The Prettiest -- a Middle School Must Read

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.

Tell me when was the last time your middle school age daughter read a 300-page book in a matter of hours? That is what happened the day I received the book I am sharing with you today. I literally opened the package and showed the book to Hazel and she couldn't put it down. She read it all before she went to bed. I was surprised until I got my hands on the book and started reading it. The book is The Prettiest by Brigit Young. 

We all know middle school is tough. The hormones are going through the boys and girls and they are all pulling away from their parents and trying to declare their independence. Plus they are trying to impress their friends and classmates or often trying not to stand out. We all know this age and probably remember quite a few moments in our own middle school years. We meet Eve Hoffman. She is the quiet type that has one best friend and her nose in a book usually. Someone has made a list of the prettiest girls in the eighth grade at her school and put her number one. It made no sense to her. She enjoyed being invisible and cannot stand having everyone talk about her and her body. Then there is Sophie Kane who was the most popular girl and rather upset that she got ranked at number two. Plus she is being bullied for having lost her number one status. There is also Nessa Flores-Brady who is Eve's best friend and a chubby, theater girl. She didn't even make the list. But who wrote the list and why? The adults are trying to figure that out, but the kids are also guessing. 

These three girls band together to try to takedown the person who wrote the list or at least their guess at who did. What if they are wrong? This novel is about growing up, friendship and all the awkward moments we call middle school. It is about trying to do the right thing and how to be a loyal and good friend. It is about finding the courage to stand up for what you feel is right and for yourself and your friends. It is about facing ones own fears and letting go of some of your own masks. It is about the way girls are treated as they are developing or not developing (when their friends/classmates are). It is the middle school version of the Me Too movement. There are so many lessons built into this book, but the truth is the story itself is wonderful and entertaining. It is an easy read and the book is hard to put down. The characters are well developed and the story is sure to relate to your own experiences as well as our kids' experiences. This book will equip them to navigate the social life of middle school. 

I love how the book delves into the girls own lives and thoughts. It explains why Sophie (and girls like her) work so hard to be perfect and popular. Eve shares her own feelings about being one of the first girls to develop and how the boys start treating her. Nessa always seems to not care what others think but her thoughts share that she really does. There are so many different characters besides these girls including teachers, principals and boys as well as so called friends. This book has the overall message about how important good friendships really are. I honestly hope everyone reads this book. Every middle school student, teacher and parents need to read this book and start talking about it. Perhaps then we can educate our kids to respect and be kind. I hope you will check it out!