Rhymes with Witches

( 79 )

Overview

Now available in paperback, a dark look at popularity by a New York Times best-selling author

From the author of ttyl, comes this smart, savage story of a high school where popularity can be stolen.

Jane dreams of being chosen as the freshman member a dominant school clique made up of one girl from each class. When her wish is granted, and she is offered a place in their ...
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Rhymes With Witches

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Overview

Now available in paperback, a dark look at popularity by a New York Times best-selling author

From the author of ttyl, comes this smart, savage story of a high school where popularity can be stolen.

Jane dreams of being chosen as the freshman member a dominant school clique made up of one girl from each class. When her wish is granted, and she is offered a place in their group, Jane discovers the terrible price of their particular kind of popularity. There is a sinister secret to their power, one that will change Jane forever. Darkly humorous and dead on, this book will leave readers shivering in recognition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When the uber-popular clique known as the Bitches asks freshman Jane to be their fourth, they assure her that her life will change forever. There's only one catch: each week Jane must steal something from another girl and put it on the desk of a creepy teacher known as Lurl the Pearl (the girls explain that the only way to gain power is to steal it from another: "For one to rise, another must fall"). Jane thinks it's "an initiation... to prove I'm, like, loyal," until she feels it work and knows some sort of witchcraft is at play. Ultimately, she has to decide if her sudden elite status is worth the cost. The Bitches themselves come across as archetypes (Keisha's responsible, Bitsy's mean and Mary Bryan's sweet), but the feral cats roaming the campus deepen the eerie factor, and Jane's father's desertion of his family and the Bitches' own tragedies add some depth to their characters. Bitsy leads a menacing attack on an unpopular girl that seems to contradict the plot's often-playful spirit, and even Jane's own eventual fall is fairly cruel. Still, readers are likely to get swept away along with Jane as she enjoys gourmet food in the cafeteria, sudden attention from her crush and a birthday party thrown by her classmates (even though it's not her birthday). Ultimately Myracle's (ttyl) novel is an addictive read with a poignant message about the price of popularity. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Plain Jane Goodwin is a nothing-special freshman until the ultra "it" girls at school tap her to join their group of the most popular girls—The Bitches. What do Bitsy, Keisha, Mary Bryan—and now Jane—have that makes other girls so envious, and that so rivets boys' attention? As the successful author of novels chronicling teen and pre-teen friendships takes on the ever-brutal subject of high school popularity, we learn how the Bitches party, dress, walk and talk, and read their instant message exchanges, reprising the author's use of IM-speak in her well-known book, ttyl. Is ultra-popularity worth its price? If the book's certain answer to that proverbial question is the predictable "no," the unpredictable twist in this race-fast tale is the odd nature of the price itself. The Bitches' secret is a word that rhymes with their name. Yes, it is witchery that sustains coolness and eliminates the ups and downs of ordinary teenage social existence. To stay popular the Bitches siphon off popularity from other girls by stealing innocuous small items from them, like lip balms or barrettes, and passing these things to a nutty religion teacher who offers them up as sacrifices to her collection of female idols, kept in a locked school storeroom. What a relief to learn that high school popularity is the whipped-up illusion we all suspected. If this knowledge does not relieve the pain of being an outcast after Jane quits the group, at least it shows her that the gifts of true friendship—like the boy who, without asking, brings her Krispy Kreme donuts when she is down,—can be the real and sustaining magic in high school life. 2005, Amulet Books, Ages 13 up.
—J.H. Diehl
VOYA
Jane is a freshman at Crestview High and views with awe and drooling jealousy "the Bitches," the three most popular girls at school. The school grapevine suggests the Bitches' popularity has a supernatural origin, but Jane is gleeful when she is asked to complete the Bitch coven, despite hints about demonic cats and selling her soul. Once initiated, Jane has second thoughts about the cruelty she must inflict to remain a Bitch, and in a Lord of the Flies-like denouement, shields an innocent victim at the expense of her place in the society. Myracle, author of TTYL (Amulet/Harry N. Abrams, 2004/VOYA June 2004), certainly understands the elements that make a teen book popular with girls, if not how to synthesize them gracefully. Replete with wistful dreams of one-upmanship, witchcraft, urban legend, and life on the wild side, this book will fly off library shelves and become the talk of the hallways. Its audience will not mind that the plot is a mTlange of clichTs, that the characters are stock, and that the pacing lacks the true ominous build that the author might have developed. Jane's worries about her absent father do not mesh into the story, and while Myracle illustrates consequences, she never fully explains the clique's horrific origins. The book tries to be both creepy and insightful, but ends up being trite and pieced together. Nevertheless-purchase it. It is not great literature, but it will be greatly popular. VOYA CODES: 2Q 5P J S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Amulet Books/Harry N. Abrams, 208p., Ages 12to 18.
—Caitlin Augusta
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-When plain Jane is asked to be one of her high school's ultra-elite clique, "the Bitches," she can't believe it. She's never been remotely popular. The freshman goes through a secret initiation, and all she needs to do is steal something each week from a classmate and leave the object in the office of Lurlene Lear, the early religion teacher who, unbeknownst to Jane, is the controlling force behind the group. During the week in question, the person to whom the object belonged wanes in popularity, while adoration for the Bitch grows. At first, Jane's conscience bothers her, but finding ways to justify her actions becomes much easier as she becomes unbelievably popular. Later, when the Bitches gang up on an innocent girl, Camilla, and threaten to harm her, Jane's conscience revives. She is outraged and calls a halt to their behavior. She expects temporary displeasure from the other Bitches, but doesn't expect them to turn on her. When no one likes Jane, she becomes truly aware of the price she paid for her short-lived popularity. In the end, her best boy friend comes around and she can, at least, count on his loyal friendship. There are magical elements in this novel, and plenty of creepy touches. Both take away from the book's realism, but add deliciously to its suspense. The language and situations are provocative, but teens will gobble the story up.-Catherine Ensley, Latah County Free Library District, Moscow, ID Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Where does high school popularity come from? In cutthroat Crestview Academy, it comes from black magic. Like everyone at Crestview, dorky Janie and Alicia want to be liked by the Bitches, the three popular girls who rule the school. Janie can scarcely believe it when Mary Bryan, Keisha and Bitsy invite her into their clique. Every year, apparently, the Bitches choose a desperate, nerdy girl and make her over into a queen. The cost? Not so high: Janie needs to steal something inexpensive from another student and leave it on the desk of creepy teacher Lurl the Pearl. Isn't it a coincidence that the student Janie steals from-best friend Alicia-becomes immediately unpopular and klutzy? Alas, Janie discovers her wondrous new popularity is rooted in evil powers. Though Keisha and Mary Bryan cause minimal harm, Bitsy is not so magnanimous. If only Janie could keep her popularity and be a good person, too. No feel-good ending here: Myracle's self-involved, callous, and cruel high-schoolers are the worst of the breed. Darkly comic, well realized and upsetting. (Fiction. YA)First printing of 75,000; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810992153
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 648,306
  • Age range: 13 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Myracle
Lauren Myracle lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. Her first novel, Kissing Kate, was praised as "enchanting" by VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates).
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    I enjoyed the book immensely, I could not put it down so I read

