Thursday, 5 January 2012

How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston

Cover art for HOW TO ROCK BRACES AND GLASSESHow to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston

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Source: Review from Publisher
Publisher: Hachette
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

Gorgeous, uber-harsh, and uber-stylish, Kacey Simon is the undisputed social dictator of Marquette Middle School. That is, until an eye infection and a visit to the dentist leave her with coke-bottle glasses, a mouth full of metal, and... a littttthsp! Dissed and dismissed by her popular friends, Kacey is forced to hang out with a boy who wears skinny jeans and jams in his own band. But as she adjusts to life as a loser, she's surprised to find that Skinny Jeans is kind of hot and his band is pretty cool. Suddenly, hitting rock-bottom feels oddly uplifting. Could rocking braces and glasses be the best thing to ever happen to her?

In this hilarious reversal of the cool crowd versus the nerd herd, a popular girl finds herself in Loserville and realizes it's about time she paid back all the bad karma she built up as Queen Bee.

Meg Haston has created an entertaining story of fitting in at the middle school level - even if you're faced with the unfortunate problem of braces and glasses.

Kacey Simon appears to have it all - her own weekly segment on the school's TV station, the lead role in the school play and all the popularity she could want - until she gets braces and glasses. Before she can blink, her friends have deserted her and the entire school is mocking her after a YouTube video of her goes viral. Kacey isn't a character I can really claim to like, but I think that was the point. She's brutally honest to the point of bullying but she really is under the impression that she's helping.

Kacey meets and re-connects with some great people in Paige (woot!) and Zander AKA Skinny Jeans. Both of them really helped to steer Kacey on the right path and I found both of them charming.

I feel like this book requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. Look, I know that years ago, having braces and glasses were a call for mockery, but I really do think things have changed. At least where I live, almost every student has/had either braces or glasses and oftentimes both. It's not such a huge deal! Overlooking that, the storyline itself is a lot of fun. In particular, I loved the scenes where Kacey was with Zander and the band. You could see her opening up and changing for the better in a way that rings true. It was in one those scenes that I found myself starting to like Kacey - I can see the potential!

Here's the thing though. In the end, it didn't really feel like the moral of the story (a very important one!) was learned because there isn't that big moment. Not that it lacked it entirely, but I expected more of an emphasis on the fact that braces and glasses don't make you a loser. What's more is that Kacey seems to regain her popularity primarily through manipulation, rendering the entire movement a little pointless. It's still fun, but kind of shallow.

On a somewhat random note, I'm glad this is being made into a TV show! The book is one I can definitely see being translated to TV for fans of say, The Clique.

Cover Comments: It reminds me of the random doodles I draw everywhere :) Nice! (I'm guessing it will get a makeover if the TV show really takes off?)

3.5 stars out of a possible 5


  1. Great thoughtful review Sonia!

    You are right about the braces/glasses thing. When I was growing up, not alot of kids had glasses and virtually no one had braces. Now, pretty much every child in my daughter's class got braces eventually, and glasses are now a fashion accessory.

  2. This sounds like fun, but I don't think I could get over the suspension of disbelief/shallow aspects. Like you said, now, almost everyone has had braces/glasses at some point! I had braces years ago and then I got glasses almost immediately after my braces were removed :P. And so many people in my year had them too, it was just like...yeah. The norm. I'm glad you enjoyed it though, despite your issues with it. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Yeah, I can definitely see your point on the braces/glasses things. It's not really an issue I see much of at all these days! And glasses make some people looke hot :D (yeah Liz, I'm saying you're smexy!!). Maybe because designs or whatever have changed over the years? But eh, shame about the shallow aspects and slightly disbelieving issues... I'm glad it's still a fun read though! Great review, Sonia!

  4. When my parents were growing up,not many primary school pupils had glasses for nearsightedness and not many had braces either.However,when I was growing up,I noticed that a lot of primary school pupils were getting glasses for nearsightedness and quite a number got braces.As for myself,I began wearing glasses at the age of 9 and now have severe nearsightedness.But I didn't get braces,though many students I know got braces at some point in their lives.

    I live in Singapore where 3 in 4 people are nearsighted,so almost every student I know got glasses for myopia while they were at school.As for braces,I think the dental industry is booming and everyone wants an attractive set of teeth,myself included.

  5. I have noticed that the number of kids who wear braces is larger than the number of kids who wear glasses for myopia.