The Clique . . . the only thing harder than getting in is saying goodbye.
About the Author
Lisi lives in Laguna Beach, California.
Read an Excerpt
The Clique #14: A Tale of Two Pretties
By Harrison, Lisi
PoppyCopyright © 2011 Harrison, Lisi
All right reserved.
WESTCHESTER, NY CAM FISHER’S DRIVEWAY
Friday, December 24th 6:22 P.M.
The frigid night air smelled like fireplaces, pine, and anticipation.
“Just one more second,” Cam called from inside his garage.
Claire stomped her candy cane–inspired red-and-white Keds against the asphalt driveway to stay warm. But her chattering teeth had nothing to do with the winter weather and everything to do with excitement.
“And keep your eyes closed!”
She shut them so hard her lids shar-pei’ed, showing Cam that he was a go-the-extra-mile kind of guy and (if she was being Christmas Eve honest) because she was a wee bit nervous. He’d given her gifts before: gummies, burned CDs, framed photos… but never anything that required closed eyes and a garage.
Suddenly, the door lifted with a creaky groan. “Okay. Open!”
Either Rudolph’s nose had hanged itself or Cam had replaced the regular garage light with a red bulb. At first the dim glow made it hard to see, but once her eyes adjusted, Claire giggled nervously. “What is this?”
“What does it look like?” Cam asked from behind a microphone, an electric guitar strapped across his green henley. He looked like Justin Bieber minus the cotton swab hairdo.
Harris, his older brother, sat at a rickety drum set behind him, while Massie’s ex, Derrington, stood off to the left, with a bass. But the biggest shock was Layne Abeley, who wore a plaid fedora, a long black blazer, black baggy slacks, a white skinny tie, and a saxophone.
“Introducing Garage Band,” Cam said.
Claire applauded. The musicians bowed.
“FYI,” Layne said into her microphone, “I’m not only the backup vocalist, I’m also the wind section.”
“Ha!” Derrington smiled. “She said wind section. Prrrrrrerpt.”
Harris laughed at the fart impression.
“Ready?” Cam called. “Introducing, Gummy Claire.” Garage Band lifted their instruments. “Five, six, seven, eight.”
Harris began drumming a four count, Derrington plucked his bass, and Layne clamped down on the reed mouthpiece and blew. They sounded a like a rock version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Cam leaned toward the mic and Claire’s insides squinched. What if he was bad? What if he was good? What if she blushed? Was she supposed to dance? Sway? Clap? Cry? Throw her bra onstage? Because she didn’t have a bra, just a tank top, and she wasn’t about to take it off and—
Her crush began to sing.
This Christmas I know for sure,
I’ve got a fever and you’re the cure.
This isn’t Florida, it’s the cold W-C,
But I’ll keep you warm my little gummy…
Was this really happening?Claire felt so awkward and special at the same time she didn’t know where to look. Cam’s blue eye? His green one? Or Layne’s wind-filled cheeks? She dug deep into the pocket of her blue puffy coat and pulled out a sour reindeer, the limited-edition seasonal special at Sweetsations Candy Shoppe.
Gummy, Gummy, Gummy Claire,
Everything sucks when you’re not there,
You inspired me to write this ditty,
And even won over the Pretty Committee…
Cam said he wanted to exchange Christmas gifts, but she hadn’t expected this Jo Bros–like serenade. A jolt of affection—or was it the limited-edition sugar rush?—made Claire’s crush levels soar higher than a reindeer in a rocket.
I stand before you with my guitar,
Cause I’m not old enough to drive a car,
When I am, ride shotgun with me,
Off into a sunset of sweet candy.
Gummy, Gummy, Gummy Claire,
Everything sucks when you’re not there.
The song ended with a soulful wail from Layne, and the Garage Band bowed.