    I enjoyed the book immensely, I could not put it down so I read it in one sitting. The ending however, left me spluttering in confusion. There is no ending, it just...stops. It felt like it was unfinished, really disappointing because I was so engrossed in the story. I love Myracle's books, but I have to say this is my least favorite because of how it ended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    scary look at popularity

    This is at times very freaky to read but it takes a dark look at how a chance to be popular can change a person. Jane is our freshman nobody who is content at some point of just melting into the background and living. But one glance and conversation between her and one of the queen bees of the school, she finds things change. The group rule the school in a wierd way and Jane has to keep stealing objects from other popular girls so she can keep her popularity ascending. Couple this with a urban legend of sacrifices and creepy things happening and you get this book.
    Its interesting to read, but it makes you stop and ask yourself the question Lauren asks her readers in the endpapers: What would you do if you had a chance to be popular? At what cost? Jane does, but it comes at a high cost, and she has to deal with alot in the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of My All-Time Faves

    How far would a person go to be more popular? That's what Jane finds out in Rhymes With Witches. Rhymes With Witches is Lauren Myracle's best book and is an interesting combination of witchcraft and popularity; a combination that I think readers would enjoy. This book is funny, heartbreaking, weird (in a good way), and full of suspense. This book will give you chills.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Creepy Look at Popularity

    I enjoyed Rhymes with Wiches by Lauren Myracle. I read her novel Bliss, which was a prequel to this, first so I recognized one of the characters. I thought Bliss was a better written book, but this was good just the same.

    Rhymes with Witches is about a girl named Jane who longs to be popular. She and her mom were abandoned by her dad three years ago and she feels like she's invisible when she walks down the halls of her high school, Crestview. That's until the rhymes with witches notice her. This clique is high school royalty: they are popular, everyone loves them, and everything stops when they walk into a room. Jane is thrilled when they show interest in having her be the freshman member in their quartet, which is always four girls, one from each grade.

    Popularity has a price but Jane is willing to pay. She ignores the mystery that swirls around her new friends and the weirdness of their relationship with an occult-obsessed teacher, Lurl the Pearl. All she wants is to fit in and be loved.

    Rhymes with Witches is Mean Girls with magic. It is dark and satirical and sometimes down-right creepy. There was a wholly unexpected twist in the story that will leave chills down your spine. I wasn't crazy about the ending, but for the most part I really liked it. It asks the question, What does it mean to be popular? And what are people willing to do to stay popular?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    It was okay.

    I liked this book up until the end. Rhymes with Witches is a book that makes you keep reading because you want to figure everything out about the exclusive clique that everyone wants to be in. It definetly had some mystery in it and I enjoyed reading it. Though I liked Lauren Myracle's other books such as the ttyl series better then Rhymes With Witches, this book was pretty good.

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rhymes With Witches was a very different book!I loved that it was so soooooooo out there.I was really creepy at the same time funny and VERY VERY thriling! I would say that this is a great book for any girl that likes to be suprised!!

