Texas. She also meets her ultimate idol, Sista Slash, who encourages her to not give up and lead the band to success. 

Story Lines:

Early Life:

Before the book, Stella is introduced as a stylish, funky, rebellious, independent, vegan rocker chick who has a strong passion for her music and is from an extremely wealthy family; a tough girl with attitude who knows what she wants. She is originally from Arizona, but is forced to move to a lame-ass small town in Rhode Island, which quips her anger, as she wasn't included in any family discussions about moving all of a sudden. Stella has a bad relationship with her older sister, who mocks Stella behind her back. Constantly thinking she's dumb, she has no confidence with math and English, due to a bad IQ score. She and her mother had a best-friend type of relationship, but it begins to suffer when the family moves. Stella's mom and dad are also divorced and her mother married a millionare named Leonard, which she is bitter-sweet about because she still can't let go of her father. In the book, she swaps her electric guitar for a ukulele. Stella has a high self-worth and a love of being the center of attention; she will do anything to get what she wants and fights for her rights, which makes her noticed very much by her peers, but sometimes, for all the wrong reasons, such as interupting an entire assembly just to make her voice heard, or even creating protest T-shirts to wear to school to show she doesn't give crap about what other people think of her, especially the popular kids. Stella often compares herself to her mother, because like Stella, her mom will do just about anything to stand up and be heard.

Book 1:

Stella is introduced as the new girl in school from Arizona. After Mr. Brenigan, the school's stern vice-principal, bans her favorite T-shirt because it's innapropriate, she fights back by distrupting an entire school assembly, earning a week of detention for her actions.

In detention, Stella and the others----Olivia Whitehead, a painfully shy, over-weight girl with depression issues, Wen Gifford, a kid with divorced parents, Charlie Hirsh, a confused kid who is misunderstood by his peers, and Mo Banerjee, a popular, smart, beautiful girl----start fooling around by playing a song heard on a radeo comercial. Expecting to be in trouble, the five are called down to the music teacher's class room, where Mrs. Reznik wants them to form a band. Stella claims that she's not much of a joiner, but after some time of thinking, she manages to get the others together and form the band. Stella learns how to work in groups and that not everything has to go her way.

Stella's rebellious nature makes Charlie and Mo weary of her, but she later gains their respect when she jumps in to defend the two of them when they are attacked by Ray Beech, the school bully and a member of a rival band Mudslide Crush, for telling him to stop harassing Olivia. After spitting her lemonade in Ray's face, they decide to use "Lemonade Mouth" as their band name.

A few days before the Bash, the Mel's machine gets removed from the school, and Stella learns it's because of a deal with the new scoreboard.

On the night of the Bash, the band waits for Olivia to show up. Stella, Wen and Charlie eventually find Olivia, who is in the bathroom, throwing up. As Stella makes an attempt to comfort Olivia, Mudslide Crush goes on first. On stage, Olivia forgets the words to the first song, so Stella has them start over, as an excuse to let Olivia calm down. The audience loves their music, surprised at how different it is. Afterwards, Stella makes a speach and the band performs a song written by her, but halfway through it, Mr. Brenigan shuts them down.

On Halloween, it is learned that one of Olivia's cats, Nancy, died, so Stella and the others arrive to comfort her by holding a funeral for the cat. Stella later admits that she thinks she's stupid because she claims that no matter what she does, it doesn't work the way it's supposed to.

On Monday, Stella has her asshole cleaned and the others are called down to Brenigan's office. As Brenigan begins to act racist, cold and traumatic towards them, Stella opens to her mouth to defend her friends, saying they are just trying to do the right thing. Brenigan, of course, doesn't see her logic, and forbids them from playing in the Holiday Talent Show, leaving Stella heartbroken, although the others continue to support her to not give up.

Later, Stella and her mom attempt to reconnect with one another by going to Paperback Joe's for coffee. They end up leaving early because Mrs. Penn has to get back to the lab. Later, with the help of A.V Club nerd, Lyle Dwarkin, Lemonade Mouth performs regularly at Bruno's Pizza Planet, and Stella even insists that they sign up for popular local music contest, Catch a RI-Zing Star, which they do.

