The Ashleys #1: There's a New Name in School

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
The Ashleys #1: There's a New Name in School Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Standard clique book with same mean-girl behavior.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The girls are spoiled and mean. When they aren't shopping, they are scheming and lying. Standard clique issues with status, privilege, and anti-social behavior.


Pinching, tripping each other, and a kid has a severe allergic reaction to nuts.


Some sexual humor, body-part discussion, and wanting to be "sexy."


Slang like "biatch" and "'ho."


Yikes! Call the commercial cops. Every high-end brand name and store imaginable: Chanel, Fendi, Starbucks, Saks Fifth Avenue, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that it's all about the $2000 purses and $900 sweaters here. When they aren't shopping, the characters are scheming to get to the top of the social ladder or scheming to stay there. Parents are either absent, turning a blind eye, or trying to buy acceptance like their middle schoolers. The book is not as mean or racy as others in this genre, but it's far from sweet.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byCommonSenseParent November 25, 2010

Excellent, well-written read for 3rd grade and up

The Ashleys is a well-written guilty pleasure novel that is an enjoyable and entertaining read for 3rd grade and up. Kids will enjoy the fun details of the weal... Continue reading
Adult Written bybeeb June 2, 2010

just a book

i think this book exagerates the issues you may face in highschool to show how teens may feel. every girl that reads this takes one charicter they feel most lik... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 9, 2013

Edgier Than Most Kid's Books

The language goes a little farther than slang- the father tells his twelve year old daughter she will "kick ass" and another twelve year old girl refe... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 26, 2013

Bring On The Ashley's!

The book is really good. Don't listen to anyone else. It's a great smooth read for kids that are older. Five stars!

What's the story?

There is a reigning clique in Miss Gamble's Preparatory School for Girls. The Ashleys are perfect at being perfect. The right clothes, hair, friends, the right name: Ashley. When Lauren gets an extreme makeover in time for 7th grade she decides that the Ashleys' reign should come to an end.

Is it any good?

While full of name brands and catty behavior, this book isn't as cruel and risqué as other clique books -- and thankfully, this light diversion is also a fast-paced read. Popular author Melissa de la Cruz makes her characters easy to relate to and root for, despite their cattiness. Readers will want Lauren Page to overcome her awkward past, but most likely will cringe when she starts to imitate the bad behavior of the Ashleys, like ditching her old "uncool" friends.

Pretty girls say and do mean things, and parental figures are usually nowhere to be found, so there's plenty to talk about with tweens/teens for parents who allow some guilty-pleasure reading now and then. At least the sexual content is dialed down a few notches here. Now that the Gossip Girl books are also a TV show, you'd almost call this book refreshing. Almost.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about peer pressure, materialism, and self-acceptance. Do you feel pressure to act a certain way around your friends? Why is it more important to be yourself?

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