3.5 8
by Catherine Clark

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When three best friends get together, the first thing they talk about these days is always the mean girls in their lives. They decide to banish their enemies by holding a ceremony and burning slips of paper with the mean girls' names on them. But soon afterwards, they discover themselves becoming mean, and they must find a way—with a little help from the


When three best friends get together, the first thing they talk about these days is always the mean girls in their lives. They decide to banish their enemies by holding a ceremony and burning slips of paper with the mean girls' names on them. But soon afterwards, they discover themselves becoming mean, and they must find a way—with a little help from the owner of their local beauty shop—to reverse the ceremony and revert to the sweet (mostly), kind (if slightly imperfect) personalities. Catherine Clark's first middle-grade novel is a humorous look at the mysterious—and wonderful—nature of friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Clark (Better Latte Than Never) offers a watered-down version of Mean Girls meets Freaky Friday in this tale of tween friendships gone bad. Madison, Olivia, and Taylor are seventh-grade BFFs who decide that they've taken enough abuse from former friends and A-groupers Cassidy, Kayley, and Alexis. Madison and her two friends concoct what they believe is a harmless ceremony to rid themselves of the other girls' torments, but something gets skewed in the cosmic universe. The social positions of the two groups get switched, with Madison and her buds gaining the upper hand (and behaving worse). Despite the teen girl drama and some lightly funny situations--Madison winds up giving a school announcement broadcast (that Cassidy has sabotaged, no less) with green hair due to her mother's malfunctioning edamame shampoo--it's difficult to get invested in Madison or her friends. Finally, after a group manicure (aka meanicure) designed to promote harmony between the six girls bombs, the original social pecking order is restored and the two trios basically resume their original relationships, leaving readers wondering what Clark's message really is. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—It's Madison, Taylor, and Olivia against Cassidy, Alexis, and Kayley. Although the girls used to be friends, seventh grade has changed everything. Madison now refers to her former buds as "mean girls," and after one episode too many in which she is embarrassed by them, she decides to do something about it. An odd hair stylist gives her the idea to perform a ritual involving the burning of relics of their past relationships, and suddenly things are reversed: Madison and her friends are mean ones, and the "mean girls" are falling all over themselves to be nice to them. Will a group manicure—er, "meanicure"—restore things to normal? Although it's never clear what (if any) kind of magic is involved, and readers may have trouble distinguishing among the girls' personalities, there are mildly amusing moments, as well as the sympathy factor, to draw tween readers.—Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Kirkus Reviews

Seventh grader Madison is amazed by the meanness of the mean-girl clique, especially since their leader is her ex-BFF. Madison and her two closest friends, Taylor and Olivia, who also used to be close to the mean girls, decide that they'll engage in a ritual burning of some memorabilia left over from their friendships. Supernatural weirdness begins, and Madison, Taylor and Olivia find that they've become the mean girls. Madison decides to stop the cycle of nastiness by getting the six girls together for a day of manicures given by the local witchy aesthetician. Can the "meanicures" reunite all six girls as the best of friends? The magical mechanism behind Madison and her friends' personality changes is not well explained, nor is the aesthetician's role in altering the girls' relationships and personalities made clear. Even with a faulty plot, however, the story is resolved in an upbeat way: Madison accepts that her old friendships may never be the same, and once she does this, she and her friends are able to focus on being their best selves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

A native of Massachusetts, Cathy Clark is a former resident of Maine, New York, Colorado, and Wisconsin. She now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her two dogs. She has written many novels for teens and has a Masters in Fine Arts from Colorado State University.