Later, after a huge disaster at Bruno's, Stella and her mother's all-ready-strained relationship begins to suffer when Stella learns that the Mel's Organic Frozen Lemonade machine from the Opequonsett Middle School is going to be removed. Stella and her mother begin to fight about standing up for what one believes in, because Stella's mom is going to quit doing the buy-degradable plastic of plants project because the results aren't coming out good and some investors weren't seeing any progress, so they left, meaning the family might move back to Arizona as Stella wanted. Stella realizes she belongs in Rhode Island with her friends because she, Olivia, Mo, Wen and Charlie are inseperable, because of her. Stella says she would never give up because the lemonade issue is something worth fighting for. She accidently loses her temper, saying, "I'd rather be a dummy with a heart than a genius without a back-bone!" and storms out of the house, heartbroken that her mom is giving up so easily. On her way to the middle school, in the snow, she contacts her friends one by one, and the five of them, four in bad shape, lie down in from of the truck, even Mo, who is sick with a hundred and two degree fever. Police arrive and the group is arrested. In the car, Stella's mother appologizes to Stella about not spending enough time with her and remindes her that she loves her no matter what. Instead of going home, Stella's mother drives her to Catch a RI-Zing Star to let her daughter make Lemonade Mouth into something everybody should be proud of.

At the competition, Stella's ukulele breaks just before the band has to go on stage. After they fail to play their song "Back Among the Walls," they start to leave, feeling completely humiliated. The audience then begins to sing "Back Among the Walls" in honer of Lemonade Mouth, and gives the band a standing ovation of love and respect.

At the end of the book, Stella and her family have reconciled their differences: Stella becomes a better step-sister and role model to Tim and Andy, learns to accept her step-dad, Leonard, gains respect of her older sister, Clea, and rekindles her friendship with her mom. The story ends with Stella telling the others that she has dislexia and that's the reason why she's been doing so poorly in school, and she and the others celebrate.

Book 2:

The second book begins with Stella working at her mom's biochemistry lab, and hating it, as all she's been looking forward to for the summer was endless recording with her friends and outdoor sets at music festivals. She descides to call the number for the Decker & Smythe Talent Agencies. She soon meets Mo's old next door neighbor from Calcutta and aspiring dancer, Rajeev Kumar, who is staying with Mo's family, and is instantly smitten, because Rajeev is just like her: he enjoys Sista Slash, Stella's favorite singer and guitar player, is a vegetarian, and likes rock music. The two soon begin going out, but Mo warns Stella not to jump far ahead off the rope just yet, because Rajeev will only be staying in Mo's house for six weeks, and because Rajeev's parents are as conservative as hers. Stella is skeptical about this, as she and Rajeev love each other and he won her heart. At Decker and Smythe, Stella, Olivia, Charlie, Mo and Wen all agree to do an ad. However, when the ad comes out, Stella is furious to discover that Earl had slimmed Olivia down, changed Mo's brown eyes to green, and touched up Wen's acne, practically turning Lemonade Mouth into some kind of zit cream brand. Stella says this is how kids get eating disorders and over-weight, because ads just prey upon everyone's insecurites to make them feel like they're worthless unless they buy products such as designer clothes, acne creams like X-Out, and even cigarrettes. Stella says they have other ways of being beautiful, and that no matter how famous, rich, or successful they become, Lemonade Mouth will always be the group of fourteen-year-old kids who were put outcast, picked on by jocks and cheerleaders, left fiddling with rubberbands and kazoos and drinking Mel's Organic Frozen Lemonade paper cups in a school basement. Upon learning they'll be having an interview on national television, Stella has the best songwriters of the group, Olivia and Wen, to write a new song the entire band can sing, and convices Rajeev, who is now her boyfriend, to come up with a huge, iconic dance rutine on the spot the night right before the interview. After standing up to Earl Decker, they lose everything, including the concert tour of their dreams, and Stella is also put into a funk when she learns that Rajeev's six-week stay in Rhode Island will be over soon and he'll be leaving for Texas. They soon become so successful, they learn Lemonade Mouth just started a new revolution bigger than ever before. In the end, everything works out. After settling a rivalry with Mudslide Crush, Stella and her friends are taking the world by storm.

Personality:

