Rummanah Aasi
  I was very excited to read Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder when I first heard about it. The book's premise was my main draw and I wondered how the typical popularity/bullying tale will be told in this new installment. Once again, many thanks to Netgalley and Graphia for providing me an advanced reader's copy so I can give you an honest review.

Description: April Bowers is going to be a sophomore with no friends at Penford High School. Her luck seems to change when Britney, the most popular girl at school, invites April Bowers to her lunch table. Hanging out with Britney will not only get April in the in-crowd and help boost April's social status, but as April soon finds out friendship comes at a steep price.

Review: While Lipstick Laws is an enjoyable read that made me laugh and shake my head in frustration, it sadly doesn't offer anything new in the popularity/bullying sub-genre of contemporary YA literature. The premise of the book is one that we have read and seen before (i.e. the movie Mean Girls). April Bowers is an invisible teen who longs to belong and be part of the in-crowd. She seems to have a lucky day when she's paired up and loans her lip gloss to Britney, the most popular girl at school, at P.E; and gets invited to sit at the popular girl's lunch table. As you can guess, April has to prove she is worthy of Britney and her minion's friendship. April is swayed by her desire to become popular and gives in to Britney's laws, also known as the Lipstick Laws, which specifically states how girls in the clique are suppose to act. As April delves deeper into the rules, she realizes that she must either sacrifice her own identity or suck up to Britney for the remainder of her high school years.
  April is a likable character who is funny, smart, vulnerable, and insecure. She understands that doesn't make the wise choice of accepting the Lipstick Laws yet she doesn't want to remain invisible in high school. She simply wants to belong. Thankfully, it doesn't take April too long to figure it out and fight back. The first half of the book is warm and funny; however, the book falls flat in the second half. In the second half of the book we see April forming a group called Lipstick Lawbreakers who retaliate against Britney. While there are some humorous comebacks and pranks played, the epiphany that the characters come to happen very easily and quickly at the end. I was left wondering if the characters actually came to the conclusion on their own or if it just dawned on them, regardless I thought it could be flushed out more. As a result, it seemed rushed and fake. Despite these flaws, I would still recommend it for a light, contemporary YA read but I wouldn't necessarily put it at the top of my reading list.    

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and a high school party that features underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman or Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman
2 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    This one doesn't sound like it necessarily brings anything new to the table, so I think I'll wait on it. Too bad the second half doesn't quite live up to the humor of the first too, it's a shame when it doesn't end as strong as it starts:) Thanks Rummanah!

  2. I read this a few months ago, and I agree. Not anything fresh and new, but cute... As a grown-up reader of YA, I didn't take much from it (other than to maybe relive some of the horrible parts of HS), but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

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