After snapping back at a teacher who picks on her for being different (the latest in a long string of defiant acts), gothic teen Jade is hooked up to a virtual reality machine so that she can appreciate the way her life already is. To her horror, she is no longer a minority - a goth amongst preppy people. Instead she is in the majority - in her alternate universe, everyone is a goth and she is their popular queen. Even the police wear eyeliner, and preppy kids are thought to be deviant. Only Mercedes, her nemesis, who got in a fight at school and was also hooked up to the machine seems aware of what's going on. All Jade's old friends hate her and are preppy, not goth. Meanwhile, new kid Clarik, not part of either goths or preps, seems interested in Jade, but this is a virtual reality world. A decent story with a moral that raises some interesting questions about identity and individuality and about making judgements about others. However, I did think that this complicated punishment didn't seem to fit the crime, and some suspension of disbelief is required.
Incredible story. Loved Jade and Clarik, wow if only there were boys like that when I was in high school! Quick, funny read! Gena Showalter captured the essence of individuality and true friendships perfectly.
I loved this book. Maybe it's for people who were more of the outcast compared to the popular people..but for me I could relate to Jade in this book as being the outcast of my school. From the teachers singling you out, to kids throwing stuff at you, it was done to me just like it was done to Jade. And I wasn't even a full out goth (closet goth as we called them in school...aka those of us who wanted to be goth but couldn't be because of jobs etc etc etc) But I loved the suspense in this book and how everyone had to deal with their situations. Granted Jade was a little bit rude and upset about the information she found out about her family..but in all honesty...how would you have acted? Probably the same way. Think about it. (I won't go into detail..but you'll understand when you get there)
So if you want a good read, this is it. And I'm amazed since it was an MTV book that it didn't contain more fould language (there are spots) and more sex topics (again there are parts) etc etc etc. Kinda mild for what I'm used to seeing on MTV.
I really enjoyed this YA/(slightly paranormal) book.
Meet Jade Leigh, one of 4 of the goth kids at her school. After a squabble with her teacher, she ends up in the principals office and is told she will wait until tomorrow to get her punishment. She meets Clarik, the new kid at the office. Mercedes, (queen bee-barbie of the school) is rumored to have gotten into a fight with her friends over Clarik.
The next day both Mercedes and Jade are told they will endure their punishment together. They are taken to a remote lab, strapped down to a machine and injected with something that puts them to sleep. When they wake up they realize nothing is the same. All the preppy kids are now goths, and Jade is now the Queen Bee. Jade's former goth friends are now preppy, and considered the freaks of the school. However, Clarik is still a mystery because he seems to still be the same.
Jade and Mercedes figure out they have been put into a virtual reality game, but everything seems entirely too real. Their principal is missing. Now they must work together to figure a way out of the game and learn their lessons on acceptance of others, and to stop hating. The basic moral of the story was to "live and let live"
The end had a twist I was not expecting. Overall it was a happy ending.
This was a great story and I found that I really like Gena Showalter's writing style.
i had issues with this book but it was enjoyable in the moment.
Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com
Jade is a Goth-girl who is a total nonconformist and is a "freak" at her school.
Mercedes is a "Barbie" -- blonde, super-popular, and a total conformist, who is also Jade's mortal enemy.
Clarik is a new mysterious boy that has come to their high school, who Jade quickly realizes she has a crush on.
The girls' principal is sick of these two girls causing problems so she decides to teach them a lesson they will never forget.
After getting the parents' consent, the girls are taken to an old rundown building, strapped down, and sedated. Mercedes and Jade have no idea what is going on, until they wake up at home. They go to school only to realize that everyone has turned Goth and the "Barbies" are the "freaks" now.
The girls don't like their new environment at all and are determined to find out how to get back to reality. Clarik is in the game with them and he and Jade become very close. Can he help get them back? Will they ever get back to the reality they knew? When they get home, will things be the same way they were before, or will the girls have to change?
This is a super-fun, fast-paced novel that even someone who would be called a "Barbie" can like! The characters are all lovable, and I really enjoyed this book!
This is a book you can easily read in one sitting. Despite the message about individuality and not judging books by their covers, I felt issues were overly simplified. Granted it's been a while since I read a YA book (that wasn't Harry Potter) but I remember eating up more philosophical questions and deeper issues when I was the age of this book's target audience. I felt like both Mercedes and Jade chose their individual styles less because it defined who they were but because it allowed them to fit in or stand out respectively. This blind adherence to these ideas made me sympathize less with Jade than I'd expected to. If it was suddenly cool to have my style, I wouldn't find it so easy to want to adopt another. I'd have a lot of fun allowing myself full creativity of expression and find ways to stand out within the popular style. I hated the fact that Jade had a goth style not because that defined her inner sense of expression, but because it made her stand out more outrageously.
Like some other reviewers, the idea of the virtual reality punishment also raised several ethical questions for me that were quickly swept under the proverbial carpet by the author. It also didn't make a whole lot of sense at certain points in the story and I quickly realized that a LOT of suspension of disbelief was required to get fully engaged.
However, there were a couple of things a did like. For all it's flaws it was a fun and uncomplicated read for one night. I did enjoy watching the development of Mercedes and Jade's gradual and begrudging respect for each other. Also, like another reviewer, I wish Clarik had existed at my high school too.
Im a big fan of Gena Showalter, but this book just doesnt compare to her others. I read less than 1/2 of the book, but it was about a Goth girl and a popular "Barbie" girl that get in trouble @ school & their punishment is to be taken to some secret lab & they undergo some experiment that makes the Goth group become the Barbies and the Barbie group become the Goths. Not sure if it was a dream, virtual reality, alternate universe, or what as I didnt finish it. Not Showalters best by a long shot
This book was not as good as I had hoped it would be. I think it would have been better if it was longer.
Although a good read (in the moment), I also had issues. At times the heroines attitude towards interfamily relations made me want to slap her.