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The Rise and Fall of a 10th Grade Social Climber Paperback – May 30, 2005
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–Mimi Schulman, 15, relocates from Houston to Manhattan the summer before her sophomore year. She rekindles an old relationship with her childhood friend, Sam, and bets him that she will infiltrate the "Coolie" group and win their favor. She promises to keep a diary of this endeavor. Chaos ensues when Mimi betrays her friends new and old and she must ultimately seek redemption from her peers. Though the theme of finding acceptance and fitting in is catchy and contemporary, the characters behave more like stereotypical wealthy people at least twice their age with no consciences. The plot also lacks a key element–Mimi's journal is essentially her undoing, but readers are privy to only very select portions of it. Too little time is spent on revealing some of its secrets and too much concentration is given to vapid details of early-morning cocktails and Hamptons excursions. Fans of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown) who are looking for an edgier read may enjoy this book, but, laced as it is with excessive drinking and adult language, it would most likely appeal to older teens.–Jennifer Feigelman, Plattekill Public Library, Modena, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 9-12. After her parents separate, Mimi Shulman, a former New Yorker transplanted to Texas, returns to the Big Apple to live with her sweet, clueless dad. Enrolled at the exclusive, trendy Baldwin School, she makes a bet with a longtime friend that she will get the coolest girls in tenth grade to accept her. Much to everyone's surprise, the Coolies take Mimi in, and she records their secrets and her true feelings for them in a diary. Over time, she begins to grow fond of them, and so when the diary (which contains unflattering pictures) is leaked on the Internet, she suffers not only the humiliation of being exposed but also genuine regret for her actions. Readers who have seen the movie Mean Girls will notice the strong similarities in the descriptions of high-school girls' cliques. It's the detail, though, that makes this an irresistible read: clothing, parties, music, trends are all captured to perfection, although these specifics will date quickly. Get this on your shelves now, while it's sure to please. Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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I think that the author, Lauren Mechling, did a great job writing this book. I think this because she made it very realistic, it's not just another one of those books when everything turns out perfectly and happy. That is not how things work in real life. And even though the popular group is pretty and rich, they have flaws too. Mimi realizes that even though you are popular you are a real person with real problems. I would recommend this book to middle school students. It is a little inappropriate for younger kids, but it is at a perfect level for middle school. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I hope that other people will too.
Best friend Sam bets Mimi that she can't become friends with the cool Baldwin girls. Mimi accepts Sam's bet, but soon finds out that the cool girls at Baldwin are very different from the blonde all-American types in Texas. At first she is just being friendly to Pia, Jess, Viv, and Lily because of the bet. She soon finds out that these rich, popular girls have secrets and family problems much worse than her own. Mimi eventually feels the bonds of real friendship forming and then the stakes become much higher. Her entire friendship is based on lies and deception. How would she ever face her friends again if they found out?
Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser are the authors of THE RISE AND FALL OF A 10th-GRADE SOCIAL CLIMBER. Lauren grew up in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Harvard College. She writes a column for the New York Sun. Laura grew up in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Amherst College. She is also the author of a biography of Bette Davis. Lauren and Laura became friends 10 years ago when Laura shared her acne medication with Lauren in a restroom. They now live near each other in Brooklyn.
Every teen knows the feeling of wanting to belong and struggling to find their true identity. Thus, readers will quickly identify with Mimi Schulman and the richly drawn characters in THE RISE AND FALL OF A 10th-GRADE SOCIAL CLIMBER.
However, as I progressed through the book, I found myself predicting the ending, what would happen to the characters, et cetera. The journal Mimi is forced to keep is also a big part of the plot, but there is almost journal content in the book.
I did like this book, because while it was predictable, it was enjoyable and I spent the better part of a day engrossed in Mimi's "rise and fall."
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