Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder begins when April Bowers is about to start her second year of highschool and her best/only friend has moved away. All alone at school, April can't believe her luck when Britney Taylor starts to pay attention to her. Britney is the queen bee of Penford High School, and after just one lunch eaten at Britney's popular table April has already started to emerge from her life of anonymity. Although she may be popular and pretty, one thing Britney isn't is nice, and April has to decide how much of herself she is willing to give up in order to belong.

Even from the synopsis it is clear that The Lipstick Laws is definitely a novelization of the film Mean Girls, and in that way it is definitely not original or surprising. Where the novel shines is in Holder's often hilarious and charming style of writing, which makes the book fun to read, even if the outcome isn't going to shock you. It's an easy and quick book to read, and April's voice as well as her quirks such as an addiction to stuffing her bra with tissues, are both incredibly funny and incredibly teenage. Although the story is predictable, it's also fast-paced and enjoyable to read. At times, April felt hypocritical but it seemed like a natural part of growing up, which she definitely does a lot of throughout The Lipstick Laws. I also admit to being shocked at times by how far the girls took the teasing and pranks, it made me feel awful no matter who the victim was.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel because even though the story isn't not completely original, Holder's writing is incredibly charming and hilarious at times. The Lipstick Laws is a funny but predictable debut that is certainly worthwhile if you are looking for an entertaining and easy to read story.

Release Date: April 4th, 2011
Pages: 240
Source: Publisher 
Buy the Book

As a side note:
Although not crucial to the story, an aspect of The Lipstick Laws I didn't really appreciate was using a cross-dressing teenager as the punch line to more than one joke. I'm not really sure it was appropriate and while it is a novel suited to young teens, the humour of those jokes still felt immature. I did appreciate that the girls were willing, to a certain extent, to befriend the individual, but having him show up at the public library in full drag didn't exactly feel like something a young teen would feel comfortable doing. I didn't find it funny that this boy put himself out there looking for a group to belong to, only to have the girls giggle about it as soon as he left. None of the reviews I have read so far have mentioned this minor character, so perhaps I am being overly sensitive to the representation of LGBT but because this is a novel which is to a large extent about bullying and aimed a young audience I thought it was worth mentioning. If you have read the novel, I am definitely curious about your thoughts on this. 

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