The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
Published: April 4th 2011
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
April Bowers is new to Penford High School. Her and a girl named Haley hit it off and became best friends. April knows Haley doesn't like Britney Taylor, the High School queen bee, but she doesn't know why. When Haley moves away to Kansas, she leaves April alone for her Sophomore year. No friends and not to mention a secret - she stuffs her bra, meticulously sculpting a size 36C bosom.
So when April is partnered with Britney Taylor and assigned the title friend-in-training, she's excited and worried. For one, she's excited by her new found popularity. And Britney seems nice, so why would Haley hate her so much? Haley isn't exactly helpful on the subject, only stating cryptically for April to stay away from red lipstick.
After a while of being a friend-in-training, though, April is offered the chance 'many girls would die for.' To sign the Lipstick Oath containing seven high-expectation laws that each member has to follow - or else. These laws range from basic girl code - don't flirt with someone else's boyfriend, crush, etc. - to totally ridiculous - upon signing the Oath, all secrets are property of the group and must be shared immediately. Is this the lipstick Haley was referring to?
The Lipstick Laws is like a retelling of Mean Girls. There's the queen bee and her followers, then there's the girl they 'take under their wings.' Besides a few differences, the similarities are uncanny.
Characterization had its flaws. The main character, April, lacked depth and seemed superficial. I could not relate to her much. She just rubbed me the wrong way. One minute she was nice, the next as mean as Britney Taylor. I didn't particularly like any of the characters, as it didn't seem like they had much to their personalities. I liked Haley and Delvin McGerk, though, the best.
The writing was great. Amy Holder took modern day slang and gave it her own twist and imagination. She came up with words like 'freak funnel' meaning loser and 'Skunk Skank' meaning the Queen of all Skanks. I know some people that would find the word 'skank' offensive, so I also would like to say here that this book is not rated G, because of the swearing. Minor swear words are used.
The only other flaw I can point out is that the 'pranks' are downright petty at times. Then at other times, they're just so rock bottom, meaning I couldn't believe someone would resort to that low of a prank, just to humiliate someone. All in all, though, that is High School in a nutshell for you.
That being said, this book is cute like the movie Mean Girls was cute. But, if you're looking for a book that has a lot of depth and that you'll read straight through in one sitting because you can't get enough, this book wouldn't be for you. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this book and do not regret reading it, but it wasn't my favorite, nor my least favorite. Taken all this in to consideration, Amy Holder wrote a solid debut novel for 2011.
I give this book a 3 out of 5.
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