Honesty is always the best policy…unless you’re Cameron Bright.
Cameron is a natural blonde, runs six miles a day (with the body to prove it), and is determined to attend Wharton as a way of connecting with her distant father, who is an alumnus. But if her Beaumont Prep classmates had to choose one word to describe her, it would be “bitch.” Cameron has prided herself on speaking her mind to everyone, until one instance of brutal honesty causes Andrew Richmond, the boy she likes, to call her a bitch to her face. Bent on proving she can change, and inspired by the debatable transformation of Katherine from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Cameron plans to right the wrongs she’s committed against various people, including Paige Rosenfeld, whom she verbally degraded in front of Andrew, and Paige’s socially isolated brother, whom she’s dubbed “Barfy Brendan,” not realizing he has celiac disease. Her arduous journey toward transfiguration—while also dissecting her strained relationships with both parents—makes this a valuable addition to the contemporary realistic fiction genre. The message that being kinder does not mean compromising who you are, but rather unveiling the better and more authentic version of one’s self, is admirable. Most characters are assumed white except for Andrew, who is black, and Cameron’s friend Elle, who is Chinese-American.
A refreshing mean-girl transformation story akin to 10 Things I Hate About You. (Fiction. 13-18)