Title: The Market
Author: J.M. Steele
Publisher: Hyperion Books/Disney
"High School Senior Kate Winthrop is about to find out just how much she's worth.
After stumbling across the Millbank Social Stock Market (MSSM), Kate's horrified to discover that out of the 140 girls in her class, she's ranked a bleak 71. Sure, she's not drop-dead gorgeous, and her fashion choices leave a bit to be desired... but 71?! Determined not to accept her fate as a "junk bond," she and her best friends quickly set out to make her the fastest rising stock on the Market.
Armed with a sexy new haircut and killer wardrobe, Kate puts their plan into effect - and the analysts take note. In a matter of weeks, her stock value soars, and "Blue Chip" status is within reach. But what begins as a fun social experiment quickly turns into an obsession, one that threatens to ruin her reputation, friendships, and a chance at first love. Will Kate survive the highs and lows of the Market, or will her security crash and burn?"
"Somewhere in the distance I heard a cell phone ringing, and I slipped in unnoticed through the side door. Gretchen's kitchen was crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with kids from Millbank, and the smell of sweat hung in the air."
Well, that little teaser of the first lines really didn't do the book much justice. It was the start of a party scene - one where Kate realizes the whole market system in place at her school. You know, I'm a little torn between thinking the idea of ranking people in high school is a horrible, terrible, unforgivable thing to do and it being a little bit fun. Of course, thinking that it's fun is only in the context of a high school - where drama reigns anyway :).
The beginning of this book had me worried about what I was getting myself into. There was something about the way it was written that didn't seem to flow very easily - I had to concentrate to make sure I understood what things meant. It took me the first couple of chapters to realize we weren't in the summertime yet... just really close to it. I honestly thought they had all just graduated, not getting ready to. I dunno, I was just really thrown off.
But once I fully got into this book, I enjoyed it. The story became a lot clearer and more interesting. There was quite a bit of "Market Speak" that I had to work through a little, but that's a small thing. It's also one of those books that you can kinda see where things were headed - but there were a few things that surprised me. I was expecting one thing, but got another. Not that they were ever fully shocking, just not what I was expecting.
I think this book is going to be good for anyone looking for high school chick lit. It's probably even good for those middle grade readers who love to read about high schoolers :). And once I got past the beginning, it really was an easy read.
Oh, and "J.M. Steele" is a pseudonym, so I can't very well link ya in, can I?
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Laurel's YA Book Reviews
Karin's Book Nook
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Young Adult Bookworm