Madison is an average pre-teen living in Maine. For the most part, Madison has a happy life: a loving mother and good friends. But there's just one catch: the mean girls, who Madison and her friends used to be close with, often pick on the girls. After a particularly bad hair day, Madison takes matters into her own hands and before she knows it, finds herself turning mean. Will Madison make amends before she's left friendless? (I wrote this summary, as none was provided on GoodReads.)
I was initially intrigued by Meanicures’s cover so when I had the chance to read this book through an ARC tour I thought, “Why not?” Once I received the book and started reading it I realized it was probably aimed at more of a middle grade than a YA audience, which is not what I expected. However, I still had high expectations after reading a few chapters. I can relate to Madison’s experience of not quite being the coolest kid in school, and the story was set in Maine. I have a particular soft spot for Maine as my mom grew up there and we go back to visit practically every summer. Unfortunately, I didn’t really leave this story feeling satisfied.
The plot of the story was fine. At one point I feared that it was going to take a turn towards ridiculous, but by the time I finished this story it felt more realistic. The very ending felt a little bit off to me, and I think this was the case of how Madison decided to phrase things.
For me, my main hang up with this story was the characters. I felt that I got to knew Madison and the mean girls fairly well, yet was totally unable to connect to Taylor and Olivia. I was really frustrated at how malleable and easy to sway they seemed. I realize this may have been part of Clark’s point about bullying, that it’s easy for people to get caught up in it. Olivia particularly annoyed me, as she was insensitive and oblivious and I feel like I never actually learned anything about what was going through her head, which made it really challenging for me to connect with her. Otherwise I think I may have liked her a bit more. If this were to become a series and Olivia were developed more throughout, I think this might have made more sense, but this book appears to be intended as a standalone (I could be wrong, though).
I think if Meanicures had been a bit longer with more plot and character development, I may have enjoyed it more. Overall, however, this story was a light, quick and enjoyable read which I think lots of young girls will be able to relate.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Star Book Tours.