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Meanicures 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
mrdarcy3 More than 1 year ago
Madison, Taylor, and Olivia are best friends - but they used to be friends with three other girls - Cassidy, Alexis, and Kayley. Now those girls have joined forces and they're taking over the school leaving Madison and her friends far behind. It wouldn't have mattered so much to Madison and her friends if Cassidy and company didn't try to humiliate them every chance they got. After a disaster hair day, on a whim, Madison runs into a hair salon to change her look and hopefully her luck. There, she hears her stylist talking about how to get rid of negative people. Madison takes her advice to heart. She, Taylor, and Olivia gather together to purge the mean girls from their lives. They take items of the past friendship and pack them away. On Monday, things have changed, but it's not what the trio expected. Instead, they've turned into mean girls. They're mean to Cassidy, Alexis, and Kayley and worst of all, they're mean to each other. Can the reverse the spell and return things to normal? Meanicures is a great book for tween girls and understanding friendships. It's a cute tale all about relationships- straying apart from your friends, but still treating them with respect - eventually. The girls go through rocky times as they dread dealing with these girls, morph into these girls, and then find a way to co-exist together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dawn Schepleng More than 1 year ago
Very realistic and funny it captures something any girl and her friends would do. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReadingAngel002 More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable way to blow a couple of hours. This book was written more for tweens than it was for teens, but it was light and funny, and I had a good time reading it. Madison, Olivia, and Taylor are tired of being humiliated by the mean girls, worse yet, those mean girls used to be their best friends. Now they can't even walk near them with having an insult fly their way. Embarrassed after the worst Monday ever, the girls decide to have a cleansing party, cutting themselves off from their old friends. They burn their names on pieces of paper, and put mementos of their past friendship in storage. They didn't think it would actually do anything, turns out, they'd never been more wrong. Suddenly, Madison, Olivia, and Taylor are turning into the mean girls. They're saying things they don't really mean, they're pulling mean-spirited pranks, they're evening turning on each other! Now they have to figure out how to get things back to normal, before they've lost all of their friends for good! This book was a little shorter than I would have liked. You didn't really have time to connect with the characters before they were turned into someone else completely. The storyline was funny and easy to connect with. We've all had mean girls in our lives, whether we knew them, or were them. It all depends on how you dealt with them if you made it through unscathed. I loved the karmic fallback of the fun ritual the girls did, and I loved the funny clips that Olivia did on the morning announcements. Overall, this was a entertaining read if you're in the mood for something light when you have a few hours to blow.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Catherine Clark makes her debut in middle grade fiction with MEANICURES. What happens when some of your so-called friends turn into the mean girls? Seventh grade is bound to begin with changes, but Madison definitely wasn't expecting some of the changes she encountered. Most of her friends understand the challenges Madison faces when it comes to her mom and her crazy hair experiments, but when seventh grade begins with Madison trying to hide the hideous green streaks caused by her mother's latest product testing, she discovers several of her former friends use it as an opportunity to taunt and tease. And that's just the start of their new mean girl attitude. Madison and her two remaining friends, Olivia and Taylor, are determined to figure out a way to separate themselves from the other girls who seem to consider it their full-time job to make life miserable for them. Ignoring them doesn't appear to make any difference, so Madison plans a way to use a magic spell to repel their negative energy. The only problem is, it seems that the spell reverses itself and is now turning Madison, Olivia, and Taylor into mean girls, too. MEANICURES may be just the book to get real girls thinking about their own relationships. Ms. Clark uses humor, the fear of bad hair days and public humiliation, along with typical middle school behavior, to entertain as well as make a point about the difficulties of young friendships.
KBPed More than 1 year ago
Meanicures is YA lit for thinking girls. Instead of relying upon over-the-top, constantly texting, boy-crazy characters in stock situations (i.e. "OMG!!! Did you see Jack in the cafeteria? I almost DIED!!!!"), Meanicures focuses on themes that truly reflect the adolescent (and indeed, the human) experience: fitting in, being liked, loss and friendship. Protagonist Madison employs low-key, articulate humor in describing her confusion, heartbreak and anger over three formerly close elementary school buddies transforming into "frenemies." Other characters, such as Madison's organic hair-care magnate mother and her ditzy but smart friend Olivia (nicknamed "Oblivia"), are keenly drawn and likeable. The girls find themselves in relatable, real-life dilemmas that drive the story forward. Even a plot twist that thrusts the girls into a vaguely supernatural situation seems plausible, and will appeal to "Twilight" readers with a taste for the unexplainable. Perhaps most admirably, Clark is careful to avoid stereotypes with her "mean girls." While these kids make horrible social choices, particularly as the book opens, they are also shown as basically decent teens who are facing their own family and school-based challenges. Actually, they may even be as confused by their crowd growing apart as Madison and her friends. It's refreshing to see "good girls" Madison and her crowd make mistakes as well, acting rudely, fighting amongst themselves, and finally realizing that their behavior is equally as appalling as their rivals. And while Madison navigates one embarrassing situation after the next, she still displays a realistic, quiet resiliency. As the parent of a young teen, I cheered for Madison (and for Clark), knowing that this character would ultimately "be okay," as will the girls who read about and and recognize themselves in her.
Burg More than 1 year ago
Think Mean Girls meets middle school. Cat fights, dirty tricks and pranks that destroy reputations. Madison and her two best friends go to school every day knowing that the "mean girls" won't hesitate to make their lives a living hell just for their own sheer entertainment. Everyone knows kids can be cruel and let's face it, girls can be downright devious when they want to be. Cassidy and her tag long "mean girls" never hesitate or miss an opportunity to humiliate and ridicule her former best friend Madison. This is a normal and typical day until Madison and her friends have had enough. While taking the advice of a strange and slightly unusual hair stylist, the girls decide to wash their hands of Cassidy and company. They aren't going to let their cruel behavior bother them anymore, so it's going to be a clean slate. The problem is something strange goes on during the "cleaning" and all of a sudden the "mean girls" are the butt of all jokes and the instigators guessed it, Madison and her friends. Everything is backwards and turned upside down. Will Madison and her friends be able to fix things and get everything back to normal, the way things were before their karma went crazy? Will they even want to change things back now that they're not being teased and are more popular than ever before? Catherine Clark weaves a great moral story of right and wrong, nice and mean and everything in between. Be careful what you wish for everybody, because those wishes....they just might come true.