Claire let go of the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding, and then broke into wild applause. Forget the Gondola Wheel at Rye Playland: The Fisher garage, with its shelves stocked with tools, bike helmets, and old video games, its cracked cement floor, oil stain patches, and single red bulb, was officially the most romantic place on Earth.
“Merry Christmas,” Cam said sheepishly.
“Merry Christmas.” She smiled, wishing everyone would stop staring, wondering what she should do next. Because she had zero-minus-a-thousand ideas. “That was awesome, you guys,” was all she could manage under such extreme pressure.
“I still think Sax Appeal is a better name,” Layne harrumphed, laying her instrument in its foamy case.
“I like Who Cracked Wind,” Derrington joked, wiggling and fanning his booty.
When everyone stopped laughing, Harris tossed his drumstick in the air. “Okay, it’s Wii time.”
“You got Call of Duty: Black Ops?” Layne asked.
“Pearl Harbor Trilogy—1941: Red Sun Rising?”
“Yup,” Harris said.
“Shadow of the Ninja?”
He glanced at Derrington in a where-did-you-find-this-girl sort of way and then nodded yes.
“Layne likes,” she said, loosening her tie. “Let’s do this.”
Harris led them into the house, leaving Claire and Cam alone. They had been alone zillions of times but never post-serenade. Suddenly neither one of them knew where to look. So they giggled.
“Wanna sit?” Cam finally asked. He gestured to a worn blue trunk in the far corner by the lawnmower.
Claire lifted the measly present she got Cam and joined him. Why didn’t she think bigger? He had filled her heart; she’d filled an elf-covered gift bag.
“I really loved that,” she said, kissing him on his Drakkar Noir–scented cheek.
“It was fun,” he said modestly. Exhaling a puff of breath into the cold garage he asked, “Do you want to open your gift?”
“You mean there’s another one?!” Claire asked, the needle on her Guilt-O-Meter exploding to bits.
Cam reached behind the trunk and presented her with the same elf gift bag.
She showed him hers and they laughed like their old selves again. “Wanna open them at the same time?”
He nodded. “On three,” he said. “One, two…”
“Three!” Claire called, digging in.
Cam did the same. “Uh-oh.”
“I know,” Claire began. “It’s not even close to what you got me. I wish I—”
He was smiling mischievously. “Just open your present.”
Claire pushed aside the tissue and gasped. He had given her an old-fashioned candy dispenser filled with red and green M&Ms. Only instead of M&M, the candies read C&C, for Claire and Cam. Her gift to him was nearly identical. Only she had a picture of them printed on the candies—the one Massie had taken over Thanksgiving weekend.
After a thank-you lip-kiss, they both cracked up again.
Fluffy flakes began falling outside the garage. The quiet street was snow-globe beautiful. Claire’s teeth began chattering. If the moment had been any more romantic they would have taken down the tree and called it Valentine’s Day.
“There’s one more thing in the bag,” he said.
“Cam!” Claire’s cheeks burned with single-gift guilt.
“Don’t worry; it’s something for both of us.” He twirled a loose thread from his shirt around his finger, then yanked.
Claire pulled a glossy card from the tissue. “ ‘Photography lessons for two’?”
He nodded. “Every Friday for the next ten weeks.”
“Cam! It must have cost—”
He lifted his palm to silence her. “It was free. My dad got it for my mom’s birthday but she has Current Events Club on Fridays so…”
“This is the best!” Claire didn’t know what she loved more: the chance to learn about shadows and light and aperture and transparency or the guaranteed date she’d have with Cam every Friday night! Her insides began soaring all over again and then, as if hit by a missile—Missile Block!—they came crashing down.
“What?” asked Cam, picking up the trouble signal. And then, realizing, he said, “Oh. Oops.”
