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The Clique: The Manga


The Clique: The Manga

written by Lisi Harrison; illustrated by Yishan Li

Claire Lyons has just moved from Florida to New York and is staying with her family in the guesthouse of her father’s friend, Mr. Block. Mr. Block’s daughter, Massie, is the same age as Claire, and people expect them to be BFFs right away.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Claire is down-to-earth and mild-mannered. Massie, though, is stuck-up, vacuous, and sometimes very cruel. Now and then she’ll show her insecure, sensitive side, but for the most part she does what she can to ruin Claire’s chances for popularity. Following Massie’s lead, the other cool girls --- Dylan, Kristen and Alicia --- start bullying Claire as well.

This is based on a series by Lisi Harrison, and since I haven’t read it, I can’t compare and contrast the graphic novel to the original story. The graphic novel does flow well, and the stylish and cute artwork from Yishan Li works completely with it. Surprisingly, the back of the graphic novel makes it sound as if Claire might be trying to join the infamous clique. That’s not the case, though. And who would want to join a mean clique? Mainly, Claire is trying to remain unscathed even while girls dump food on her head or verbally mock her.

The clique isn’t all bad, which does make things more complex. The girls of the clique --- though they’re only seventh graders --- wear high heels, get their eyebrows waxed, and think obsessively of clothes. All in all, they’re pretty empty. They even go to a school with its own Starbucks and barely notice that real Picassos hang on the wall. But now and then they will do something nice, showing this isn’t a black-and-white story. Likewise, Claire may be the lead of the story, but she’ll do some underhanded stuff, too. She lies a bit, and after the clique goes after her, she does some manipulative things of her own in an attempt to get back at them.

The ending gets everything wrapped up. It gives the story a nice sense of completion and hope, and while real tales of bullying typically don’t end so well, it goes with the story. It’s a very much in-the-now, vogue story; however, it’s broad-reaching with its themes of peer pressure and wanting to fit in.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on July 13, 2010

The Clique: The Manga
written by Lisi Harrison; illustrated by Yishan Li

  • Publication Date: July 13, 2010
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yen Press
  • ISBN-10: 0759530297
  • ISBN-13: 9780759530294