The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011); reviewed from Kindle ARC supplied by publisher via netgalley.com.
April Bowers can't believe her good luck in gym class (of all places) on the first day of her sophomore year. She gets paired with queen bee of the mean girl clique, Britney Taylor, and not only manages to avoid humiliating herself, but loans Britney a lip gloss and gets invited to sit with her crew at lunch. For a nobody like April, this is quite a coup. Even better, she gains entrance to the inner circle, though she has to squelch some of her misgivings about participating in such mean games a "Rank a Skank." That's just one of Britney's rude tactics and evil machinations, not to mention Britney's laughable stupidity (the nincompoopisms that spout from Britney's glossy lips are frequently hilarious). But April overlooks everything, just for the chance to be popular. Ultimately, April earns the honor of an official invitation to join Britney's clique--provided she's willing to sign her allegiance to "The Lipstick Laws," a set of tenets designed to ensure Britney's stranglehold on her friends' actions while boosting her own social standing. The laws are actually quite clever for such a brainless character. April signs on, despite a dire warning from her former best friend Haley (who moved away), and has to face Britney's wrath when she accidentally breaks one of the rules. Social destitution naturally follows, but April finds a way to wreak vengeance. But is it worth it? Or is April morphing into a mean girl herself?
April Bowers is a fabulous, funny, witty character who will engage readers and evoke empathy. Who hasn't wanted to be popular? Or harpoon the queen meanie? April makes some heady realizations through the course of this novel, and while she doesn't get THE guy at the end, she learns that maybe appearances aren't everything.
Excellent read for ages 13 & up, though there are sexual situations and language.
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