Saturday, January 29, 2011

Book Review: The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
Release Date: April 4, 2011
Publisher: Graphia

Pages: 237
Received: ARC from publisher
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads Page

Looking for something to read for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge? This would be a great pick!


From Goodreads: 

At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her. For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity. But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?


What do I say about this book? Did I like it? Yes. Did I dislike it? Yes. This is one of those books where its length works in its favor. I sped through The Lipstick Laws in two days (and only that slow because I read it on my computer) and while I was reading it I pretty much enjoyed it. A few things rubbed me wrong, but overall I had a fun time. It wasn’t until I had finished and was thinking back on what happened that I realized I didn’t actually like it as much as I had originally thought.

The book is narrated by April, an insecure girl who catches the eye of mean girl Britney and her gaggle of followers. April’s voice is very readable. She has a sarcastic sense of humor and just the right combination of insecurity and spunk to make her relatable. I never got tired of her adorable names for things like her crush (Hottie-Body-Brentwood) and all of her hilarious names for boobs and bras. Every time she referred to herself as a “bosom sculptor” (she stuffs her bra) I cracked up. Am I easily amused? Yeah, maybe, but, come on! Bosom sculptor?! That’s just funny. 

The humor is really what carried the book for me. April’s running commentary had me chuckling and there were a few scenes that had me laugh out loud. And I mean loud. There’s this one scene by a pool that just kept getting funnier and funnier with each event. As far as mean girl revenge is considered, well, let’s just say someone got OWNED and it was glorious (in that totally immoral I would never do that kind of way). I was so busy laughing through this book that it took me a while to realize I didn’t actually like the main characters.

I could totally see where April was coming from with wanting to be popular and not incur Britney’s wrath, so I understand why she went along with the Lipstick Laws. That didn’t bother me. I get that. What did bother me, though, was how almost every heinous aspect April (correctly) complained about in Britney was something April did herself! In a lot of ways, Britney came off as more sympathetic than April because at least Britney had horrible parents who “made her” how she was. April had no such explanation.

I kept hoping this would be the moral of the story: April would recognize how similar she was to Britney and she’d change her ways. This was touched on and the point was sort of made, a little, but….it wasn’t enough. By the end of the book I wasn’t convinced that April had really learned anything and was going to make any lasting changes (especially with that last page). After letting the book settle with me a little I realized that I was very annoyed with April for not growing enough. In the beginning I could even like her more because she hadn’t realized her behavior yet, but after she realized it and still stayed the same? That bugged me.

This is a big reason why I lowered the rating. If April had really learned her lesson in the end, I probably would have rated this a four. It wasn’t fantastic literature, but for a mean girls book, it was fun.

I recommend this book to readers who liked the movie Mean Girls, The Clique series by Lisi Harrison, or Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel. This was a cute, quick read that was undoubtedly funny. I am sold on Amy Holder’s writing, so I will definitely be interested in picking up her next book. I just hope whatever she writes next has a more likable character with more growth than April showed.
 Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

This book satisfies the following challenges: 

Looking for another funny contemp? You might like: 
A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker


  1. *nods nods* I agree with you in all of what you said, but I did rate it a bit lower because I lost patience far too quickly with April.

    I sort of liked her snarkiness, but at the same time, I never finished warming up to her. The book is fairly short, though, so it wasn't hard to read.

    Great review.

  2. Darn I was really looking forward to this but I feel like I usually agree with you. While I'll still give it a read, I will enter it with lowered expectations.

  3. I read this book shortly after reading Populuzzi. I loved Populuzzi and so Lipstick laws just seemed flater for me, if I do make any sense here.

    I liked it, it was fun and easy but it lacked the uniqueness and... just something! Lol I can't even say what exactly!

    Great Review:)

  4. Felt exactly the same way about this book. It was fun but lacked depth and April really didn't grow as a character but I did like Amy Holder writing style. Great review :)

  5. Thanks for the review, think this is the first one l have seen on this!
    Interesting to read your opinions, l requested this not being sure about it but it seems to give it a go!

  6. Really nice review, I've been debating on this one. I love that it's so funny you were laughing the entire time, but I'm with you on liking it when characters grow or learn a lesson by the end which it seems April does not. I think I'll pass for now:)

  7. Nice review! I love a spunky character. I can see why you would lower a rating for the protagonist not really growing or maturing from her lessons learned.

    Thanks for stopping by this morning! I am off to a good start for the weekend: slept in, hot coffee. Then later: dollar movie, gym and more blogging!

  8. This sounds like a fun read, but nothing that I'll be rushing out to buy!

  9. Great review! I've been thinking this might be a little bit better than mediocre, and it sounds like I was right. I like the general concept of the story though and hey, I like long books! I think I'll add this to my list :)

  10. Thanks for the review.
    I love books that have the ability to make us actually laugh at loud. (Then you get those stares from people . Well I do when I'm at home with family)

  11. I've seen this one around the blogosphere before but I've not seen a review of it before. I don't think it's the book for me but I'm glad I know what it's about now. I feel the same about a lot of my reviews as you did here ie. my opinion on it changes when thinking back.

