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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*The Debs* by Susan McBride- young adult book review
The Debs
by Susan McBride
Grades 10+ 272 pages Delacorte August 2008 Paperback    

The Debs by Susan McBride is about four teenage girls living in Houston, Texas who are ready to become debutantes. Laura, a beautiful girl with an on-again, off-again relationship with one of the hottest guys in school, is worried about her invitation. Despite being sent to “fat camp” for the summer, she hasn’t lost any weight and is still a comfortable size 12. Will the committee decide she falls into the “debu-tank” category and refuse to extend her an invitation to become a debutante?

Ginger is an environmentally conscious girl who wants to wear her grandmother’s debutante dress rather than buying a new, horribly expensive dress. Her mother is against the idea, but Ginger is determined. When a cause that she believes in (and a boy whom she believes in even more) threatens her debutante future, will Ginger take a step back?

Mac isn’t sure she even wants to be a debutante, despite the fact that her two best friends, Laura and Ginger, are definitely planning on participating - contingent on being invited, of course. She has enough on her plate, with the death of her mother two years ago and her young and annoying new stepmother. Still, it was her mother’s wish before she died that Mac become a debutante. Is she going to honor her mother’s wishes, or bow out and put a stop her debutante future before it even begins?

Jo Lynn, the popular girl at school, has a vendetta against Laura. She makes sure she is always perfectly put together on the outside even when she feels like she’s falling apart on the inside. Things aren’t going so well with her perfect boyfriend - could it be that Jo Lynn is more insecure than she lets on?

Readers will be sucked into the lives of these four girls as they devour McBride’s latest novel. The characters are well-written and fun; though brand names are tossed around like they are nothing, there is more of a sense of morality and doing what’s right in these books. The girls can actually be seen as role models, rather than mere objects of envy. Laura is bigger than the other girls at her school, but she is still beautiful and happy with herself. Mac is a bookworm, while Ginger is conscious about the environment. Jo Lynn, on the other hand, is beautiful, rich, very popular – and unhappy underneath the surface. Too often, books in this genre idolize characters such as Jo Lynn, but here the reader can easily see her for what she really is.

The Debs is appropriate for teenagers and adults alike; anyone can enjoy this fun, sassy read. The next book in the series, The Debs: Love, Lies, and Texas Dips, is being released in June of 2009 – mark your calendars, because this is sure to be a great series.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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