Sophomore Gigi and her two best friends are the acknowledged brainiacs of their high school that is, when they're acknowledged at all. Finding an older sister's yearbook, bare of any meaningful autographs, they realize that not even that full scholarship to Princeton makes up for the fun she missed by not being in the popular crowd. Vowing to become popular themselves, the girls attack their new project with zeal and mixed results. The high-achieving students the book targets may roll their eyes at the plot's predictability (of course Gigi will end up with the guy she hates, because he is not just a jock, he is a sensitive closet intellectual!), but they'll keep reading because achieving popularity will always be a thorny issue for young women. Strohmeyer clearly knows teen culture inside and out; her depictions are spot-on, and dialogue and clothing details reflect today's teen world perfectly. While these things will become dated, the issues won't, and members of the AP crowd who feel excluded from the popular group will find a sympathetic mirror for their lives here.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2010 Booklist
Brainiac Gigi Dubois and her best friends Bea and Neerja believe that serious studying will make their dreams come true come college. That's what Neerja's older sister, Parad, did-and she got into Princeton. But when they find Parad's hidden high school yearbook-which has barely been signed-they realize that good grades don't equal happiness. "Shouldn't the kids at the top feel on top?" Gigi wonders. They vow to make names for themselves during their sophomore year. Gigi gets accused of cheating in chemistry class and runs for student office. She also tries out for the play and signs up for ski team-just to support her besties. The spot-on teenage characters-including cute boys like new student Will from California and "Man Clan" Mike-keep the book energized and romantic, buoying an often-wispy plot. In her YA debut, adult author Strohmeyer (Kindred Spirits) excels at exploring the bonds of friendship and the complications of teenagers' lives. Smart readers will find a heroine in girly, intellectual Gigi-all the while winking at her nerdy jokes. Ages 13-up. Agent: Heather Schroder, ICM. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 7 Up-Super-studious sophomore Gigi Dubois dreams of getting into an Ivy League college and leaving the high school grind behind. But when she and her equally driven BFFs Bea and Neerja sneak a peek at a yearbook belonging to Neerja's academic overachieving sister and realize that nobody in her graduating class knew who she was, they realize, they're missing out. Gigi vows that it will be her "personal mission to ensure, unlike Parad, we got everything we deserved from high school." Bea joins the ski team, Neerja steps up in drama club and pursues the gorgeous (but vapid) boy she has been crushing on, and Gigi, who is terrified of public speaking, decides to run for student rep in order to battle an unfair accusation of cheating on a chemistry test. However, things don't go as planned. Gigi's opponent in the election is a handsome new boy, Will, who seems to be interested in her, but she has to sort out her feelings about hottie Mike, whom she blames for the cheating fiasco but also finds unexpectedly appealing. Gigi is a quirky, smart, endearing character with a wry sense of humor, and her strong friendship with Bea and Neerja is one of the high points of the book. The lively depictions of supporting characters and the Massachusetts setting are well done. A great read to recommend to Meg Cabot fans.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.