This book reads like something written by a bright college student: a bit clunky, obvious, beating the reader over the head with the Point. It relies on caricature instead of character, and often violates the cardinal rule of writing class -- show, don't tell! This can happen even to a good writer when he or she churns out books on a series schedule, which values speed over subtlety.
That's not to say that this isn't enjoyable -- it is. It's easy and fluid to read, with an engrossing plot and a few original ideas, including turning the middle school queen of mean into a relatable, sympathetic heroine whose spoiled brashness may actually be a healthier approach to life than the social outcast's self pity. Unfortunately, improving the outcast's life predictably involves getting her better clothes, hair, and makeup. But it also involves getting her to stand up for herself, especially to her own neglectful parents. So, not great literature, but a fun read.
From the Book:
From her prime seat at the best table, Amanda Beeson surveyed the chaotic scene with a sense of well-being. The cafeteria was noisy and messy and not very attractive, but it was part of her little kingdom --- or queendom, if such a word existed. She wasn't wearing any kind of crown, of course, but she felt secure in the knowledge that in this particular hive, she was generally acknowledged as the queen bee.
On either side of her sat two princesses --- Sophie Greene and Britney Teller. The three of them were about to begin their daily assessment of classmates. As always, Amanda kicked off the conversation. "Ohmigod, check out Caroline's sweater! It's way too tight."