As incoming Head Hottie of the exclusive clique called Hot Spot, Gigi Lane knows it is her right to see that the ducklings at Swan’s Lake Country Day school fall into line. But when one classmate exposes her as a “mean girl,” Gigi slowly and wretchedly falls to the bottom of the high school social ravine. Gigi’s first-person account of her plummet from popularity is insightful yet naïve, set in a humorous, satiric world.
Gigi Lane is the meanest of the mean girls at Swan's Lake, "the eighth-best nonparochial, nonresidential school in the country," and on her way to becoming the new Head Hottie (the leader of the all-girls school's most exclusive clique). But when Gigi falls from grace, her classmates enact payback for the cruelties Gigi has shown them. Gigi tries to reclaim her rightful place by rushing her school's many cliques, from the Glossies ("The girls you think are so pretty until you see them up close") down to the Cursed Unaffiliated, who "you don't notice unless you trip over one of them while walking backwards." She largely remains clueless, unable to reconcile her self-image with how nasty she can be, but slowly comes around. Vrettos (Skin) offers a very funny parody of the high school caste system, though the story bogs down during Gigi's protracted social death spiral. It stays in campy and fairly superficial territory, yet the underlying message about sisterhood, popularity, and identity is delivered in a package that's both memorable and fun. Ages 12 up.