Review: Mean Girls by Micol Ostow

Mean Girls: A Novel by Micol Ostow
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

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.

Warnings: fatmisia, queermisia, mention of pedophilia, bullying, body image issues

The Mean Girls novel would be recommended only if you have a severe case of Mean Girls nostalgia. It is basically the movie in book form, with very minor additions which don’t have any impact on plot or character development. You know, I always think that movie adaptations are a shallow perspective on what a book is, and even in reverse, I expect a book adaptation to have more depth than the movie it’s based on. This failed on that count.

Now firstly I was questioning the purpose of having a book of a movie released 13 years after the movie itself. Had this been a ‘based on’ kind of book, I would have understood. But no, it’s just the movie, line for line, in book form, which had me??? What was the purpose? It doesn’t even try to update itself. The jokes that were funny 13 years ago might, in some cases, even be offensive right now (fat guy looks like the type to fart?) . And while the universal message remains that bullying is wrong and girls should try to uplift each other, this story is very dated.

Even if the story was to be the same, the least that could have been done is to provide character development that was missing from the movie. Besides Cady, every other character is a caricature, and the book is comfortable in leaving it at that. Heck even that one deleted Regina scene is not included! And the narrator (read this in audio)! Oh my goodness, doing boy voices isn’t just keeping your voice low. The annoying thing with girl voices and the poorly disguised base as boy voices had me so irritated.

All in all, I’m so disappointed in this book. What a waste of my time. I could’ve just watched the movie twice over in the time it took me to read this book *eyeroll*

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