Even the twists are standard in this outsider-gets-revenge tale.
Shannon is an outcast thanks to the teasing of her school’s queen bee, Grace. When a finger cot—a tool for her secret quilting hobby that looks like a miniature condom—falls out of her pocket during gym class, Shannon gets nicknamed the Elf Ucker. She withdraws into her own head and only talks to her best friend, Marnie. So when she gets the chance to participate in a reality TV show called From Wannabes to Prom Queens, she jumps at the chance to improve her social standing—even if it means not telling Marnie about the show and losing a chance at romance with goofy science nerd Rick. Of course, Shannon finds out popularity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Predictably, the show’s production team manufactures drama with such maneuvers as having Grace and her cronies compete for the prom-queen crown, too. Unsurprisingly, everyone learns a valuable lesson, although not without the girls having a knock-down, drag-out fight first. Crompton’s second novel is competent. Characters are serviceable, and the plot moves along well enough.
In the end, it’s like most reality TV: not high art and not all that memorable. (Fiction. 14 & up)