Meanicures

Catherine Clark, Egmont USA, $15.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-60684-100-6
Clark (Better Latte Than Never) offers a watered-down version of Mean Girls meets Freaky Friday in this tale of tween friendships gone bad. Madison, Olivia, and Taylor are seventh-grade BFFs who decide that they've taken enough abuse from former friends and A-groupers Cassidy, Kayley, and Alexis. Madison and her two friends concoct what they believe is a harmless ceremony to rid themselves of the other girls' torments, but something gets skewed in the cosmic universe. The social positions of the two groups get switched, with Madison and her buds gaining the upper hand (and behaving worse). Despite the teen girl drama and some lightly funny situations—Madison winds up giving a school announcement broadcast (that Cassidy has sabotaged, no less) with green hair due to her mother's malfunctioning edamame shampoo—it's difficult to get invested in Madison or her friends. Finally, after a group manicure (aka meanicure) designed to promote harmony between the six girls bombs, the original social pecking order is restored and the two trios basically resume their original relationships, leaving readers wondering what Clark's message really is. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/27/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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Library Binding - 978-1-60684-104-4
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