Author: Lisi Harrison
Poppy, July 2008
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Girls, 11-15
It's summer, and OCD scholarship girl Kristen Gregory is stuck in Westchester while her fellow members of the Pretty Committee are jet-setting across the globe. Her only source of entertainment is tutoring a total 9-year-old LBR named Ripple who is more interested in becoming a Massie clone than learning math. Just when Kristen's about to close the books (for good), she meets Ripple's hawt older brother, Dune, and the summer starts looking up. After getting dumped at the end of last year, she's ready for a new crush, and will do anything to get him to like her back, even if it means wearing baggy skater-guy clothes; bribing over-eager Ripple to help her get Dune; assembling a Witty Committee; and attempting to fill a country club pool with Jell-O...But she'll have to watch out, because she's not the only one who's got her eye on Dune...Can Kristen beat out former eighth-grade alpha Skye Hamilton? Or will any possibility of summer romance and excitement crash and burn?
While the plot summary sounds silly and shallow, readers will be amazed at how good Kristen actually is, from the detailed descriptions (I love how Lisi Harrison describes houses, rooms, clothes, and people's appearance-they're always so colorful and easy to picture!) to the hilarious things that Kristen does in attempts to get Dune to like her, to the simple and easy-to-follow plotline. However, I think that probably the best thing about The Clique series is the dialogue: it always sounds realistic, and the girls of the Pretty Committee always have something witty to say, like a clever comeback or a little rhyme that makes you think, "I wish I had thought of that!" I also really enjoyed Kristen's character-while the rest of the PC members are hard to relate to (unless you're a 12 year old who just naturally always wears Prada), I think that readers will all find a part of Kristen that reminds them of themselves. The conflicts that she experiences seem realistic, from struggling between personalities (alpha and rich for the PC, middle-class and modest for Dune), to trying to escape from the clutches of her over-protective mother. All in all, I have to say that Kristen is now right up there with Dylan, my favorite of the 5 Clique Summer Collection books.