cover image Loser/Queen


Jodi Lynn Anderson, illus. by Brittney Lee, Simon & Schuster, $9.99 trade paper

Fans of Anderson's Peaches may be disappointed in this formulaic, bittersweet Cinderella story, the course of which readers helped determine via an online promotion earlier this year. Fifteen-year-old Cammy, "a born outsider," suffers the ultimate humiliation when she is literally caught with her pants down in front of a crowd of students. But a few days later, she receives a text from someone named the White Rabbit offering to help her get even. After following cryptic step-by-step instructions, Cammy not only witnesses her enemies fall, but also receives a "Mad Men meets Katy Perry" makeover, lands a prom date, and is given chances to boost the self-esteem of other victimized peers. Predictably, triumphs lead to downfalls as the White Rabbit's demands have increasingly cruel results. Readers may find the mess Cammy creates for herself more frustrating than entertaining, and they will likely feel the most empathy for Cammy's ditched best friend, Gerdi, a Danish foreign exchange student who proves to be wiser and more independent than the fickle heroine. Art not seen by PW. Ages 13–up. (Dec.)