Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Rivals: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood and The Lipstick Laws

Book Rivals:
Two Books. Similar Stories. One Winner.
This if the first post in a new feature I am creating. Lately, I have been feeling the similar styles of many books, and without meaning to I always chose a winner. I know its not a competition and each book stands on its own merit, but I still have one I like more than the other. This month I read two great books about mean girls. They both have similar themes of vengeance and being the bigger person. Here are my reviews...

Book One:

Book: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood
Author: Eileen Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date Published: December 26, 2009
Pages: 272
Source: Library
Date Read: April 25, 2011

Popularity is the best revenge.

In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face.

Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn’t dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.
Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
I am a big fan of Eileen Cook's work. She has a great writing style and her books are laugh out loud funny. However, I am really glad I got this book from the library and didn't buy it. Not to say this book wasn't funny or it was bad writing, I just didn't connect to the characters like I did with her other books.

The plot was interesting, but it didn't have anything new to add. Take Mean Girls and make it into a book and you got Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood.... the lesson being that become like someone to take them down makes you no better than they are.

The one thing I really liked was the geeky new BFF Brenda. She was smart and funny and knew who she was. And Christopher sounds hot, but I would have liked to see more dimensions to him.

I didn't like the ending either. It came together too quick and neatly, and Lauren was the same bitch she was in the beginning. Not that every story about a mean girl must have a transformation or enlightenment, but I just wasn't satisfied. Overall it was a funny read, but that is about it.

Please check out Eileen's other books: What would Emma do? and The Education of Hailey Kendricks. Those where funny complete stories with amazing main characters.

Book Two:

Book: The Lipstick Laws
Author: Amy Holder
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date Published: April 4, 2011
Pages: 243
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: May 16, 2011

At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?
Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
This book had me on a roller coaster. One minute I was really feeling it and the next I was so over it. I was even tempted to stop reading it altogether a couple of times, but I kept going because of the Amy's writing. She has a great sense of writing style, and while this book felt 'younger' the words weren't. I mean the first couple of paragraphs had me cracking up.

I really liked April, and while I did have some issues with her (similar to above... aka good girl becoming mean girl to defeat original mean girl), I felt like April always knew what she was doing was wrong. Also, she never believed Britney was that great of a person when she became friends with her, she was just lonely and I could totally understand that. I was lucky enough that I never had to go through the first day (or year) of high school without friends, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

And Britney really is the typical mean girl. She is nasty and cruel and as self absorbed as ever. And she advocates shallow things, like not gaining weight by not eating , though this next line made me laugh:
Remember, a growling stomach is just a round of applause for a job well done!
The story moves really quickly and things fall apart for April in the first third of the book. Its your typical revenge/nemesis story, with a love interest of course, but I did find it lacking a little in the love side and the way it was set-up. Overall, I still enjoyed the story and think April is a realistic character, smart and funny, and no matter what I don't ever really think she questions that. She is more self-assured than she ever realized.

A great story about finding out who your true friends are and being a better person than those that try to bring you down.
Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood
Plot: 2/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Uniqueness: 2/5
Characters: 3/5

The Lipstick Laws
Plot: 2/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Uniqueness: 2/5
Characters: 3/5

Similar Titles:
Cracked Up to BeThe Lipstick Laws

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