Nice and Mean (MMGM)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Eeeee! I have exactly 13 more days of school left! It's not that I don't like school--I really do. I'm doing a summer enrichment program, so technically, I'm not actually out of school because I'm still learning, but who doesn't like summer?! 

Reasons why I love summer: 
  • Pool time. Yes! 
  • My birthday.Yes
  • Vacations. Yes!
  • Free time. Yes! 
  • MORE AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE...READING! Yes!
Ooookay, that was weird. Now that I've finished stalling, I would like to introduce you to my MMGM feature this week: NICE AND MEAN, By Jessica Leader. I love this book VEEERY much and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a "delicious" middle grade read. The cover basically says it all. Check it out: 




  • Age Recommended: 9 - 13 years
  • Series: Aladdin M!x
  • Page Count: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (June 8, 2010)

Summary (From Amazon): Marina is mean. Sachi is nice. Marina is Barney’s. Sachi is Burlington Coat Factory. It’s bad enough they’re forced to coexist in their middle-school’s high-profile video elective—but now they’re being forced to work together on the big semester project. Marina’s objective? Out her wannabe BFF as a fashion victim to the entire middle school. Sachi’s objective? Prove that she’s not just the smiley class pencil-lender and broaden her classmates’ cultural horizons. Work together in harmony? Yeah, that would be a "no." How can Sachi film something meaningful, and Marina, something fabulous, if they’re yoked to each other?

Here are: 

5 reasons you should read NICE AND MEAN: 


  • The author. I don't know about you, but the first thing I saw in this book was the author biography which said that Jessica Leader had gone to Brown University. That's a GOOD school. And to me: good school=good book. I wasn't disappointed. 
  • The way the story is portrayed. Okay, so any book is written in chapters, usually written from ONE person's point of view. In NICE AND MEAN, the story is portrayed in either Marina's point of view, or Sachi's point of view. I usually think that the switches are REEEALLY confusing, but the way Jessica Leader wrote the story made it flow VERY smoothly. 
  • The character relationships. "Marina is mean. Sachi is nice." You would never guess what happens in this story. This story is is really interesting because there's the "meanies" (Marina's group of friends) and the "nice people" (Sachi's group of friends) and it's cool to see the two groups bond. I can't say more because I'd be revealing the whole story, so I'll just have to leave you in the dark. 
  • The real-ness. Um, yeah. This book is super relatable if you're a tween. This book is like the complete package, including: Friendship problems, clothing, bullying, strict parents, and back-talking. Wow-zah.
  • The journal entries and video thingies. My favorite thing in this book. There are two ways that each chapter is introduced. Marina's chapters always begin with "Marina's Little Black Book". Her little book is like a journal. Sachi's chapters always begin with a movie script. Fade to black...
Quotes: 

"When I realized I was about to flip through the Seventeen Back-to-School Fashions for the third time that afternoon, I slammed the magazine shut and hurled it across the room. It flew through the air and landed against the garbage can with a big loud smack." (Marina)


"She’d come back different from camp, that was for sure—wanting to drag me to the boutiques listed in magazines, and suddenly obsessed with popularity. It had been her idea to poll our class for the “mosts”—Most Popular, Most Beautiful, Nicest Boy, Nicest Girl. I could tell she’d been upset when I’d won Most Popular, but please—did she not know how these things worked? I’d gone to elementary school with most of the kids at Jacobs, and she was still getting to know them." (Marina)

"“Fine.”

Priyanka stepped up the stairs two at a time, which I recognized as the sign that we were done. I let her go for two paces, then scrambled on up. I didn’t want to be late to homeroom on top of everything else.

But, I reminded myself as the air burned in my lungs, she had said yes. And that meant—Video." (Sachi)


My Rating: Ooh, this is going to be hard one. Honestly, I'd say 3.5/5. Why? Well...you see Marina did something VERY stupid in this book. I kind of wondered why she didn't think how a person would feel if they saw it. She probably didn't consider the consequences either. I don't really know if a person could be as careless as she were, but since she IS the mean girl of this story, I'll give it a 3.5/5. 

Here's a quick bio of the author of NICE AND MEAN: Jessica Leader! 


Jessica Leader grew up in New York City. Like Marina and Sachi, her characters in Nice and Mean, she had many important conversations in the stairwells of her school and on the cross-town bus. In addition to being a writer, she has taught English and drama in New York City, Louisville, Kentucky, and Washington, DC. Jessica graduated from Brown University and holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. NICE AND MEAN is her first novel. 



To visit Jessica Leader's website, click HERE

To go back to Shannon Messenger's website or check out more MMGM features from other bloggers, click HERE

Thanks so much for visiting me today, and I hope you all have a nice week! Bye for now! :-)

~Cindy
















10 comments:

  1. I missed this one when it came out so thanks for re-introducing the story. I have a few people in mind to recommend it to.

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    1. I'm glad word is spreading with this one. It shouldn't be missed. Thanks for the feedback! :-)

      ~Cindy

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  2. The Mix! Books are really popular in my school library. Fashion books, too. Simon and Schuster's Sew Zoey series got checked out a lot this year. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Yes, they are! I got addicted to them after receiving a copy of LOST IN LONDON, which is part of the M!x series. I've heard a lot about the SEW ZOEY series. I never got the change to read them, but will definitely keep an eye out for them. Thanks! :-)

      ~Cindy

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  3. Glad summer's almost here and you'll have more pool time and more time to read. An early happy birthday to you, too! This book sounds like fun. Now you've got me curious about the really stupid thing that Marina does.

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    1. Thanks! And yes, it's a VERY stupid thing that she does and you'd be glad you read the book to find out. So, READ IT! :-)

      ~Cindy

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  4. This sounds intriguing, especially because you said it captures the tween world perfectly. I'm also curious about the awful thing Marina does. Summer is the best! I'm looking forward to more reading myself. And happy early birthday!

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    1. It does! It's a perfect retelling of a tween's world. The bad thing Marina does is pretty awful, so watch out for her! And thanks! :-)

      ~Cindy

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  5. I hadn't heard of this book, but your post makes me want to read it. Thanks for telling me about it.

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    1. I'm glad! I definitely recommend that you read it, and if you do, be sure to let me know what you think! Thanks! :-)

      ~Cindy

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