cover image How to Rock Braces and Glasses

How to Rock Braces and Glasses

Meg Haston. Little, Brown/Poppy, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-06825-3

In this Alloy Entertainment property that's been picked up by Nickelodeon for a sitcom, sharp-tongued Kasey Simon, 13, is used to the spotlight. She has the lead in the school play and a weekly spot on the televised middle-school newscast, where she regularly disses her peers. But that's before she is forced to wear ugly tortoiseshell glasses and get metal braces. Now, instead of dishing out insults, she has to take them as she becomes a target of ridicule from the entire student body, including her three so-called best friends. Worse, the lisp she's developed from her dental hardware threatens to cut short her budding career in drama and broadcast journalism. As Haston, in her first YA novel, traces Kasey's painful tumble down the popularity hill, she offers some clever dialogue and important life lessons, but the contrived plot and predictable outcome feel less than genuine. Readers may have trouble warming up to the arrogant heroine and grow impatient waiting for her to be as brutally honest about her own weaknesses as she is about others' flaws. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. (Sept.)