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Nice and Mean by Jessica Leader

Published by Aladdin (An imprint of Simon & Schuster)

Pages: 272

Ages: 9-13

Goodreads Summary: Nice and Mean by Jessica Leader is a hilarious story about two girls–one nice, one mean–¬†facing off in their middle school video elective.





“In the realm of middle school it means everything to be either the ‘mean’ girl or the ‘nice’ girl. Unfortunately for Sachi she’s definitely a nice girl, one with good grades and all the ambition she’s expected to have according to her parents. Well, in the world of tweens that just doesn’t cut it and it’s no longer enough for Sachi either. But her drive to prove she’s more than just a smart Indian girl may get her into trouble when she’s paired with the school’s leading fashionista and true ‘mean’ girl, Marina, for their elective video project.

“For those of you who may have forgotten or blurred your memories of the middle school years, let me remind you…they were tough, even for me, a typically white girl from the suburbs. Kids in that in be-‘tween’ age group can be ruthless and often times this time becomes the proving grounds for the separating of new and old friends. It’s a place where most of us discovered where we ‘fit’ in the terms of which group; popular, band geek, nerd, jock, and so many more. There are some though, who like to try and blur even those lines. Sachi is one of these people. Too bad for her, Marina was firmly planted in the already ‘popular and mean‘ group.

“What I genuinely loved about Nice and Mean was the contrast between the two leading characters. Sachi and Marina couldn’t have been more different in the beginnings of the story. Sachi, obviously from a completely different country, with different beliefs, values and upbringing is the complete opposite of her counterpart. Marina, a well-to-do girl with hardly anyone telling her to change and providing her with her every whim is in need of a definite reality check. As their story continues and they are forced to work together, it’s their coming together that changes the entire dynamic of the story and brings a greater meaning to their relationship.

“As a debut author, Jessica Leader has done a wonderful job writing a story that will reach and even touch young readers. The struggles we all face during that difficult time of life are illustrated beautifully in not only the two main characters, but also their friends and acquaintances. Sachi’s desire to make a difference and blur those impossible lines that we all draw was definitely something I would love to share with any ‘tween’ girl struggling to make her own way. Nice and Mean is definitely a fun read, but also one that will stay with young readers for weeks after they’ve finished the last page.”

The1stdaughter Recommends:Ages 9 and up. The perfect read for your favorite “Tween”. Especially those struggling to blaze their own trail!

For the Comments: Did you fall into a specific group in middle/high school? Or were you a trail blazer?

This book was provided by Traveling ARC Tours for Review. Thank you!
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2 Responses to Book Review: Nice and Mean by Jessica Leader

  1. Oh gosh! That time was so hard for me too. I was so awkward. And I had this giant mass of frizzy hair I couldn’t control. Thank God for age, wisdom, and conditioner.

  2. NotNessie says:

    Ugh, yes. Middle school was a horrible time. Girls in particular are so mean at that age.

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