By Kay Cassidy
Rated: PG-13; Not Recommended
16-year old Jess Parker is a bit of a social pariah at high school . . . one of the downsides of being the new girl. And nobody makes her feel more like an outcast than Lexy, who seems to take special delight in tormenting Jess. On the last day of school, Jess receives a mysterious note in her bag. Following the directions in the note, Jess discretely wears the accompanying pin to a popular coffee shop that night, hoping that this isn't another setup for humiliation by Lexy. Turns out - it's definitely not. Instead, Jess is inducted into a secret society that encourages girls to be comfortable with who they are. As Jess learns through trial and error to be true to herself, she finds her ability to help others is strengthened. And she'll need all this newfound strength as her work in the Cinderella Society puts her in direct conflict with her archenemy, Lexy.
There were a few moments where a good point was raised in this book, such as being true to yourself (the ones not focused on outward appearance) and helping others. I didn't like the emphasis on beauty, popularity or the exclusionism of the society. As I was reading, I constantly felt like the book had a facade of morality underlaid by quite the opposite. Superficially, the book made some good points but never in a way which I felt was quite right or with which I was quite comfortable.
Jess gets a boyfriend in the book and there are a several make-out sessions, thus the PG-13 rating. There was also occasional mild profanity. This book is definitely geared towards teens. Adults would find little to interest them. Although the rating is PG-13, the conflict between the message the book purports to send and the inner turmoil I felt reading it leads me to not recommend this book.