Sunday, May 19, 2019

She's the Liar

Cherry, Alison. She's the Liar.
May 28th 2019 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Abby is glad to be at Brookside Academy, the boarding school her older sister Sydney attends, because she had some rough times at her previous school. Looking forward to reinventing herself, Abby decides that she will "fake it 'til she makes it", try new activities, and change her life in the same way she mentally changes her name to Abbi. She knows how to read social cues and knows that she should be outgoing, friendly, and accept invitations, but it's wearing to have to be "on" all the time. Abby has to go before the student committee to request that the blinds in her room be repaired, and finds that her sister Sydney is the hear of the committee, and in charge of making many of the decisions that affect students at the school. Sydney also seems to be incredibly mean and manipulative, and all of the students know not to get on her bad side. After Abby's request is approved, she is approached by others to serve as a proxy for other requests, since the thought is that Sydney will grant all of Abby's requests. Abby is stunned by her sister's lack of support; when Abby tries out for the play, her sister is very dismissive, and Sydney also sabotages the play using some of the requests that Abby herself brought before the committee. Sydney is trying to protect Abby from embarrassing herself, but never makes that clear. Abby decides that she will run for the position of 6th grade officer on the committee, gets elected, and starts to make changes that undermine Sydney's authority. Will the sisters be able to survive boarding school and also maintain their relationship despite the pressures of their classmates?
Strengths: I love that Abby has a strategy for dealing with changing her life, and the more she works at being more outgoing and taking part in activities, the easier it gets. The girl and friend drama is always a popular topic, and there are not a whole lot of US boarding school stories, which my students think are utterly exotic. Sibling problems could use a lot more attention in #MGLit. This showcased theater, student government, and other activities in a fun way.
Weaknesses: I was never entirely sure why Sydney was SO utterly mean, but then the E ARC cut off the ends of some pages, and I might have missed an explanation there.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. If I based all of my purchases on what is read most frequently, over half of my collection would be humorous stories with friend drama, since I have a core population of readers that will read a book similar to this one every single day. I have to have a more well rounded collection than that, but I'm always glad to read books like this one.

Weirdly, I also had Erin Dionne's new Secrets of a Fangirl on my Nook, started it, then switched to reading this by mistake, so for a while was a bit confused, thinking it was similar to The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt (2010) which is by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking (2013) is by Dionne. This is how I know I need a nap after a grueling Kidlitcon trip!

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