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Queen Bee Paperback – September 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
This bubbly, fun and smart new series is the second big release from Scholastic's Graphix imprint. Clugston, well-known for her edgy and stylish Blue Monday and Scooter Girl, has done it again in this stinging portrayal of popularity battles between beautiful middle-schoolers. Haley, the new girl, is determined to be popular and, in spite of the occasional gaffe resulting from her runaway psychokinetic powers, she succeeds. When an even newer girl shows up to challenge her new role as queen bee, it turns out that she possesses the same powers as Haley, and the battle begins. Energetic drawings and the girl-against-girl conflict recall the teen dramas of Archie, Betty and Veronica, while the climactic musical face-off carries off its Josie and the Pussycats homage with flair. Direct references to the best of the modern-day teen genre spice up the story, pointing out that Queen Bee is right at home alongside Heathers and Mean Girls. Clugston knows how mean girls can really be; her dialogue bristles with barbed rejoinders and she never glosses over the true nastiness of the girl fight. Everything works in this funny, charming and true story, right down to the closing mystery of why Alexa and Haley look so much alike. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 5-8. In Clugston's graphic-novel version of middle-school cliques, Haley Madison recognizes that her status as a social outcast is as much due to her peers' experiments with shunning as her own geeky tendencies. When she starts a new school, she determines to become one of the social elite, rebuffing the friendly overtures of kids she might have once befriended in order to curry favor with the school's status queens. It's tough to miss similarities to Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes (2002) and the movie Mean Girls, but Clugston delivers a couple of twists: the artwork has a touch of manga,and Haley has psychokinetic powers. The connection between image and text is nicely balanced, and the psychokinetic element folds smoothly into the story, which speaks to self-discovery, values, and the bitter truth about the social dynamics of middle-school. Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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with kindle i dont got to worry about that. it is a nice read but dont expect a sequel, even if one was hinted at.
Haley is psychokinetic — she can move things with her mind. She’s always been an outcast, so when her mother moves them to the big city, Haley sees her new school as her chance to be popular. She studies up, gets new clothes, and practices being cool. A nice girl named Trini shows her around and introduces her to the cliques in a scene you’ve seen before if you’ve ever watched any teen movie.
Since this is intended to be a series of graphic novels [although no more ever appeared], we’re introduced to a set of interesting girl characters, Trini’s friends, that promptly disappear from this volume. Instead, Haley’s conflict comes with the jealousy of one of the already popular girls. That’s another plot element that gets truncated strangely, with their competition being a problem and then suddenly not.
The main story begins when Alexa shows up. She has powers similar to Haley’s, but she’s more experienced with them. She quickly takes Haley’s place among the popular girls, which undercuts the ultimate message of the book. If Haley’s meant to learn that there are more important things than being popular — like honesty and trust — then why spend so much of the book setting up a situation where we’re supposed to root for her to get the better of Alexa?
Due to Alexa’s evil plotting, Haley winds up in scholastic trouble, which leads her to making friends with a nice boy named Jasper. Once they get together, we hear no more about Haley’s grade problems. Instead, the focus switches to the talent contest. Also, the mental powers didn’t seem to me to be fully integrated or even necessary to this kind of story.
Others have speculated that this book isn’t as enjoyable as Clugston’s other work (most notably Blue Monday) because of forced editing from the publisher. I see the opposite problem; I think tighter, experienced editing might have provided more focus and fewer aborted plotlines. In preparation for future volumes, the author is still introducing new elements in the last twelve pages, plot questions that the teenage or older reader will easily figure out.
In short, while a Clugston graphic novel is always fun to read, this book wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as I’d hoped, perhaps due to the focus on a younger audience. It’s hard to write for them without writing down to them, and for the older reader, this book is too familiar in the wrong ways. I do hope, though, that readers new to comics will use it as a stepping stone. (Review originally posted at ComicsWorthReading.com.)
I loved the way the superpower was worked in perfectly, withoit there having to be any "superhero" hijinks.
This needs a sequel. I mean whats Alexa gonna do next?!? And Haley's *SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!* sister??? I think it's Alexa!!! That would TOTALLY explain them both having psychokinesis!
I think my favorite part about this book was Jasper and how he ended up being Haley's friend. And Halesper!!!!! *SQUEAL!* They're so cuuuute togehtah! It was good that they were just friends with only a SLIGHT hint of love though.
I'D personally like to see more of Alexa's story. Why does she have it out for Hales?
All in all, it was a good read. Two thumbs up!
The story was full of mean-girls-esque hilarity and well done artwork. The only criticism of the plot I've ever had of the book, is that it seems much more like high school than the middle school which it claims to be about.
I couldn't wait for the sequel, which the book seemed to make clear (through MANY hints) was going to happen.
But Volume 2 never came out.
Now, 7 years have passed since the book was published, its doubtful the series- excuse me- book will ever continue.
The bottom line? You should totally get Queen Bee. It's a great book for both kids and adults, and at this price, it's a steal. But be warned, don't get too attached to the characters, because you won't see them any time soon.
Most recent customer reviews
Just one problem: I wish it had a second book!!!! ;) :( :D