Newest Review: ... one that would have been completely alien to me as a year 6 or year 7 student, about the target age for this novel, but is probably som... more
More Sticky Than Glossy
Lipgloss Jungle - Melissa de la Cruz
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Lipgloss Jungle - Melissa de la Cruz
Disadvantages: Shallow and not too original
One Ashley, two Ashleys, three Ashleys,... four? Lauren is a gal on a mission, to infiltrate The Ashleys, a super sleek clique at her posh prep school, and bring them down from the inside. Sure, she may be at a slight disadvantage, what with not being called Ashley, and boasting new money rather than the more desirable, classical old kind, but she's up for the challenge. But, in a world where some girls are more equal than others, and queen bees rule supreme, Lauren will have to work hard if she's to gain the girls' trust and respect, and gain a place in the inner circle.
These girls really do live in a shiny, lipglossed world. It's one that would have been completely alien to me as a year 6 or year 7 student, about the target age for this novel, but is probably somewhat familiar to the Gossip Girl generation, a show to which this book bears remarkable similarities. That said, there did seem to be some incongruences in the story. On the one hand, we're supposed to believe these girls are living Life with a capital L, complete with Blackberry Pearls, designer togs, chauffeurs and bodyguards. On the other hand one of them readily admits she barely knows how to kiss. It's something about the ages that seemed a little off to me - at times they appear much older than their supposed 13 years, at others they're very clearly little girls.
It's just a bit too familiar, from the title - a take on another novel/TV show - to the highs and lows of prep school which seem to be all the rage at the moment. The book has only a vague plot, though each of the gang has their own random tangents, but is quite a decent read and I didn't find the characters irritating or too off the wall. It's a no-thinking read but the writing is good, to the extent, in fact, that I think the author's wasted writing this sort of disposable fiction.
The same thing that can be said about previous titles in the series stands too: this is a book that may work in 2009 (when it was published), 2010, even 2011, but will be hopelessly out-dated in a few more years, when Hollywood stars fade, technology moves on and the various faces of current advertising campaigns are no more... That doesn't mean it's an all together bad read, just one you might want to borrow rather than invest in, and one that wouldn't really do as a future hand-me-down to a younger sister.
Not the sort of book that will change the world, this is nonetheless harmless tween fiction that stays safely away from what many parents would consider inappropriate topics. One to suggest they pick up when you want a break from any awkward questions, because it's almost guaranteed none will come out of reading this, and the worst you might be asked is, 'Mum, why don't we have a butler?'
An earlier version of this review first appeared on The Bookbag.
Summary: Lauren wants to change the face of her school's elite cliques forever. Can she manage to do so?
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