By Siobhan Vivian
My Rating: 4 / 5
This is another book that I read about on the Chapters Teen blog, and instantly knew it was a book that I wanted to read. Here is the summary from the Kobo store:
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction – and the price that’s paid for them. It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn’t matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up. This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, “pretty” and “ugly.” And it’s also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.
I liked this book. It takes the reader through a week in the lives of eight girls on The List, which is posted all over the school each year, declaring the prettiest and ugliest girl in each grade. No one knows who’s responsible for this list, but everyone knows about it, anticipating its overnight arrival all over school walls and lockers.
As the names on this year’s list are revealed, we learn about each girl’s struggles, which include: an eating disorder; academic struggles; rebelling against the mainstream; and adjusting to high school after being home schooled. Some girls are happy to be on the list at first, but they all have to deal with being the subject of gossip all over school because of it, and all eight of them come to see that, whatever they may have thought of it before their names appeared on it, being on The List is nothing like they could have anticipated.
I liked reading about each character, and at first I thought it would be difficult to follow eight storylines, but it wasn’t. I found something to like about each girl, and I was genuinely interested in who they were, how they reacted to being on the list, and what would happen to each of them by the end.
The story leads up to the big homecoming dance at the end of the week, including the announcement of Homecoming Queen, which is usually given to the girl voted as prettiest senior. However, there is a bit of a shake up this year, and it isn’t clear who will win the crown.
If there was one thing I didn’t like, it was the present-tense narrative. I don’t know why authors choose that over other styles, but I’m not a fan. That’s just a minor complaint of mine, though, about an otherwise enjoyable book.
This book was fun, and I liked that not all of the storylines were tied up with a tidy happy ending, but it felt very short. I just wished there had been a bit more to it, that it was a few chapters longer. Overall, though, I would recommend it.