Brand-New Emily by Ginger Rue
(Tricycle Press, Hardcover, 2009)
Emily Wood's year at a new middle school isn't starting off so hot. Somehow she's already made enemies with the popular clique - The Daisies. Sick of being bullied, Emily decides to make over her image by hiring a top notch public relations firm. Now, she's wearing the hottest clothes, "dating" a movie star, and hanging out with high schoolers. The ruse may be working, but Emily soon finds out that being popular is hard work.
Brand-New Emily is a cute, eye-opening look at teen popularity. It was fascinating to read about the marketing tactics that are used on teens, from how certain clothes become fashionable to how powerful and tricky brand loyalty can be. Emily's transformation to "Em" was well-written and believable. The plot may sound unbelieveable, but Ginger Rue writes it with humor and a down-to-earth tone that makes the book a page-turner from beginning to end. I can easily see this being made into a movie. Add a few years to Emily's age and you have the makings of a modern "Clueless" or "Mean Girls."