*Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
Nice and Mean by Jessica Leader
Release Date: 2010
It’s easy to get pigeon-holed at New York City’s Jane Jacobs Middle School. But there is a way out: getting a video into the arts assembly, which transformed last year’s winners from outcasts into superstars. Alpha-girl Marina knows that a killer video will help people see past her nickname, “Marina the Hun.” And if her video can take down her so-called best friend and rival? Even better. Sachi, tired of being just another honor-roll Indian girl with pencils to lend, will do anything to get into video class, even lie to her strict parents.
The vastly different girls are assigned to be partners, and their hopes of fame plummet when they realize they barely speak the same language. They decide to divide and conquer: Marina films a fashion-news show, and Sachi conducts interviews to learn what she longs to know: What makes something popular?
The collaboration barely gets underway when the girls’ deception explodes in their faces. Shunned by family and friends, and thrown out of video, the girls surprise themselves by turning to each other to salvage their project. In the process, they explore the differences between dorkitude, niceness, and popularity, and how to get what you want without destroying your life.
Read chapter one here.