Popular and rich Massie is devastated when she learns that not only is
her father's significantly less wealthy friend planning on staying in
their guest house, but he also has a daughter Massie's age whom Massie
is expected to befriend. When Claire appears wearing Keds and
non-designer clothes, Massie is determined to shun Claire at every
opportunity. Enlisting the help of her clique, Massie proceeds to
mercilessly mock and torture Claire. Claire might be a nice girl, but
she isn't about to go down without a fight. Mean girl cattiness ensues.
Targeted toward the middle school age bracket (though fine for high
schoolers as well), The Clique is closer to the movie Mean Girls than
the other "Lifestyles of the Rich and Cruel" type book series. Unlike
books like Gossip Girl, The Clique characters don't engage in any risquÃ©
behaviors with sex, drugs, or alcohol. Instead, the focus of the book
revolves almost exclusively around the interpersonal dramas of female
friendships. Loyalty, taunting, embarrassment, secrets, backstabbing,
friendship, and insecurity are all featured. The inner thoughts and
feelings of the characters are not really explored, so there isn't any
moral or psychological message about the motivations of the characters.
The book is straightforward and serviceable, but neither the plot
nor the characters stand out in any way. The characters are all
two-dimensional and resemble caricatures more than fully-formed
characters. Still, they are familiar caricatures who most girls probably
have some experience knowing or being, so it is easy to relate to the
actions and feelings the characters experience. Though The Clique is now
a lengthy series, the first book can easily be read as a stand-alone.
Not bad, but not memorable.
Reprinted with author's (my) permission.