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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Standard clique issues exposed: obsession with status, and privilege, plus anti-social behavior. The girls are spoiled and mean. When they aren't shopping, they are scheming and lying.
Positive Role Models
Readers will root for Lauren to overcome her past, but be disappointed when she adopts the mean-girls' attitudes and behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Pinching, tripping each other. A kid has a severe allergic reaction to nuts.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual humor, body-part discussion, and wanting to be "sexy."
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Slang like "biatch" and "'ho."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate