Dreamy, artistic Chloe alienates her friends Erika, Isabel, and Mackenzie when she falls for Adam, the biggest outcast in their high school. The conventional cartoon style of the black-and-white drawings is attractive and accessible, giving the story the look of a hipper "Archie" comic. The resulting tone is light and squeaky clean. Chloe and Adam's romance is sweetly awkward, and the friends ultimately support one another with heartfelt advice. There are some mature themes: Mackenzie has already lost her virginity, and Erika's boyfriend is pressuring her to have sex. Still, this entertaining yet simplistic story may appeal to tweens more than teens.
Chloe Sacks, is a self-described "aspiring artist, chronic daydreamer, borderline neurotic," and tells the story of her junior year at Georgia O'Keeffe School for the Arts in flashbacks. The volume strikes a sure balance between realistic issues and teenage sarcasm. For instance, the school is nicknamed "Fashion High" because of the ridiculous sartorial standard set by the students. Chloe is distraught to notice that her lifelong best friend, Mackenzie, is becoming distant, shallow and increasingly obsessed with popularity. Two-time Eisner nominee Norrie depicts a hilarious panel for the image of Mackenzie's "nightmare... los[ing] our precarious social footing": the tops-turvy friends are being sucked into a black hole labeled "unpopular!" Chloe befriends nerdy-but-oddly-handsome Adam, despite the damage such a friendship could do to her "popular girl" status. The two become a couple, but Chloe keeps it a secret from Mackenzie and their two other "inner circle" friends, Erika and Isabel. When the trio discovers Chloe's secret, she inadvertently alienates all three friendsas well as Adam. The stakes get higher: Erika deals with a pushy boyfriend who wants sex, Mackenzie's scheming social climbing explosively backfires. In the final chapters, Friedman moves from giggly gossip, instant messages and lattes, to a thoughtful exploration of the difficult time the girls have reconciling their friendships, and learning to accept each other for who they are.
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com
Friends forever! That is exactly how Chloe Sacks feels about her tight group of girlfriends. Since what seems like forever, Chloe, Isabel, Erika, and Mackenzie have been inseparable. They did everything together, from sharing secrets to gossiping with one another. And when they start out their junior year together, Chloe is sure that it will be another great year for them all. But little does she know that as they enter their junior year, they may actually become distant.
The new school year does not start off too well for the girls. Instead of having all of their classes together they only have one--Health, with the very weird Ms. Lamour. Not only are their schedules changing, but so are they.
It seems like all Mackenzie can think about is getting "in" with the popular crowd, befriending Nicola Burnett, the girlfriend of Gabe, who Mackenzie is beginning to fall for. Isabel is having trouble with her very controlling parents, especially when she really wants to date soccer player Brad Richmond. Erika loves her boyfriend, Kyle, very much, but is beginning to question their relationship since all Kyle thinks about is pressuring her to take their relationship to the "next level." And Chloe is beginning to have feelings for Adam Stevenson, who, unfortunately, around school is considered a loser, even by her own friends.
A new year, new relationships, and a new perspective on how the girls begin to look at each other. It seems like the girls' junior year isn't turning out to be what they expected.
Different from what Aimee Friedman normally writes, BREAKING UP: A FASHION HIGH GRAPHIC NOVEL, is a quick and easy read that will definitely pull the reader in from the very beginning. Aimee Friedman hits the target with high school angst in this graphic novel, with characters that are easy for the readers to relate to. The novel deals with real life issues from relationships to friends. It was like watching another episode of Degrassi. And the pictures, illustrated by Christine Norrie, were absolutely amazing.