Hotlanta

Denene Millner, Author, Mitzi Miller, Author . Scholastic/Point $8.99 (278p) ISBN 978-0-545-00308-7

This series debut alternates between the perspectives of African-American twin sisters, the overachieving Sydney and (per Sydney's description) “superficial, self-centered, scandalous drama queen” Lauren. The trappings of clique lit are all here: the twins wear designer clothes, attend “the premier, predominantly African-American private institution of learning in the Atlanta area” and are glued to an anonymous blog tracking all the school's gossip. The plot deepens when Sydney starts secretly spending time with the twins' father, recently released from jail, and when Lauren starts dating a cute boy from a bad neighborhood; it gets even fuller—if harder to believe—when the sisters realize their rich stepfather may not actually be a car dealer (Lauren's boyfriend, Jermaine, tells them that “he been running things in the hood Godfather-style for years”). Beyond some outrageous plotting, Millner (The Sistahs' Rules ) and Miller (The Angry Black Woman's Guide to Life ) offer challenges unique to their African-American characters (Sydney wishes her boyfriend would get off his “all-natural-beauty” soapbox so she could press her hair, while Jermaine tells Lauren he wears expensive sneakers to keep safe on his rough block). These insights earn the authors credibility with their audience, although the glamorous outfits and events—and the mystery surrounding the girls' stepfather—are probably what will keep readers burning through the pages. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/25/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 278 pages - 978-1-4352-9906-1
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