A hilarious, angst-ridden YA novel about a teenage girl acclimating to life at a new high school by Griffin (Beauty and the Wiener: A Rescue Dog Romance, 2017, etc.).
Adrianna Bottom was bullied relentlessly at her old school in Seattle, and she’s determined not to experience the same fate at Beverly Hills High. But she’s off to an inauspicious start. As if having the surname Bottom weren’t enough, her father is a self-proclaimed “Bathroom Baron” who made his fortune selling novelty bathroom accessories. Her parents are parlaying their newfound wealth into a reality TV series starring Adrianna—whom they call the “Porcelain Princess.” On her first day of school, she accidentally exposes her Wonder Woman–underwear-clad bottom to her entire biology class, a feat that’s also filmed for the reality show. She does manage to meet three new people, however: a beautiful girl named Harper; Harper’s ex, Lennox; and the geeky Kevin. Harper immediately warns Adrianna of the social suicide that would result from fraternizing with Kevin, who, among other nerdy pursuits, spends his weekends doing fantasy live-action role-playing with friends. Adrianna soon finds herself leading a dual existence—hanging out with Harper and other popular kids during weekdays and role-playing (behind a mask) with Kevin on weekends. Adding to her woes is reality show producer Corbin, who’s determined to do anything—no matter how humiliating or socially disastrous for Adrianna—to garner a larger viewing audience. This book embraces some traditional aspects of YA literature—including a romance and a quest to be popular—but it avoids trendy dystopian or paranormal aspects. Griffin perfectly captures the characters’ adolescent angst, and many readers will relate to Adrianna’s dilemma—she wants to do what’s right, but she’s so emotionally scarred by past bullying that she feels crippled by indecision. Indeed, the author’s characterizations of Adrianna, Kevin, Harper, and even Lennox make this YA novel transcendent. The addition of live-action role-playing and reality television keeps the story feeling contemporary, and there’s just enough bathroom humor to add laughs without being too heavy-handed.
An effective combination of traditional and modern YA elements.