Title: The Lipstick Laws
Author: Amy Holder
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: April 4th 2011
Source: Net Galley
At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her. For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity. But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?
The Lipstick Laws begins with April's first day of school as a sophomore. She is lonely and considered a nobody, her only friend having recently moved away. After being partnered with Britney Taylor in gym class, a series of (un)fortunate events land April at the cool girls' lunch table. She knows that she shouldn't be friends with them but she's the stereotypical teenage girl, unable to resist the lure of popularity and eager to do anything in order to have friends. April later finds that being popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. When she is initiated into the group, she signs her freedom away to the lipstick laws. Breaking any one of the seven means that you're out of the group and your life is ruined. Aren't I glad I'm not her?
April's an interesting character. While good at heart, she's somewhat shallow and constantly worries about her looks, stuffing her bra, wearing makeup and refusing to be friends with a guy because he's geeky and unattractive. Surprisingly, I didn't find this to be annoying at all. I actually found April to be quite adorable and she made me laugh throughout the novel. Amy Holder portrays this innocently lost but sassy tone perfectly, completely convincing me that April is a teenager. On the first day, April runs into the new resident hottie, Matthew Brentwood aka Mr Hottie-Body Brentwood. When he walks past her desk in homeroom, she describes him as being "BEEEE-YOOOOU-TI-FUL". Honestly. I'd like some of his "delicious hot-guy aroma" to waft past me too! April also believes that "the person who created the torture device called gym class should be clobbered with an enormous frozen cucumber". I think we're sharing a brain here. April is always amusing and a joy to read about.
The novel follows the events in April's life as she tries to fit in, gets spit back out and begins to grow up. I won't spoil the book by telling you what happens but I'll tell you that The Lipstick Laws is fun, cheeky and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I think that it's a great story with developed characters and is an artful storytelling of the many ups and downs in life. I wholly felt her emotions and always understood what she was thinking, though I didn't necessarily agree with all of her choices. I might have even shed a tear at one point! The Lipstick Laws ends on a wonderfully positive note as April comes to some powerful realisations and becomes a really great person. The morals of this novel are refreshing, the journey heartwarming and fun. I recommend this book to anyone who will listen! It's very engaging and, if you're like me, you'll love it and read it all in one sitting.