In a morality tale with all the breeziness and exaggeration of a teen movie, an eighth-grade mean girl loses her status and becomes only slightly less mean.
The lead in the school musical and the host of an advice segment on the school's TV channel, Kacey Simon starts at the top. Then a failure to care for her new purple contacts and a fall at her friend Molly's boy-girl birthday party doom Kacey to the ultimate in loser accessories: glasses and braces. Saddled with a braces-related speech impediment along with her geeky new look, Kacey finds herself at the bottom of the pecking order. Molly and other former friends circulate a YouTube video mocking Kacey's lisp, and, somewhat unrealistically, the drama teacher immediately removes her from the school play. Luckily (and, one might argue, undeservedly), two outcasts support the fallen queen of mean. Paige, a student-government enthusiast, helps Kacey with a plan to regain her popularity. Zander, an indie rocker who wears, to Kacey's horror, skinny jeans, grudgingly accepts Kacey as his band's lead singer. Despite the book's ostensible stance against meanness, Kacey regains her social standing largely by bullying and manipulating her old friends, and the notion that glasses and braces must always spell social ruin is left unquestioned.