The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci

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The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci

On the first day of eighth grade, I was sitting at lunch with my friends, very proudly wearing my new light green airwalks (this was in the days when airwalks and vans were the epitome of "cool" -- 1997, if you must know), and one of the "popular" girls walked up to me and said "You stole my shoes." I looked down at her feet, and I was instantly confused, as her shoes looked absolutely nothing like mine. In fact, she was wearing sandals. Apparently, she had purchased the exact same shoes over the summer -- and somehow, even though it was the first day of school, and I was the one wearing the shoes, her social standing meant that I had "stolen" (i.e. copied) her. And that was the moment when I realized the ridiculousness of the "popular" kids being "popular"

The Queen of Cool is about one such "popular" girl, Libby, who becomes bored with her "popular" life. To stem her boredom, she decides to volunteer for an internship at the zoo. (Oddly, something similar happens in The Boy Book by E. Lockhart). While working at the zoo, she becomes friends with Sheldon and Tina/Tiny, and she begins to see the world a little differently.

While a very quick read, The Queen of Cool was refreshingly original. Most novels about teens in high school deal with the more disenfranchised high school student,* and the few that do center around the "popular" kids are usually more superficial (ala Gossip Girls)

*The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, Skin, King Dork, Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) just to name a few that I've read in the last couple weeks


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