Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011
240 pages
E-ARC from Netgalley

At Penford High School, Brittany Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.
For April Bowers, Brittany is the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't know she exists. One lunch spent at Brittany's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity. 
But Brittany's friendship comes with a high price tag, and April decides it's not worth the cost. Inspiring and empowering, this is the story of one girl who decides to push back.
I have really mixed feelings about this book. Sure I read it in less than a day and it was only 240 pages, but the long chapters seemed to drag on for longer than they needed to. Especially when they ended in the bizarre dreams that main character April Bowers would have. It's clear that the forced friendship that April starts with the popular girls is going to go downhill and for the first 75 pages you're just cringing waiting for it happen. But after a while with a ho-hum plot and forgettable characters, you just don't care any more.

Which brings me to blah characters in the story. Britney Taylor is supposed to be the hideous mean girl, leader of the crew, but she's not as ruthless as other mean girls have been in other books like this. It might have something to do with the fact that we hear it from April's point of view. So Britney actually appears comical and tragically misguided at times.

While there were quite a few laugh out loud funny moments at how dumb Britney could be:
"Fifty percent?! That's like..half off!"
"I'm allergic to peanuts but you don't see me telling you guys not to go to Peanut Butter parties."
"Please, Brianna, go back to first grade. There's no A in beautiful!"

...I didn't hate her as much as we were supposed to. I actually hated April! She wasn't super sweet and she mirrored many of the same behaviors as Britney. She was extremely selfish and made it clear to the reader that she'd go to any length to be popular (ie. befriend & hang out with Britney and co. so she wouldn't look lame), was mean to people who were geeks (her mom's best friend's son Delvin) and she's also insanely vengeful. Without giving away too much of the plot, we find things out about why mean girl Britney Taylor is the way she is and it's actually pretty sad.

I'm guessing I'm not the hugest fan of YA Fiction, but if I'm going to read the genre, I want it to be mind-blowing like many that I have read in the past. This one just didn't cut it for me. If you like YA Fiction revolving around high school antics, mean popular girls and the underdogs who fight back, I half-heartedly recommend this book.


  1. That's too bad... Sorry you didn't like it much. I have it on my TBR but I'm set to read it in April.

    and about the bookmarks, I'm trying to make some right now, with ARGH as the monster :D Wow you've got a bookclub, that's cool! Are you attending BEA by the way?

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  2. Sounds very similar to Mean Girls. I hate reading books that don't interest me but at the same time I like to give all genres a chance. Good thing it wasn't a long read.

  3. I liked this one and I didn't. I wish April had grown more though the book. She was just like Britney and I think that was supposed to be the point, but it never really hit home for me. I felt bad for Delvin.

  4. @Small Review: Totally! But it's like she didn't realize it until like page 199 of 200 you know what I mean?! I hated that the blurb said it was an "Empowering" story also. And yeah i felt really bad for Delvin.


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