Yeah. I know. The title evokes images of that Duff sisters movie. When I picked this book up, I was looking for a slightly fluffy (Duffy?), fun read about fashion and teenage girls. Elaine Dimopoulos smacked me right in the middle of the forehead with her very intelligent dystopia that reminds young women that being themselves is far cooler than being like everyone else. I love when a book surprises me. It’s my favorite.
In this truly thought-provoking novel, Marla lives in a world where teens are pretty much in charge of culture and fashion. They are the trendsetters, leaders in the fashion industry, gatekeepers of cool. At sixteen, Marla has the coveted position of judge–a girl who picks which clothes will be “in” for the day. But all it takes is one false move and her place in society tumbles down, she loses her posh job as a selector, and gets demoted to the basement where she will have to draft and design clothing with people who are, well, old. Like 19 and over!! Old, indeed.
Ivy is a pop star–the girl who wears Marla’s trends and makes them so popular they soar. She should be thrilled to be living the dream. But she, too, has to step carefully or her world will tumble, she will be replaced, she will be Old.
Yeah. Think about how awful it would be if everything hinged on being that trendy. You can see the cracks in the perfect-ness from the beginning, which is praise for Dimopoulos. But when the girls start to see the truth of their world and that they have never been in charge but have been drones at the hands of corporate machinations, well… nobody rebels quite like a teenage girl.
There is a very serious message here about the dangers of trying too hard to be like everyone else. If you have a teenager, you should definitely recommend this book. If you’re looking for a read-aloud to enjoy with your high schoolers, this is a good one to get some great discussions going.
Or well… you know me, why wait till they’re in high school? This is a good book for any little one who gets too caught up in what others are doing or what they think.