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The Ruling Class Paperback – February 7, 2006

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–In a wealthy suburb of Dallas, the top clique in the school rules with snobbery, money, and style. When Twyla Gay arrives, she doesn't fit in at all because of her clothes and her name. But she mostly sticks out because she is poor. When the Ruling Class begins to target her, Twyla Gay fights back with her only friend, Deena, deemed the school slut by the vicious RC. The story alternates between Twyla Gay, who is determined to get revenge rather than drop out of school like her mother did, and Myrna Fry, desperate to belong to the RC and whose ignorance, racism, and pure idiocy can be hard to read. Pascal has created a frothy book filled with the names of hot designers and musicians. The topic of bullying among girls is timely but rendered with a simplicity that doesn't do the issue justice. Additionally, the only fully rendered characters are Twyla Gay and Deena. The others are one-dimensional cutouts who seem to exist only to make a point. Despite its problems, this book will be read with glee by any teenage girl who is on the outside of a clique.–Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-11. When she moves to an upscale Dallas neighborhood, 16-year-old Twyla Gay becomes the target of bullying so ferocious that she considers dropping out of school: "If this kind of pain were physical, I'd be bleeding to death." Instead, she takes on her tormentors--members of an elite clique of girls, the Ruling Class, led by wealthy, gorgeous, and zit-free Jeanette Sue. Pascal's latest novel, narrated in multiple teens' voices, joins the many recent titles that unerringly probe the "mean girl" phenomenon. A few characters read as caricatures, particularly ruthless, superficial Jeanette Sue and bigoted, painfully naive Myrna, who aspires to join the clique. But many teens will recognize the spot-on brutality and subtleties of female bullying: the victims' denial and rage, the tormentors' fragile balance of power, the hysteria of rumors fueled by homophobia and prejudice. The designer labels and music references will date quickly, but readers will want to talk about the questions, especially how to overcome a bully. Must you become one yourself? Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689873336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689873331
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,795,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Francine Pascal is the creator of the Sweet Valley High series and one of the world's most popular fiction writers for teenagers and the author of several bestselling novels, My Mother Was Never A Kid (Hanging out with Cici), My First Love and Other Disasters, as well as the series Fearless. Her adult novels include, Save Johanna! and If Wishes Were Horses (La Villa) and the non-fiction, The Strange Case of Patty Hearst. Pascal is on the Advisory Board of The American Theatre Wing. Her favorite sport is a monthly poker game. She lives in New York City and France

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Gray on May 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Ruling CLass by Francine Pascal appears to be poorly written and poorly thought out. I read this book in a few hours, and was disappointed in it overall.

Working backwards, the ending is a letdown. Being the climax of the book, it is not led up to very well, and is very short. There does not seem to be much of a conclusion on the new status of all the students, and it seems as if Francine was in a rush to finish the book.

As for the characters, they are all a little odd. For one, it is increasingly annoying to read 'like', used by all the characters. It is one thing to be a teen and say it in speech, and a complete other thing to write it in literature. Even when pertraying a teen. The book is written in the perspective to two major characters, Myrna Fry and Twyyla Gay, both of whom are unrealistic.

This book seems to be a bad Harry Potter jock. In the sense that there are a lot of background questions that are not answered. Yet, unlike Harry Potter, there are not 6 more books coming out, and they will not be answered. Why is J.S. so mean? How are the R.C.s choosen? Does the school learn anything? Is there a reason Ryder and J.S. are still messing around with each other yet Ryder is asking Twyla out? Also, I'd like to know what went on with the people chasing Twyla after the mall incident. Sure, it made the night awful.. but were they really nessicary in the book? Especially since nothing else happens with them?

Lastly, I think the book is aimed for an older reading crowd, yet it seems like a book for the younder crowd.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read on a weekend afternoon, but not looking for anything too indepth thinking-wise.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nona U. Business on March 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm from the East Coast, and know nothing about life in Highland Park, Texas. But after reading the first few pages of this book, I thought, "This is an avalanche of stereotypes. This is obviously an East or West Coast person's idea of what 'those backward Texans' are like." I checked the book jacket, and sure enough the author was from the East Coast. I was not at all surprised to find user reviews from real Texans who objected to the book. The character of Myrna is so stupid that she is totally unbelievable. We are supposed to be reading Myrna's inner thoughts, but what we get is actually the excuses that she might tell someone else to explain her behavior. It doesn't really get to the heart of what a "follower" type feels on the inside.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laura on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I found the plot laughable. The characters over the top and over-exaggerated. I know, I know I may be bias being from Dallas and HP, but I truly went into to this book trying to keep an open-mind. It was a waste of my time to read it and to me it seemed that the author was trying a little too hard to make this a novelization of Mean Girls. Anyway this book was quite disappointing and very offensive. These girls act more like junior high students then high school students. Yes HP has a valid reputation of being racist and wealthy. But this book took it to another level and completely over the top.

Poorly done Ms. Pascal.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shell on July 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Francine Pascal is no stranger to the girl world, having her name featured on the many Sweet Valley High books. If written today, Jessica Wakefield may be viewed differently, not as a popular, mischievous cheerleader, but a cut throat bully. She most likely would have been the character Jeanette Sue in Pascal's most recent novel, The Ruling Class. Jeanette Sue is the ring leader of the clique nicknamed the Ruling Class, surrounded by equally snobby rich girls. At their wealthy upper class high school in Dallas' Highland Park, they are the girls everyone fears but the one's everyone wants to be a part of. Myrna Fry is one of those girls, desperate to join the Ruling Class and foolishly thinking that she already has. She is `best friends' with Jeanette Sue, or JS, as she affectingly refers to her, rewriting every negative thing Jeanette Sue says or does to her in a positive way.

Myrna's delusion is not realistic. It is hard to believe that anyone would lie to themselves this much or lower their self respect as much as Myrna has. Then again, there is not much realistic about this book. Jeanette Sue is a one decisional villain, with no insight into why she is the way she is or why she even has such a hold over people.

Even our heroine, Twyla Gay Stark, is unrealistic. A poor girl that just happens to end up in the rich school, the reader is supposed to believe that Twyla Gay is the only poor student at the school. Everyone else, even the losers, are rich. Hard to believe, but lets just go with it. She is the new girl in town, and Jeanette Sue instantly feels the need to destroy her. Why? Because she is just evil. Oh, and Twyla Gay has attracted the attention of Jeanette Sue's sometime boyfriend Ryder McQuaid. However, in this I sympathize with Jeanette Sue.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was one of the worst books I've ever read, and I am a very avid reader. I am a fan of the Gossip Girl and A-List series, and this book is desperately trying to be like these series, but fails miserabley. The author displays little or no talent, the characters are shallow, hopelessly stupid, and annoying. There are also stereoptypes and racial comments that are offensive. Stay away from this book, it's awful and a complete waste of time!!!
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