Thursday, June 19, 2014

Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel

YA Contemporary


Remember Mean Girls? That's the movie I kept thinking of as I read this book. Rio's the new girl in town. She lived a pretty sheltered existence in New York, but her entrance into __ is definitely eye-opening. She's introduced to two set of people -- Mason and handsome Jas, kids she meets in art class who run their own school zine and don't follow any status quo. And then there's Kristi and her entourage -- popular cheerleaders with the nicest clothes, cutest guys, and best parties. 

Right away, you can tell that there's something not quite right about Kristi. For one thing, she's way too obsessed with Rio's ex-supermodel mother and superstar lawyer father. She says weird things about the square footage of Rio's new home. And here's the biggest red flag: she gives Rio a set of rules to follow.

As far as I can tell, there's two reasons why Rio falls into this crowd: 
1) Her mother loves Kristi and is obsessed with the idea of Rio being one of the pretty, popular girls. 
2) Rio has a mortifying "date" with Jas, where she learns that not only is she NOT on a date, but Jas already has a girlfriend. 

Yet I still have to question Rio's motivations. She's very smart, and was perfectly happy at her old school with her non-popular geeky friends. I'm sure that she had to live with pressure from her mother in New York as well. She never seems totally enamored with Kristi's lifestyle, but she plunges right in anyway.

Everything ends well, though. A bit ... too well?? Once again, I'm skeptical about character motivations. Rio ignored Jas and Mason for most the novel, so I'm surprised when they welcome her back with open arms. It doe make sense for Kristi's cronies to follow Rio's lead -- they are, after all, followers. But Jas and Mason are free-thinkers, or so we're lead to believe.

My biggest complaint? Rio's never happy. Well, she's never unhappy either, just in this weird limbo state most of the time. I think she's finally happy at the end, but that's when the book ends! Sigh.

I enjoyed Art Geeks and Prom Queens, but I wanted a bit more realism and grit. I also Rio to be convincing in her convictions and decisions.



  1. I'm sad you didn't like it more, I was able to relate to Rio better than you, so maybe that's why I loved it. I think the ending would have been more realistic if Rio, Mason and Jas had been friends for a longer time period before Rio became one of Kristi's group. I mean if you've known and loved someone for a long time before they made a big mistake, you can forgive them easier after they realize what they did was wrong.
    Great review. :)

    1. I agree, I think the ending would have been better if they'd been friends longer. To be fair though, Jas never seemed to give up on her. He did paint that picture of her. And Mason never seemed that irritated either. :)