A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Positive messages of learning to see things from others' points of view, but also negative ones about improving social status through clothing, hairstyles, and makeup.
Positive Role Models
The main character is mean to other children and even her own mother, but learns to see things from their points of view.
Violence & Scariness
A man hits his wife, a child is hit by a car.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A mention of boobs.
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Products & Purchases
Handbag, clothing, toy, bookstore, department store brands mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A mention of teens using drugs and another of smoking, a mother is a drunk whose daughter has to clean up after her.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are brief references to drinking, smoking, drugs, spousal abuse, commercial brands, and boobs, but none are more than passing references.
Is It Any Good?
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."
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Our Editors Recommend
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