    Thank you for your comment on my rating systms discussion. I think that I might try the half star rating like you. Approaching rating books compared to their genre is a good idea and one I'll keep in mind.

  12. Alex, Oh, I’m going to have to check out your review now. I have to admit, April scored major points from me based on “boobicle cubicle” alone. :P

    Bookworm, I think it’s still well worth a read. Especially since you now know she doesn’t change all that much you won’t be expecting that and then be let down.

    Danny, Hm, I overlooked Populuzzi because I didn’t love the cover. Maybe I should look into it again. I tend to agree with you on books so if you liked it then that’s good enough for me. I do know what you mean about Lipstick Laws falling a little flat. I can’t put my finger on why exactly either, but I know what you mean.

    Nic, I’m going to look up your review after this now. I guess it’s kind of silly, but I always like seeing people say they felt the same way about a book. Like that someone legitimizes my opinion :P

  13. Books for Company, I’d definitely give it a go. I thought it was very funny.

    Jenny, Thanks! I was disappointed with April not growing, but I think it was worth it for the humor alone, especially since it’s so short. I liked April up until the end when she disappointed me.

    Book Geek, Thanks! I like a spunky character too. Wow, sounds like you’re in for a really nice day :) Dollar movie? I wish we had those here!

    Leanna, That’s pretty much exactly how I’d describe it.

    Melissa, Thanks! Haha, yup, it sounds like you have it pegged right.

    Angelic Nytmare, you’re welcome. Haha, yes I am very familiar with those situations! And then if I try to explain the scene in the book it just makes them give me even stranger looks :P

    Stephanie, I like to give a book a little time to settle with me because of that. I’ve had that happen a few times where I think one way about a book and then a few days later my opinion changes. You’re welcome for the feedback. I’m glad it was helpful!

  14. Okay THANK YOU this is totally what I'm saying about this friggin book! She didn't grow at all. But I would read more by the author because I do like the way she writes :)

  15. Lol. Yeah explaining doesn't help at all. It's funny when my sister in law and I talk about the same books we've read my brother just sits back and stares at us like we're talking a foreign language.

  16. I'm looking forward to reading this one. Now that I can consider myself forewarned and won't try to expect too much from April, I bet I'll enjoy it even more.

  17. Great review! It was such a fun, light and funny book, though I wasn't as annoyed with April and didn't set as high of a bar for her in terms lessons learned.

    I don't want to give away spoilers here for those who haven't read it, but I thought it would end very differently and I'm glad it didn't.

  18. Hmm, I don't think this is the book for me. I just really dislike April from your description. Sounds funny but I don't think "mean girls" books are my thing.

  19. It's too bad that April doesn't grow enough but I like that it's funny. Based on your review, I think I'll read this one when I'm majorly stressed out.

  20. Lazy Girl, Haha, nope she didn’t grow and I was really disappointed by that. Love the writing though. We’re totally on the same page here.

    Angelic Nytmare, Oh I know! Us book people are a world apart :P

    Madigan, I think you will. I enjoyed it up until the very end when I was disappointed.

    Fiktshun, Thanks! Oh I think I know what you mean about the end. I agree, I was expecting something different, but I think I would have actually preferred the expected ending (even though it would have been pretty cliché).

    Aylee, Good call. This is definitely a “mean girls” book, so if that’s not your thing then I don’t think you’d like it very much.

    A Canadian Girl, Good idea! Definitely a good light and funny read for when you’re feeling stressed.

  21. This was on my TBR list for the DAC Challenge, but since the kindle tab has been cut by netgalley,I may just skip it based on your review. Thanks! :-)

  22. Gina, You're welcome. Any news about Kindle coming back? I haven't been too happy with Net Galleys offerings lately. Really nothing I want to read.

  23. Unfortunately, no!!! I've contacted them twice for an
    update and they haven't been able to fix it yet. I'm losing
    patience and faith. I dont see this getting remedied I've pretty
    much throwing in the towel.

  24. That's so irritating! I'm always keeping an eye out for Kindle ARC options for you. Unfortunately I haven't heard of anything yet.

  25. I'm so torn. I just started "The Lipstick Laws" last night and am on page 30 and I feel like I should put it down. It just seems to "young" for me. And the mean girl mentality - it's not really my style. I don't know - am I too old for YA? haha

  26. Aw, I think this one did have a "young" feel to it. The main character was a very emotionally young YA. If you're looking for a mean girl book that's different from all the other mean girl books, has deeper characters, and points that make you think then I highly recommend Adele Griffin's The Julian Game. I just posted my review for it today.


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