Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: Mean Girls: A Novel

Release Date: September 12, 2017
Author: Micol Ostow
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Length: 304 pages
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

You know the story--or do you?

Cady Heron grew up homeschooled in Africa with scientist parents as her teachers, monkeys as her classmates and the African plains as her playground. But when her family moves to the suburbs of Illinois, she finds herself a stranger in a strange land: high school.

With no prior research to guide her, Cady's forced to figure out North Shore High all on her own. Suddenly she finds herself sucked into Girl World as a new member of the social elite dubbed "The Plastics." Cady discovers that unlike the wild, Girl World doesn't have any rules--especially when you maybe, possibly, okay definitely, have a giant crush on their ruthless leader's ex-boyfriend. Turns out, life in high school might be even more brutal than a showdown on the Savannah.

Based on the screenplay by Tina Fey, this retelling of the cult classic film includes tons of extra, never-before-seen bonus content.



Reviewer's Note: So, it's obvious that this isn't an original work of fiction. The movie this novel is based on is a cult classic film and I have yet to meet a person who hasn't seen it. Because of that, I won't be reviewing the story in this book, but more of a look at how well the story was adapted for this novel.

"Behind the Scenes" Extras: This book is riddled with North Shore Announcements, School Newspaper Articles, text messages between characters and other random extra little bits. At first, it felt a bit awkward because it mostly felt like a way for the author to inject forced easter eggs into the story, however later I came to really enjoy them as they started to feel more like a peek behind the curtain and showing a wider look at the larger story and the bits of the story that we might not have seen watching the movie.

General Adaptation Notes: Okay, so this is mostly a faithful novelization of the movie, however, there are minor changes and additions to the movie. The minor changes didn't bother me that much, only really one time during the first 3-way calling attack where a now infamous line is changed to make more sense. However, it was the additions to the tale that really got me in the end. There aren't too many and really only one that stuck with me, the fact that we actually see what happens after Cady visits Regina after her bus accident, and it really felt like it could have been in the movie, there's even a line that made me seriously crack up.

Audiobook Notes: So, even though Scholastic generously provided me with a physical review copy, I decided to listen to the audiobook through my local library and honestly I wish I hadn't. The performance wasn't so bad that I would have stopped listening to it, obviously, but it seriously felt that either the narrator hadn't ever seen the movie, or that she was trying to put her own spin on the characters which seriously rubbed me the wrong way. The characters sounded nothing like their movie counterparts and at times they sounded too similar to each other and if I hadn't seen the movie about a hundred times I might have gotten confused on who was talking. The audiobook won't factor into my overall rating, but I thought I'd let you know my experience with it.


Sorry for such a short review but without reviewing the actual story there wasn't all that much to talk about. I did like all the little extras and while there were a few moments that rubbed me the wrong way in the text, I don't really fault the author for trying to make a narrative choice. The additions felt seamless and the characters really felt like the ones from the movie. Overall, if you're a fan of the movie this book is definitely a fun and interesting ride.


1 comment:

  1. I was pretty skeptical about this novelization but I think I may give it a shot based on your review (which was fantastic)! I've been a bit of a lurking on your blog for a while now and definitely trust your input on this.