This second book of the Tig Ripley series continues as Tig and her all-girl band, Pandora's Box, struggle with middle school drama.
Pandora’s Box is made up of Tig and her classmates Olivia, Robbie, and Claire and her cousin Kyra. The five girls are now making attempts to improve their instrumental skills since gaining local notoriety winning a regional competition and appearing on a University of Alabama television show (Rock ’n’ Roll Rebel, 2016). The weak link of the band has been Kyra, who can barely play a lick and seems to only be in the band because she wants to be famous. The girls fuss at rehearsals about Kyra’s lack of skills, and Robbie brings in a talented new girl, Paris, who threatens Kyra’s place in the band. Tig is still secretly pining over her secret crush, Will Mason, who is dating bandmate Olivia (a twosome that Tig paired up even though she had feelings for Will). Even when the author tries to throw in a divorce of one of the band mates’ parents in a possible attempt to add substance, the drama among the girls supersedes any real depth. Along with Rue’s failed attempt at teenspeak—“He’s totes smart” (“totes” is just so 2010)—the characters lack complexity, and the band's story is reduced to a soap opera. Tig’s world is largely white, with Chinese-American Robbie the only significant exception.
If there were a reality show called Real Housewives of Tuscaloosa: The Middle School Years, this might suffice as the print version. (Fiction. 10-14)