e_r, April 24, 2007
The book Revenge of the Wannabees by Lisi Harrison takes place in Westchester, New York at the Octavian Country Day School (OCD). Massie Block is the leader if the infamous “Pretty Committee”, a clique made up of four (now five) very popular, rich, and pretty girls. The only exception is Claire Lyons, who is not any of those yet, but is in the circle because of her friendship with Massie, and her kind personality. Alicia, a member of the clique, had just cheated her was into winning a uniform competition at the school with Olivia, and is going to Manhattan to the Teen People building to be interviewed, where they find out that they are wanted for modeling in a holiday photo shoot, and they are urged to bring more friends with “real-beauty” too. But Massie is more ready to put Alicia in the Reject Pile of people than associate with her, especially since Alicia planned a Friday night sleepover, when everyone knows Massie owns Friday nights for her weekly sleepover. Massie, Kristen, Dylan, and Claire, the remaining members, do their best to shake her off their backs by creating a mural meant to embarrass Alicia. But towards the end, they all go to the weekend long photo shoot in NYC, with Strawberry and Kori (the cheap Dylan and Kristen knockoffs) tagging along. And the results are far from the ones any had expected.
I think that the author’s purpose in writing Revenge of the Wannabees was to entertain the reader, but also to have them identify with the character’s lives. The characters each have everyday problems in the book that occur with 7th graders almost anywhere. For example, Massie and Claire experience boy problems; wondering if their crush likes them back, and if so how to express their feelings. But overall, I think that Lisi Harrison’s tone in the book is that these girls and boys are just going through everyday life, nothing negative toward one side or the other. The theme of the book is most likely that you should not mess with the boss. When Alicia tried to create her own clique, she was offending Massie, and endangering Massie’s popularity, if people thought Massie couldn’t control her own friends. So Massie does what she can to ruin Alicia’s reputation, and to lower her to the level of dirt. If Alicia hadn’t tried to separate, Massie would not have done such horrible, backstabbing things to her in return.
There seems to only be on true golden moment in this revengeful story, and it is when Massie and Alicia are finally ale to laugh with each other again. It is on page 276; “Suddenly, for no reason and every reason, they both started laughing. And once they started, they couldn’t stop. They held their stomachs, slapped their thighs, threw their heads back, and let the tears spill down their cheeks.” The author creates a very clear description that not only provides an also very clear image, but a feeling of letting loose that even the reader can feel, and identify with. She also used vivid verbs, like “slap”, “threw”, and “spill”, each word making the sentence clearer. These two sentences give the book a satisfying ending that results in making you want more of these ordinary, yet unique girls.