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    Good book

    this book was good.not great,though.some of the parts were really stupid and some were really fun to read.But i have to say its not a book for people who love to read its more of a book you read just for the fun of it.but still if u buy it u won't regreat it.if u buy this book and u en joy it, here are some books by lauren myracle u might like:"eleven","twelve","thriteen","ttyl","ttfn",and "l8r,g8r"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Ok

    I got this book out of my school library and read it I think it took me a couple weeks to finish it because I couldn't stay interested in it I guess it really was not my favorite kind of book even if I adore witch and fictional books so I don't really recommend this book. I recommend reading the sweep series to me that was entertaining and it has 15 books to keep you going.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    not bad

    I had been wanting to read this book for awhile and had never actually bought it until last night. I just finished it, and though it wasn't a bad book, it seemed slightly rushed towards the end. And it left you think that there was probably more that could have been explained. But regardless, it was well written and not a bad book overall.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2008

    Wow. . .that was really bad

    I honestly don¿t think that I have ever read a worse book. When I picked it up, it sounded like it would be a good story. . .but omg I was sooo wrong. The story was horrible as was the ending and a complete waste of money and time. I don¿t know if it¿s because I¿m in 11th grade and the book was about a 9th grader but seriously one word to describe this book: horrible. The book did not do a good job with the supernatural or high school aspects either.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2008

    OMG!!!!!!!!

    This is my FAVORITE Lauren Myracle book EVER! I couldnt put it down! It was so tense and very 'whoa' in some parts but that's what makes the book so AWESOME! It is probabaly her best book ever! I've read 5 of her books and you just HAVE TO READ THIS ONE! You will be so tired because you'll wanna keep reading even when you have to sleep, so you'll be taking a flashlight and reading at night and then the next morning you're gonna be really tired but you're still gonna keep reading it! Trust me, in the morning, it's gonna be your caffeine that keeps you up.lol! Anyways, make sure you read this boook!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    Expect More from Myracle

    I have to say, I do love Lauren Myracle's books, but this one wasn't for me. The book was sort of shallow, and it doesn't explain much about how the 'magic' of the popular girls work. It may be just me, but I was a little disappointed in the unhappy ending and in the story as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    TERRIBLE ENDING

    I liked the book and thought it was okay. The whole theme of it got to me. But i was expecting it to be better at the end. It totally doesn't give you enough info at the end. You just sort of sit there and go,'How could this happen? What happened to Jane? And how about Alicia.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2008

    I couldn't put it down!

    So I started reading the book and could not put it down! I stayed up all night reading it from cover to cover. I have to admit, I thought the book was going in a different direction. More the 'Mean Girls' route. Instead, it went into witchcraft and devilry. Overall I liked it. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2008

    A reviewer

    I thought it was interesting but not that good. Lauren Myracle sucks you into it in the beginning. It holds your interest at first, because it certainly is something different. But then, in the end, there's so many questions left unanswered and so many things you didn't get to find out. After reading it, I felt as though the book was unfinished. Were there any pages missing? I literally went online to check how many pages were in this book. It wasn't that good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    Rhymes With Witches is a book about a high school girl named Jane who goes through life changing experiences when the ¿B------¿ come around and ask her to be part of their group. The ¿B------¿ were made about 30 years ago when a girl who wanted to be popular sacrificed a cat at a sleep over. Ever since then ¿B------¿ have been made of girls who are helpless and want to be popular. In my view Jane is not this type of person, I think she is a girl who doesn¿t really need to be popular. But she does want to be part of the ¿B------¿ The ¿B------¿ are made up of 1 senior, Keisha, 1 Junior, Bitsy, 1 sophomore, Mary Bryan and they are looking for a freshman. They have picked Jane to be apart of their group but first she has to complete a task. The task is to steal 1 thing a week from different girls in her school and give it to a teacher, Lurl the pearl. She has to do this until her induction into the ¿B------¿. This task has to be done because the group believes that to rise is to take another down. This was a very entertaining book to read but yet you cannot predict what Jane will do next. I would recommend this book mainly for teens and pre-teens.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    DO NOT READ THIS BOOK IT SUCKS!!!!

    Well at first it drew me in with the whole suspenseful popularity thing. Then all these wierd subconflicts were added in that were completetly random and uneccesary. None of them got resolved. The book ended up being downright creepy and just way too wierd and random like the author was just tired of writing and just wanted to end it and put in a bunch of useless crud. The ending sucked tremendously. It was a huge letdown, Myracle's books are usually much much better than this. I absolutely hated the book so please don't watse your money and time to read it. What a disapointment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    LAME

    This book was so lame!!! It had no meat to it and no ending!! Don't buy this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    Very well done

    I really thought this book was very well done and i absolutely loved it. The only part that id din't like was the whole thing with the cats because that was kinda disturbing, but tother than that great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2007

    I absoulutlely loved it!

    This book was filled with everyday highschool drama. When janie starts to hang out with the 'bitches', she starts living a new life as a popular. Her friend alicia and phil start noticing the difference. I love the way this book ends. its filled with a little romance, but also how important friendship is.

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