Oops? Oops was “I dialed the wrong number.” Not a call to arms, which is exactly what would happen if Claire ditched out on Friday night sleepovers with the Pretty Committee. She was finally an accepted member of the group. Turning her back on that would mean war, under the best of circumstances. But now? When Massie was reeling from the news of her father’s recent financial crisis? When Claire was the only one who knew? Bailing would be a kamikaze mission. But Friday night photography with Cam…
The self-help podcast she and Massie had listened to the night before—“Putting the U in Nutshell”—came to mind. After a multiple-choice quiz, Claire had been deemed a “sympathy-stresser”: someone who takes on other people’s problems as her own. Massie was a “resist-rejoice”: change was unimaginable, but once she tried it on, it fit like couture.
In a nutshell, Claire needed to learn to put her own needs before the needs of others (class with Cam ) and have faith that Massie—after an apocalyptic freak-out—would eventually respect Claire’s pursuit of photographic excellence and might even welcome her back when the ten-week course was through.
Or she could play the bad-sushi card every Friday night until April, and hope no one called her bluff. Which, considering the options, was, without a doubt, the smarter choice.
Excerpted from The Clique #14: A Tale of Two Pretties by Harrison, Lisi Copyright © 2011 by Harrison, Lisi. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The final book in the Clique series by Lisi Harrison, tells how the "Pretty Committee": Massie, Alicia, Dylan, Kristen, and Claire cope with huge changes coming toward them. Since the beginning of the series, the PC(Pretty Committee) ruled their school OCD and didn't care about much other than fashion, power, popularity, make-up, and boys. Now however, things have changed in Harrison's final book. Throughout the book, the girls in the PC start to admit how much they cherish and love each other as best friends. In my opinion, this is probably a great but common way to end a bestselling series. Nevertheless, what I admired about this book, was how it focused more on girlhood, peer pressure, and everyday problems more than the other books in the series. For example, all of the girls have problems to face, including Massie, the leader of the group. Massie has dropped from being one of the richest girls in Westchester to being one of the poorest; Alicia, who doesn't want to be a leader, but recieves a fortune telling her she will become the PC's alpha; Dylan gets to be in a reality show; Kristen is appointed to an elite soccer team; and Claire is moving from Massie's guesthouse, and planning to attend photography classes with her boyfriend on Massie's Friday night sleepovers. Toward the end, all of the girls admit their secrets to each other. The girls also admit how much the PC means too them, including Massie who's father got a new job in England. In general, I think it was a close-to-perfect ending for the Clique series but could have been better. However, I am satisfied with this purchase and thinks it deserves about four stars.
I sped through this book. It was really good but I would not recommend it to anybody that hasn't read any previous books. It did leave me wanting another follow up book though!
I fully and most completly heart this series. I was a bit sceptical of the books at first and yes, though I ah-dore them now there were definitely moments along the way that I despised Massie. But seeing her admit how much her friends really meant to her warmed my heart. All in all, it was an ah-mazing end to the fabulous adventures of the style savy PC. They have all grown and matured and I have learned to luh-uv these unique girls like my BFFs. Now they are done (done, done, and done) and I am aw-nestly sad to see them go. The Clique... the only thing harder then getting in is getting to the end without crying ;)
I heart this series. My friends started me out on this series and we all started reading them in 6th grade. It's good for more confident girls and struggling ones to read and I'm sure anyone who reads it can relate to a character. Dylan struggles with her body and try's to get it perfect, and I know there's girls out there who struggle with the same problems. Alicia is a dance girl but when it comes to her confidence she's always second best when it's against Massie. Kristen is a sporty girl who feels like she's the odd one out cause she's into soccer and she doesn't live in a fancy mansion like the others. Claire is the new girl who trys everything to fit in, she even does things that's not like her just to get Massie to like her. She's imperfect and doesn't have all of the luxuries as the rest of the PC but she has something special to offer the PC. And Massie, Massie is the confident Alpha, who always try's to hide her imperfections. And even though she always disses on the others she is a true, good friend beneath everything. I seriously recommend this series!
