She's So Money

(i)

 

Teen starts cheating ring; sassy but predictable.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Parents could use this book to talk about cheating. See our "What to Talk About" section for specific questions.

Positive messages

A bunch of kids start a cheating ring. Eventually Maya learns to be more honest (and is caught and punished). 

Positive role models

Maya doesn't always make great choices -- she starts a cheating ring after all! -- but readers will applaud her transformation into a complete (and more honest) person. And they will appreciate that she maintains her spunk, even after learning a lesson -- and falling in love.

Violence

Though it is played for laughs, Maya is taken against her will by rich Camden to his house, where he proceeds to slip into the hot tub. When Maya complains about being kidnapped, he tells her "No one would ever believe you."

Sex

Some kissing. Also, when a boy that Maya gently rejects gets mad and ends up blackmailing her, she gets an extension on meeting his demands by whispering in his ear, which she admits is the "closest to prostitution" as she's come.

Language

The occasional "bitch" or "ass."

Consumerism

A sprinkling: Stila lip gloss, Road Rules, Doritos, Oreos, Pop Tarts, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Camden drinks at Maya's restaurant and he and Maya joke about how he'll be drunk at his party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is about a girl who starts a cheating ring, making money by doing other kids' homework and roping in other smart kids to help her. There is some kissing, some label dropping, and a swear word here and there. More importantly, there is also some complicated material that could come off as sexual harassment. Though it's played for laughs, Maya is taken against her will by rich Camden to his house, where he proceeds to slip into the hot tub. When Maya complains about being kidnapped, he tells her "No one would ever believe you." In another plot point, a boy that Maya gently rejects gets mad and ends up blackmailing her; she gets an extension on meeting his demands by whispering in his ear, which she admits is the "closest to prostitution" as she's come.

What's the story?

When Maya's parents leave their Thai restaurant in the kids' hands for a weekend, they think they can trust their overachieving, responsible daughter. But she and her brother decide not to clean up after a long night -- the night before a surprise health inspector visit. Now, Maya's got to figure out a way to pay the $10,000 fine without her parents finding out. So she pairs up with a rich bad boy to start doing homework for money. Soon, the demand gets so great that Maya has to recruit her other smart friends into the ring, which increases the danger of being found out.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This is the first novel from a writer who also helps pen Family Guy, and it's filled with fast-paced dialogue, outrageous moments, and fairly predictable characters and plotting. Her protagonist Maya has some great deadpan lines. (When Camden remarks that Asians are supposed to be good at math, she snaps, "Yes, my people all do math for fun, while simultaneously dry-cleaning our karate outfits and giving each other manicures and pedicures, all in between our numerous piano and violin recitals.") She is complex, too: While she starts off her cheating ring only to pay a bill that could shut down her parents' restaurant, she ends up getting into the money and popularity that she gets from doing the A-list's dirty work.

Readers may not quite buy the ending (the principal actually lets Maya and the other students involved in the cheating ring off with only a three-day suspension). But in the end, they will applaud Maya's transformation into a complete (and more honest) person. And they will appreciate that she maintains her spunk, even after learning a lesson -- and falling in love.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cheating. It's become a hot topic in the media these past few years. Are more kids cheating now than before? If so, is this because of the pressure kids feel to succeed? Parents may also want to check out Common Sense Media's advice for addressing cheating.

  • Parents may want to delve into Maya's character. She is a hard-working girl at school and at her parent's restaurant, but does start a cheating ring (and learns to enjoy the money and popularity that come with it). Does the fact that she is relatable and learns a lesson enough to make her a good role model?  

Book details

Author:Cherry Cheva
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperTeen
Publication date:January 22, 2008
Number of pages:304
Publisher's recommended age(s):12

This review of She's So Money was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written bymovielover86 March 3, 2011
very good book when you start you cant stop and might even wish there was more
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byi luv camden king June 17, 2010

Perfect

I am 12 & i read this book, and i wished it hadnt ended, kids will love this book because lets face it at 12 & 13 most teens know about drugs & sex, so thats not a concern, but this book can show teens that people arent always how they seem, and that u need to give people a chance. i HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS BOOK!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bysnowbunny12395 January 26, 2012

Good

i think this was a great book i read it with my 6 year old brother 3 times a total for me 38 times and some of the stuff in this review above is very wrong. she never said she was a prostiute that word never came out of her mouth.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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