Monday, July 18, 2011

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

April Bowers can’t believe her luck when she’s paired with Brittany in gym class. Sure, Brittany doesn’t recognize her and thinks she’s new, but that doesn’t matter to April. Before long, she’s eating lunch with Brittany and her friends and learning the secret rules of popularity. In order to belong, April must swear an oath to the Lipstick Laws. Some of it makes sense, like don’t double cross your friends, or date their exes. Other rules are harder to follow, like the ones about fashion, weight maintenance, and doing everything for the good of the group. When a misunderstanding has Brittany spreading rumours about April, April realizes just how terrible Brittany really is. Afraid that her social life is over, she discovers that there are other people out there just like her – girls that have been backstabbed by Brittany. Together these Lipstick Lawbreakers are determined to teach Brittany a lesson!

Books like this make me feel old, because all I wanted to do was sit April down and give her some advice. I’m officially the old person in these stories. Beyond that, though, I never really clicked with April as a character. She was really quick to jump over to Brittany and ideas of popularity, betraying herself in the process. But even more than that, though, was I never really saw why I should like her. She’s mean to the guy who has a crush on her (like 'Saved by the Bell' Lisa/Screech mean), and when she does decide to go out with him, she turns him into someone else (despite everything she went through with Brittany). Her ‘aha’ redemption moment at the end never felt quite earned, and she basically gets everything she wanted, anyway. I like the idea of girls who’ve been bullied by someone like Brittany banding together and being there for each other, but I felt there was too much focus on revenge. I did like many of the supporting characters, though, particularly the ones who had more shades of gray to them. This is Amy Holder's debut novel, and I'm definitely intrigued to see more.

See more at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Check out Amy Holder's website.

Find it at IndieBound.

I read a review copy from NetGalley but The Lipstick Laws is out in stores now.

Read it with:
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
The Karma Club by Jessica Brody

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