Dont want series to end
I know that I am not the normal demographic for a Clique reader, but I started reading this when I was just ending Middle School and I found the tales of excess and girl power to be so captivating. But now Lisi Harrison is closing the cover on this group of friends and I have to say, I had tears just as the Pretty Committee did in saying goodbye to Massie. This book pretty much ties a Tiffany's bow around the Clique and sets those characters free to finish out high school and onward, knowing that they gave countless girls like me a look at how fabulous Middle School can be. The ending is nice....leaving me to wonder if there will be a special edition Clique in the future to tell of Massie and her days in England...or something to show the PC back home really did survive without their Alpha and do great things. Thank you Lisi for all the books, all the drama and all the fabulous times you gave us!! It was great to spend this last moment with them and the tears were all worth it!!!
Why does this series have to end? It's one of the greatest series that there will ever been.It's so upsetting that it's over. <33333333333333's for the Clique forever!
This is probably my favorite series. I read them all, literally every single book from the pre-quel to the graphic novel version to the summer collection, from book 1 to 14 and inbetween in less than a week! I cried at the end of this brilliant, fabulous, beautiful Clique series finale! So wonderful, but I tear up thinking about it!!! The best ending I've ever read. Girls, don't be sad that Massie's gone, she will be with us forever and we should learn, not fashion (although it is so fun), we would learn Massie's heart. She loved her friends, family, relationships, pets, fashion and true beauty, all of which she cared for with the most powerful thing on Earth. Love! This book is definitly a buy, but only if you've read the rest of the series. You should also read the Alphas Acadamy books, starring Skye Hamilton. Finally, I say that Massie, Alicia, Dylan, Kristen, and Claire and everyone else will never be truely gone, as long as we girls keep them alive. And I will forever! <3
No! It cant be the end! I absolutely heart this series! I will miss everyone so much! Lisi has to write more! The end of the book is so sad! I almost cried! Same with when i found out it was the end of the series! Love you, Massie, Alicia, Dylan, Claire, and Kristen!
Pretty good one for the last one
The series was ah-mazing. This book was the best. The ending was terrible and i mean like i want to file a complaint. Basically,you read the whole entrire series for nothing. If I had to change the book, i would chqnge the result. You see, they trick you at the end and make you believe something that you actually want to hear. But no. Of course not.
read it. but im in tears! i hate how it became more real. and what happens in england? grrr. more boks please!
this is the best book series i have ever read and i cannot believe its almost over!!!!! im so sad and i wish this could last forever. if you havent read it i highly recommend it. its delicious!!!! i will always love you dylan marvil!!!!
Thats the whole point of the series duh! Just by your "reviEW" I can tell you're an LBR. Nuff said! Anyone really heart the clique email me at jaymiemorgan0215 @ gmail .com without the spaces though sorry it won't let me post this without the spaces.
Cuz its taking 4evah
U HAVE TO BE A TOTAL LBR TO NOT LIKE THIS SERIES!!! Any way i read all of the clique books and all i need is the cliquetionary then i would have read all the books...... well anyway this is a totall must read
Lisi, pleeeezzzz DONT stop writing the Clique Series!!! I wont wanna read any other book if you stop writing the series becuz nothing else can compare! PPPLLLLLEEEEZZZZ DONT STOP!:(
What happenz to massie.
Hai guys, I luh-ved the song Cam, wrote 4 Kuh-laire! :) The Clique Luh-ver
Yes they are making a movie. Not sure when but it will be great.
This is an ah-mazing series, and in Lisi's foreword i understood why she had to end it now....it wouldve been an happy, fufilling conclusion and a tear jerker, which for me it was, but then she HAD to go and put the epilouge, which hints of more to come.... Why Lisi why???????
Massie has helped me changed from a wannabe to a popular just like her!!!! I just love my super-hot boyfriend!!!!! Thank you Massie!!!!!! :-)
It was amazing
im in 2013 and im on my nook in the store part and see moree books after this one. so save ur tears ladys . and btw cant wait to read it