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Mates, dates, and inflatable bras
Cathy Hopkins
Teen Fiction HOPKINS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Lucy, Izzie and Nesta are 14-year-old Londoners in these first two volumes of British author Hopkins's lighthearted but predictable series. Sweet, young-looking Lucy narrates the first. Stumped when assigned an essay on "What makes me `me'?" Lucy enters a self-esteem nosedive worsened by a disastrous haircut. Finally, with a little help from her friends (who, among other things, buy her an inflatable bra) and a heart-to-heart with her mom, she's able to realize her gifts. In the less compelling second installment, New Age-ish Izzie takes the lead, as Mark, a boy selling essential oils at a market, plays games with her heart. Again, Izzie's friends and mom offer support, but it's while helping Lucy with her love life that Izzie wises up: "We should be the ones that choose or else we're all going to go through hell, up and down and round and round, trying to please boys but losing ourselves in the process." Hopkins's messages drip with girl power, and there are funny moments in each novel (Lucy trying to remove wax from her underarms, Izzie agonizing over her first "snog" with Mark). Inspirational quotes or Izzie's song lyrics tacked on to chapters add color, but the series pales next to Louise Rennison's hilarious books, which cover the same territory. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Lucy Lovering
Age: 14
Looks 12; wants to look older; struggling to find out what she wants to do in the future; discovering what it means to grow up; doesn't like how everything is changing around her; doesn't like sharing Izzie with a new girl.

Age: 14
Lucy's best friend.

Age: 14
Glamorous; half-Jamaican, half-Italian; new friend of Izzie's.

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