From Publishers Weekly
For the readers still waiting for a substantive follow-up to Naomi Klein's No Logo, this is the book. Quart, a former media columnist for the Independent, follows the bread-crumb trail from the Fourth Annual Advertising and Promotion to Kids conference (no joke, unfortunately) to the mechanics of "peer-to-peer marketing," product placement in video games and the ever-escalating parties of the "bar mitzvah showcase." She hones in on teens' delicate self-fashioning and how it's manipulated for profit by adult "teen trendspotters" who insinuate themselves into the lives of "Influencer" teens in order to cop "youth buzz." Quart is brilliant on the world in which teens "obsessed with brand names feel they have a lack that only superbranding will cover over." She gets great quotes in her first-person encounters with her mostly female subjects, giving the book real voice. And Quart's analyses-of teen movies, SAT tutoring (to improve scores and pose college choices as brands), teen SUV ownership and the role of parents-are sharp and funny. Her exploration of how teens internalize and express market logic-through a process of "self-branding" that can include teen boob jobs and kid-produced anorexia Weblogs-is original and striking. The book lacks a broad cultural perspective: most interviewees are white, middle class and female, so it's difficult for Quart to generalize about how American teens and tweens as a whole use money and products to define themselves. Nevertheless, by the end, readers should be able to spot certain youth demographics and deconstruct their branded worlds instantaneously-and with empathy and anger.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
plumbs the depths of contemporary marketing to teens." -- Mother Jones March / April 2003
"A cogent wake-up call." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review 3/23/03
"A fascinating and provocative study of modern-day consumerism...effectively capture[s] the almost-arcane realities of modern-day teenage life." -- Bookpage March 2003
"An empowering work...a tough-minded call to arms." -- Boston Globe 2/16/03
"Deserves to command wide attention among millions of families...Quart makes a brilliant case." -- New York Times 1/26/03
"Quart makes a solid case that marketers have honed their approach to teens." -- Harvard Business Review February, 2003
"Quart seamlessly weaves within her cultural criticism and warnings an extremely insightful analysis of the transformation of youth social movements." -- The Nation 2/24/03
"Quart's style is smart and sassy...a frightening and important book." -- Women's Review of Books May 2003
"This is an extremely important topic for anyone interested in understanding the modern American teenager." -- The Seattle TimesMarch 09, 2003
"[A] very good book that parents should read...keenly raises your awareness...Quart's style is clean and well-paced. And it simmers." -- Winnipeg Free Press 3/2/03