Came out: September 1, 2005
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Source: Kindle Store
Age Group: Young Adult
Being the new girl is tough: just ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has no clue how she’s going to fit in at her fancy new private school in Southern California. Plus, being late, overdressed, and named after a Duran Duran song doesn’t help make the first day any easier. Then, Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich, and a cheerleader, Kristi is the queen bee of Newport Beach. And, Kristi isn’t friends with just anyone, so Rio is thrilled when shes invited to be part of the most exclusive, popular clique world of underage drinking, drug dabbling, and hooking-up. At first, Rio is having a great time. But, as she becomes more immersed in this jet set crowd, Rio figures out there is one unspoken rule that her new friends forgot to mention: don’t cross Kristi.
I have to admit that I don’t really like Alyson Noel’s writing style. It’s just not as intense or way shallower than I’d like it to be. For the Immortals series, it’s not as intense as I like my books and Rio in this book just irritated me the entire time and I didn’t like the way that the book was written.
Rio seemed shallower than I was expecting her and because of one mistake she wanted to “prove” to her “friends” that she could be popular and then completely ignored them for months on end. I find it hard to believe that a girl like her who cared about grades and art and friends would be caught up in partying and popularity and all of that.
I read this before I read The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder and I have to be honest in saying that I liked The Lipstick Laws much better. Kristi just annoyed me too but she was supposed to be annoying, unlike Rio. This would be fine if this book was a comedy (like Mean Girls) but it just doesn’t work as a “drama” book. It reminds me too much of the Clique plus hookups and partying minus endless brand-name dropping. Actually, scratch that.There was a bit.
Seriously? It’s like Alyson Noel watched Mean Girls and wrote this book while watching it without the funniness. This book is okay if you want a lot of petty drama, but not for reading for substance or a heartfelt romance/friendship. For those, I suggest books by Sarah Dessen. She’s great.
Recommended for anybody who loves: Mean Girls; The Lipstick Laws; The Clique; dramatic books; Alyson Noel; etc,.
Possible book club questions:
Why do you think Rio got caught up in the storm of popularity?
What would you have done in Rio’s place?
Why do you think Kristi is so messed up?
Do you think the ending was good or not? Why?
Do you feel bad for Kristi or think that she brings it on herself?