Dial L for Loser: A Clique Novel -- Lisi Harrison
After witnessing a catfight between starlets air live on The Daily Grind, the girls (minus Dylan, whose big mouth was the indirect cause of the aforementioned catfight) are invited to go to Hollywood (by the Oscar-winner who is inexplicably directing a pretty obviously crappy teeny-bopper movie) to audition for the newly-open role.
So. Fans of The Clique series will, I'm sure, be very happy with this installment.
As for the rest of us...
Okay, so in the last book, the girls all get expelled from OCD, right? We'll gloss right over how awesome that was, and how much I totally wanted the series to end at that moment. (Kind of how I wanted Minority Report to end with Tom Cruise going down into the prison-freezer-hole, because sometimes, down endings are just better. ESPECIALLY for Tom Cruise and the girls of The Clique.)
Dial L for Loser begins with the girls dealing with their expulsion. Are they punished? Not so much. Massie, Alicia and Dylan are totally free to go shopping all day. Let's repeat that: THEY GET EXPELLED FROM THE SEVENTH GRADE, AND THEIR PARENTS LET THEM GO TO THE MALL. NOT ONLY DO THEY LET THEM GO TO THE MALL, THEY GIVE THEM FREE REIN WITH CREDIT CARDS. I realize that these books are basically a fantasy, but come on. There's only so much I can take.
Although Claire's parents are punishing her by getting her out of bed early and making her continue to do schoolwork, she's allowed to go to the mall. She's poor* anyway, so not being able to buy anything isn't a punishment. Kristen is the only one who really gets punished. Her mother makes her study philosophy. When the Hollywood question comes up, she doesn't allow Kristen to go.
Massie continues to see herself as v. v. mature and worldly. In actuality -- and this is made pretty obvious by the way that the Hollywood adults treat her and the way that the Teen Heartthrob manipulates her -- she is gauche and extremely immature. Not to mention selfish and a rotten friend. But she IS extremely confident, so I can see why so many readers love her. Sort of.
That isn't to say that I like Claire. She's a weenie. She's not a particularly good friend, either. There's a moment towards the end of the book where the Massie/Claire issues are actually verbalized. Who knows? Due to the fact that Claire has money now, the whole dynamic might change. But I suspect that LH won't change the formula now. I can't imagine that she'd suddenly introduce that little thing called "character development" in Book 7.
There are some howlers in here -- Lisi Harrison herself must have been in tears when she came up with them:
"Okay, then, I'm off to moisturize before Fendi commissions my dry skin for their fall handbag collection." (That one is courtesy of Kendra, Massie's mom. It explains a LOT.)
Life was hers for the taking. So why did she feel like an empty tube of lip gloss, a hollow shell with nothing left to give?
*Poor in Westchester. So she'd probably be upper middle class in normal-people land.