Lauren Page smoothed down the folds of her short plaid skirt and crossed her legs so that she could admire the shiny new black-and-white Chanel spectator oxfords on her feet a little better. They looked so cute with her thick cashmere socks scrunched down just above the ankle, she thought. She'd been wearing the same green plaid uniform to Miss Gamble's all her life, but she was in the upper form now -- seventh grade -- which meant saying good-bye to her boring old Buster Browns and hello to the first boy-girl dance with the hotties from Gregory Hall, which was only three weeks away. And as far as she was concerned, upper form meant a whole new Lauren.
Books like The Ashleys by Melissa De la Cruz are my guilty pleasure. They horrify and delight me at the same time. So here it is, my review of the first book this series, aimed at young teenage girls.
A trio of privileged, pretty and mean girls, all named Ashley, rule the seventh grade of Miss Gamble's exclusive private school in San Francisco. Ordinary Lauren Page has been bullied by them since kindergarten, but now that her father has become rich, she's gone from bargain shopping to having her own shopping assistant, and got herself a makeover. Now, armed with fashionable clothes and designer's handbag, she's ready to conquer the Ashleys and wreak her revenge.
At first, when reading this book, I missed the "seventh grade" reference and thought that the characters had to be about sixteen. Imagine my horror when I discovered that they were actually twelve-year-olds. I recollected images of myself at twelve. Then I remembered those girls like the Ashelys when I was in junior high school-- on a smaller scale, of course, no one in my school was half as rich as the Ashelys or Lauren--and I shuddered. Is it possible for girls to be so mean? Oh, yes it is, unfortunately.
I expected to like this book more, I am honest. Of course, there's not much substance to it, but I uusally like this sort of book. However, now the thought of twelve-year-olds acting like they were at least four years older doesn't amuse me very much. I practically hated all the female characters--for some reason, the only likable characters are the boys. the Ashleys are all incredibly petty--while Lauren, with whom I believe we're supposed to sympathize, leaves me a bit perplexed: she's more interested with becoming freinds with the Ashelys than actually exacting revenge. Not to mention the fact that books dropping brand names every three words have always irritated me.
You might like this book if you enjoyed Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. Or maybe I'm just too old for this kind of book.