I started reading this series when my 7 year old brought them home from the library. The books were a little too hard for her to understand on her own, so we read them together with some running commentary from me.
The books are clearly written for the 7-12 year old mind. However, I must remark that I enjoyed the series mostly due to the clever dialogue and the wacky scenarios involving the main characters. Some of the subject matter is a bit mature for elementary girls, especially the thoughtless things these girls do to each other but if a parents reads the book along with the kids, a parent can put things in perspective for a young mind.
Out of all of the books in this series, this one is the ONLY one that I didn't like at all. It's a prequel that the fans requested from the author and I simply feel that the story wasn't well thought out or developed. If you read the series, I do not suggest you start with this one. It simply wasn't that good.
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com
In the days before the Pretty Committee, life wasn't good for its members, but one New Year's Eve everything came together:
Massie Block was stuck in a clique whose leader had no interest in her ideas and she was getting mighty tired of being shot down all the time. Massie knew she's make a great alpha, if only someone gave her the chance. At a rocking party, she meets with a psychic who mentions, "When all five pieces are together, you will reach your full potential as a leader." All she has to do is wait for it to happen.
Alicia can't wait to dance in front of millions at the biggest New Year's Eve party, but she might not get the chance. First, her co-dancer becomes ill. Second, she might be able to convince someone to take her place, but will it mean giving up something she truly loves? Will the spotlight be hers to claim or will she go down in shame?
Dylan isn't interested in being part of the New Year's Eve show, but on her mother's orders gets ready. She meets this girl who tells Dylan her outfit is all wrong. Then she meets these two cute boys who teach her how to burp. But then when it's her turn on TV, something goes drastically wrong. Can she save face?
Kristen's stuck babysitting with her horrific cousin. She can't seem to do anything right at all. She's tired of spending all her time studying. Yes, she goes to school on a scholarship, but that doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to have fun. When the parents come home early, she has one chance to make her dreams come true.
Meanwhile in Orlando ...Claire's having a sleepover with her best friends when they hear a radio contest. To her good fortune, she wins a limo ride to a party and to be kissed by rock stars. She can't wait for her first kiss, but first she and her friends have to sneak past her babysitter and into the limo.
I really liked seeing how the CLIQUE came to be and each girl's life before the Pretty Committee. I adored the charm aspect and how the girls came together. I wish the cover showed them in their previous lives and not as they are now. CHARMED AND DANGEROUS is a quick and satisfying read for fans of the series.