Poor Blake Dawkins! She's rich, she's gorgeous, and she's the queen bee of Harrison High. The girls want to be her; the boys want to—okay, enough said. But it turns out Blake’s life is not so perfect—just talk to her dad, who constantly reminds her that she's not up to par, or to her ex-bff, Audrey, who doesn't even look her in the eye.
Then Harrison—and every other high school in America—becomes obsessed with posting selfies on the ubiquitous Pretty App. Next: Leo, an adorable transfer student, arrives at Harrison and begins to show Blake that maybe being a queen bee doesn't mean being a queen bitch. And though Audrey suspects somebody’s playing foul, Blake finds herself catapulted to internet fame after being voted one of the prettiest girls in the country. She's whisked away to star in a reality show—in Hollywood, on live TV. But she doesn’t know who to trust. Because everybody on the show wants to win.
And nobody is there to make friends.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: April 14th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is April 14th 2015**
Imagine thinking that you were prettier than everyone you knew and therefore thought everyone else was inferior. Imagine that you felt this gave you the right to treat everyone else like they were dirt. Imagine feeling that your only assets were your appearance on the outside and your only self confidence is based on this. Imagine being this shallow.
Needless to say I started the story pretty frustrated. With a character this shallow how am I going to get behind her in her journey and cheer for her? I had to keep reminding myself that there had to be some redemption as I got deeper in to the story and that this was the second book in a series of which I had not read the first one. Perhaps there was more of a back story explained in the first book that would allow me to identify more with Blake.
If you wait for it there is some type of redemption offered however the story was very focused on beauty and "mean girls". While completely predictable it finished much stronger than it started.
I have to stop myself as I am typing this as I have to question if I am being too harsh. This is a YA story geared towards a YA audience. If I were to put myself in the shoes of a teenage girl and think about the story from that perspective it all becomes a little more clear to me. Teenage girls are concerned with how they look, they are vulnerable to the opinion of others (in many cases) and they have been known to be on either the giving or receiving end of some less than nice words/rumours. For this I think the story is very well done and actually teaches a lesson. It shows how actions have consequences and that if you treat people poorly it can come back to haunt you. It also shows that it is possible to change and that you do not have to be trapped in the same "stereotype". For this I give Sise kudos.
To summarize I would say this is a good story for the audience it was intended for. Us slightly older than YA demographic may get a little annoyed at times but it should resonate with the YA readers, females in particular. It does tell the story of change in an interesting concept. The fact that it includes a reality TV show and some references to some current ones it also stays interesting.
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