BIG THANKS to Susan for providing me with an additional SIGNED copy of her book for a giveaway – click here to enter (giveaway ends November 13 at 11:59 PM)
“The Debs” by Susan McBride
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4 stars
“The Debs” is the first book in a series that chronicles the lives of teenage girls vying for the coveted ‘deb’ title and all the drama that ensues. Along with the close friendships and the complicated romances, some of the best pages of “The Debs” feature the rivalries, competition and juicy betrayal!
Each of the main characters has something valuable to offer readers, especially impressionable teenage girls. Laura Bell just wants to fit in but her struggle with her weight, not to mention the constant criticism she gets for being a size 14, is a lot to handle. Mac Mackenzie, the practical one, cannot understand why her friends always surrender when it comes to boys and must cope with a new stepmother who is trying to replace her mother who recently passed away. Ginger Fore, activist and environmentalist, is not your typical ‘deb’ wannabe but figures that achieving the title will help her fight for the causes she believes in. Finally, as in every great story, there is a malicious villain, and Jo Lynn Bidwell is definitely the girl everyone loves to hate. This queen bee will stop at nothing to outshine everyone around her and get what she wants at any cost but it can be lonely at the top.
While I don’t usually read many YA books, I have to say I really enjoyed this one. In addition to the fun storyline and sassy writing, it was really refreshing to see characters with a conscience. Although some of the characters are obsessed with labels, it was nice to read about someone like Mac, who is not concerned with wearing designer clothing. I also really liked that Ginger was very environmentally conscious and would only wear organic clothing. It’s important to have role models in books that teenage girls can look up to and learn from and in this aspect, McBride really succeeds.
Set in the South, the setting is also another really great part of the book because it is a nice change from the typical LA or NYC environment that is featured in most books. I liked learning more about Texas and how the privileged Southern Belles live.
This book serves as an introduction to the characters and storyline and paves the way for an enjoyable series of YA books. Unfortunately “The Debs” ends on a somewhat unfinished note, almost like a to-be-continued episode, and now I need to wait until June 2009 for The Debs: Love, Lies and Texas Dips to come out!
For more info check out Susan McBride’s website