Author: Lisi Harrison
Poppy, August 2008
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Tween girls, 11-14
It's summer, and while Claire Lyons' friends and fellow members of the Pretty Committee are jetting off on their glamorous vacations, she's back home in Kissimmee, Florida, where she feels that she can really be her Keds-wearing self that she was before moving to Westchester and befriending fashionable alpha Massie Block, something that her three FBFFs (Florida BFFs) don't really like. Fortunately for Claire, it's time for the local Miss Kiss pageant, something she's wanted to participate in for practically her whole life BF (before Westchester), and Claire realizes that this could be her chance to win back her friends and make Miss Kiss history. Unluckily for her, she has two surprises in store: one, she's selected to judge the pageant, resulting in having to make one of the hardest decisions of her life; and two, Massie makes an unexpected trip to Orlando and seems to be ruining Claire's friendships, her reputation, and her perfect summer....It's the ultimate "Battle of the BFFs" and the heat is on...
My thoughts: Ahhh. Another breezy summer confection by one of my favorite authors. The minute I opened the glossy front cover, I was whisked away to Orlando and was sucked into Claire's world. Fast-paced and moving the whole time, I finished the last book in the summer collection in less than a day. Harrison is clearly an excellent writer: her descriptions of clothing, setting, and characters paint a colorful picture in the reader's mind, making flipping the pages of her juicy novels an absolute treat; and her dialogue is realistic and packed full of hilarious Clique lingo (Ehmagawd!). Claire is most definitely one of my favorite characters (right up there with Kristen and Dylan): she has real problems and has the hardest time fitting in. She has to make big decisions, has a loving heart and a good conscience, and makes mistakes just like any normal person. She's utterly lovable, unlike some of the other members of the PC (read: Massie, who you just can't help hating). The only thing that bugged me was the ending [spoiler]: after Claire's judging position got rebuked for helping her friends out, her three Florida pals threatened to make her choose between them and Massie (also upset with Claire for different reasons), which Claire wittily responded to by saying "I choose me" and losing all of her friends. But in the parking lot later on, Massie and Claire have a moment, which I guess means that Claire chose Massie, who said she would never make friends choose each other. Anyone else confused about the ending? All in all, Claire was an absolute blast to read, although Dylan is still my fave!
Other books in the Clique Summer Collection: