cover image Inside Girl

Inside Girl

J. Minter, . . Bloomsbury, $8.95 (229pp) ISBN 978-1-59990-086-5

This bland but sweet-natured tale centers on Flan Flood, younger sister of notorious Patch, a central character in Minter's Insiders series, from which this novel has been spun off. Tired of living in the reflected glow of her glamorous siblings, Flan has left her private all-girl school to attend Stuyvesant High School, the competitive public high school in downtown Manhattan. There she befriends Judith and Meredith, two thinly characterized girls who are also refugees from private schools. A love interest effortlessly materializes in the form of “the second-cutest boy in tenth grade.” Predictable hijinks ensue as Flan attempts to keep her cooler-than-thou background a secret from her new crowd, while also accommodating the needs of three glitzy pals (including a needy teen star on the run from paparazzi) who have set up camp in the Flood family's Greenwich Village brownstone. It's assumed that Flan's high school friends will be intimidated if she reveals the truth about herself, yet some of the book's most humorous (and oddly touching) bits revolve around the fashionista set's fascination with the down-to-earth details of ordinary teenage existence. Fans of the Insiders series will likely welcome Flan's slightly more down-to-earth take on New York City life. Ages 12-up. (June)