Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston

Kacey Simon is the queen bee at Marquette Middle School.  She's pretty, popular, has lots of friends, is the star of the musical and even has her own school-wide advice show.  But then something terrible happens.  An eye infection puts her in horrible thick glasses AND she has to get braces that give her a lisp.  Her supposed friends now want nothing to do with her, and suddenly Kacey is on the bottom of the food chain.  Determined to work her way back to the top, she makes a deal with her ex-friend Paige and together they plot Kacey's comeback, which involves singing in a rock band with a guy who wears skinny jeans who she's totally not interested in at all.  Not at all.

This was really cute and I loved it.  Yes, it's another book about a popular girl who suddenly finds herself not popular and Learns An Important Lesson about who her true friends are and all that, but it was smart and funny and had a lot more depth than I was expecting.

Kacey aspires to be a journalist like her mother, and her advice show is her first step.  Kacey prides herself on being honest, no matter what.  Over the course of the book she figures out that she isn't just being honest, she's being mean.  Now, in a lot of books her ex-friend Paige would point this out to her and Kacey would realize the error of her ways and that would be that.  But this book really looked at this issue.  How honest is too honest?  Is it better to tell a white lie to make someone feel better, or tell them the truth even if it's not what they want to hear?  What Kacey really needed to learn was CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM but they might not have gotten to talking about that in class yet.  I mean, she is only in middle school.  It took her a realistic amount of time to change her ways, and I really liked that.

Even though Kacey's friends treated her horribly, she's still determined to get them back, rather than realizing that her actual friends were the ones who were there when everyone else was making fun of her.  She didn't Learn Her Lesson right away.  Kacey got what she wanted with the help of Paige, but then she went back on her word to help Paige with her school president bid.  Paige is justifiably mad and doesn't want to be friends with her any more.  Kacey also hurts Zander, whose band she was singing in after she lost the lead in the musical because of her lisp.  Kacey doesn't want to believe that she's falling for a guy who wears skinny jeans and has blue hair.  When Kacey's friend Molly, who got the lead in the musical after Kacey had to leave, says Kacey can have the lead back if she stops singing in the band (because Molly likes Zander and is jealous) Kacey agrees.

It isn't until she's gone through with all this does Kacey realizes that she's made a mistake.  She IS mean to people.  She doesn't have to tear everyone a part.  That doesn't make her a good journalist.  She was wrong to treat Paige the way she did, and she blew it with Zander.  Kacey tries to fix things, and while she and Paige make up, she doesn't get Zander in the end.  And that was kind of cool.  She made a mistake, she apologized, and it didn't fix everything.  She hurt Zander, and he isn't ready to forgive her.  The book ends with Kacey determined to make Zander see that she's changed and that they should be together.

I really liked it ending like that.  I hope this isn't going to be a series or anything.  I want it to end just like that.  With Kacey realizing her mistakes, not everything's perfect, and being willing to keep working on herself.  Very cool.

Sure there were some silly things.  Like, having had plenty of oral torture myself, a braces lisp last like two or three days.  Would Kacey really lose her part in the middle school musical because she was lisping from braces?  Seems kind of extreme.  But whatever.  It was thoughtful and fun and I highly recommend it.

How to Rock Braces and Glasses comes out September 5.


  1. Great review! This sounds like a really cute read, that also touches on some more serious subjects. I really like how the ending was left off. It's nice to not have every book be part of a series. Oh, and new follower :)

  2. Thanks! I agree about not having every book be part of a series. It's nice to read a good stand-alone book. I definitely recommend this one!


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