Massie gets BE-yoo-tiful: After Massie Block gets kicked off her high horse and out of her ultra exclusive Westchester riding camp, her parents force her to do the unthinkable-find a summer job. Not one for dog-walking or brat-sitting, Massie comes up with the ah-bvious solution: She'll be a sales rep for the cosmetics brand Be Pretty. Massie fully hearts her new role as fairy gawdmother of makeup-until she discovers transforming LBRs into glam-girls takes more than a swish of her royal purple mascara wand.
The tenth novel in Lisi Harrison's "The Clique" series also begins the "Summer Collection" miniseries featuring the girls of The Pretty Committee. This book features Massie Block and her summer (mis)adventures. Massie is sent away from her prestigious riding camp after forcing a teammate, who is later revealed as the camp owner's granddaughter, to cheat in an important competition. Since all of Massie's friends are in various other corners of the globe enjoying their own event-filled trips, the soon-to-be eighth-grader does not look forward to the return home to her family's posh home and lifestyle. To make matters worse, Mrs. Block has canceled Massie's credit cards, and both parents force Massie to get a job in hopes of teaching their daughter a lesson. While this goal seems much needed, what Massie actually learns in the novel (and what readers take away from the story) is far less valuable. Massie becomes a door-to-door cosmetic salesgirl, brutally insulting her explicitly temporary summer friends before using the products to make the girls over, which in turn repeatedly equates to sexualizing her young friends' appearances, including that of a well-endowed ten-year-old with B-cups. Perhaps most disappointingly, when the company's owner takes Massie aside during a luncheon and makes the girl's internal ugliness quite clear, Massie cowardly laughs this off and instead seizes the opportunity to manipulate and deceive the owner further. While the commercial success of this type of girls' fiction cannot be denied, Massie's tale reads like a series of product placements for any and every hard-to-get designer label and presents a set of values and relationships many adults would find atthe very least questionable. Reviewer: Jennifer Wood