Mean Girls goes to a New Jersey middle school in the social media age.
Life is perfect as Ella Jane Plaza enters seventh grade. She and her best friend, Morgan Middleton, are the local internet sensation #Morgan&Ella. With more than 10,000 followers on all the best “socials,” the duo are on their way to “global multiplatform domination.” Maintaining her image as the ukulele-playing “Goofball Goddess” sidekick to Morgan’s “Girlboss Goddess Next Door” isn’t easy, but as long as Ella does exactly as privileged, spoiled Morgan says, everything is harmonious. When Ella, who’s never been particularly good at anything except being epically unorganized, discovers she has a natural aptitude for fencing, she has to hide it from Morgan. Such a “terminally uncute” sport is bad for their brand and will make #Morgan&Ella (but mostly Morgan) look bad. Eventually, Ella, who narrates with sincerity and uncertainty, must decide whether or not to continue being untrue to herself in order to maintain her popularity. Ella knows Morgan is manipulative and cruel (particularly to Ella’s nerdy former best friend) but rationalizes Morgan’s unkind words and actions as acts of charity and wisdom. Notably, Morgan’s meanness isn’t explained away as a result of neglectful high-power parents. Olive-skinned Ella is of Mediterranean descent, and Morgan is white; their community is also largely white.
A quick, entertaining read for fans of frenemy fiction. (Fiction. 8-13)