From the very moment of her birth, Stella had been a shining star ever since she was a baby, hence her name, which means "Star" in Italian. She can often be described as a younger version of Madonna: a rebellious, loud, fearless, witty, quirky, bold, tomboyish girl who comes from a very wealthy family, opposes the school's dresscode, likes to be the center of attention, loves boys and at the end of the day has a heart of gold. Although rebellious, Stella has a big heart and a big head with big, amazing ideas for herself and others. It is clear that Stella considers Olivia to be her favorite and makes it a known fact, and is often seen by her side whenever Olivia gets frightened or nervous, as seen in the girls' restroom when Olivia is terrified about singing at the Halloween Bash and Stella makes her feel better, or in the second book when Olivia questions Earl Decker, and when Earl begins to yell at Olivia, Stella stands up and defends her. It becomes clear that despite getting into trouble, Wen, Olivia, Charlie and Mo seem to bring out the best in her. She is a very talented and ambitious young woman, who has an extreme love for art, guitars, rock music and self-expression, but is sometimes a little tone-deaf when when it comes to knowing how her actions effect others. Stella is the mama bear and the leader of the pack who never seems to think through what she does and sometimes gets her friends into trouble, however, this doesn't mean she can't think of creative ways to get them out of situations they can't get out of by themselves. Stella never considers herself a girly girl or as "one of the guys;" she's stuck in the middle, which is just fine with her because she knows she's down-to-earth and is never afraid to be herself. It is hinted that Stella is a devout Christian, as she is shown to be religious and prays, showing how caring she really is and that she most likely believes that God is about love, acceptance and forgiveness. Although she appears to be tougher than your average teenager, Stella is actually very lonely inside and she just wants to love and be loved. It is proven that since her parents moved from Arizona to Rhode Island, Stella has grown into being quite desperate for attention and love from her family, and would become extremely angry and hurt when the attention faded. However, this lonliness seems to end in Lemonade Mouth: Puckers Up, when she finds love in Mo's friend, Rajeev, who soon becomes her boyfriend and soulmate. Stella is a diva at heart and she knows it, but at the same time, her caring, sweeter, softer side will show, as she will offer a shoulder to cry on and lend a helping hand whenever someone needs comfort or just simply an open ear. Stella is extremely protective over her band mates and is the mother-like figure towards all of them, taking care of and looking after their well-fair and health, such as telling Olivia she doesn't need to explain details of her dad's arrest if it makes her too uncomfortable, and insisting Mo goes back home and in to bed when she lies down in the snow in front of the lemonade machine on impulse with an extremely high fever. In addtion, she is very strong and is extremely good at keeping secrets, which is something her friends and family value in her highly, because she is able to walk through the thorns and choppy waters of high school. Wen initially describes her as pretty dramatic and very stubborn. Also, due to the fact that she's a leader, a band mate, a guitarist, an artist, a dyslexic, a high school student, a role model, a sister, a friend, a girlfriend, and a daughter, these responsibilities often make Stella stressed out, and this stress sometimes causes her to get into angry outbursts whenever she gets mad or upset, as seen in the beginning when she chops all her hair off after too many missed hair appointments. Also, due to the fact that she's the middle child to a stuck-up, academic, snotty, know-it-all older sister and two bratty little step monkey brothers, Stella often likes to make trouble for her siblings as a way to get attention. Much like her core personality, Stella can also be pretty scary and intimidating to those around her, however, her boyfriend Rajeev seems to be one of the only characters that is not afraid of Stella's outrageous, Goth appearance or personality. Stella's relationship with Rajeev has been her major storyline for the second book, only being in love with Rajeev after one minute upon setting her eyes on him, due to their similar personalities. In the second book, it is shown that Stella has improved with her dyslexia and stubborness, being more flexible with others and thinking over her actions before rushing, and seeming to have gained her confidence with academics. 

Appearance:

Before the book, Stella had long dark hair, but in a fit of rage, she chops it all off and dyes it green. She is very tall and has a tomboyish style. She's the quirkiest one and prefers to throw together vintage concert T's with studded boots and leather skirts, and, on some occasions, dark colored dresses with spiked dog collar chokers and fishnet stockings rather than following what other girls her age wear. Stella's style shows that she doesn't care what other people think about her because she's cool, attractive and comfortable with who is really is. In the second book, Stella's clothes soon become more girly, goth and sophisticated, and in addition, she dyes her hair pink, as a way for her to start fresh.

Quotes:

What about freedom of expression?

Now, I enjoy soda as much as the next person, but I don't like it when someone is using me as their own personal pawn.

I'm scared, too, but please, Olivia, don't back out now.

My shirt, my decision! Okay, don't let your school take away your rights!

We'd like to talk about. . . . Lemonade.

Are you all right?

Listen, Olivia. If you don't want to say any more, you don't have to.

The problem is I'm not much of a joiner.

Let me make this clear, Earl. Let me outline it so there can be no misunderstanding. Nobody owns Lemonade Mouth.

You're fired. Goodbye.

Don't you see They're using us to promote a twisted image of life just like a zillion other ads do, a world of skeletal cover girls and synthtic faces! It makes people believe they need these products because it preys on everyone's insecurities, making real people feel like failures just because they don't look like this wraped, unrealistic ideal. Come on, guys! Look at our faces! Look at Olivia's legs! No wonder there are so many kids with self-image problems and eating disorders! Normal, healthy people don't look like that!

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