Author: Jennifer Solow
Published: 2010, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre: Middle-grade fiction
Cover Score: D
Overall Grade: A-
Parker Bell and her three best friends have been waiting for the start of their eighth grade year for their entire middle school career. This year, Parker and her friends have made it to the top of the populadder at their exclusive private school, Wallingford Academy. Their Facebook friend count has never been higher, and as Aristobrats (or Wallingford legacies), they've been groomed to lead the school to greatness. But when the girls are assigned to produce the lame, losers-only school webcast, their hard-worked-for popularity plummets. Will this tragedy destroy everything they've worked for? Or their friendship? Or both?
My thoughts: Before picking up The Aristobrats, I was expecting just your typical mean-girls novel, a la The Clique. However, The Aristobrats had something that the Clique and other books in the same genre lack. The popular girls are actually--gasp--friendly, and Ms. Solow actually projects some surprisingly good morals into her story, including the value of friendship and the real way to get to popularity.
The Aristobrats still has the same humor, label-dropping (though not as obnoxious as in The Clique) and attitude as similar books in the genre, but it also presents readers with four strong protagonists who have good ethics and are thoroughly relatable: how refreshing. My one complaint would have to be the cheesy cover--it doesn't do the book justice!
While The Aristobrats starts off a bit slowly, Ms. Solow has a strong, appealing writing style that sucks the reader into the quick-moving story. I definitely recommend this book to middle-school girls who want a bit of glitz and glam embedded in an overall fresh and lively quality read.