A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this book features lots of labels, including constant references to high-end fashion, singers, technology, and even junk food. Even though the main characters are only 12, the book glamorizes style, romance, and popularity. The Pretty Committee is definitely not about girl power: One character has a weight obsession, and the friends don't seem that concerned when one of the members has a fever-induced hallucination.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In this fourth installment in the Clique series, Alicia's Spanish cousin transfers for a semester to their private girls' school. The 13-year-old appears to win over the boys instantly with her sexy clothes and talk. Massie schemes to get control -- of the guys and of her clique, too.
Is it any good?
Not only does this book have negative messages, but it isn't even well-written, limiting its appeal even as a guilty pleasure. The author occasionally captures middle school behavior well: Even these sophisticated girls worry about first kisses, send each other constant text messages, and tell lame jokes. One of the popular boys is even known for dropping his pants and doing his "famous butt-wiggle." But these moments are wedged between extravagant parties, mean talk, and elaborate revenge plots.
Targeting a book mostly about clothes, boys, popularity, and power to tween girls just seems wrong, especially because there are no real lessons learned.