Seriously? I Read That?

Review: The Secret Life of It Girls by Dakota Lane

Posted on: January 7, 2009


The Secret Life of It Girls by Dakota Lane 2007; Ginee Seo Books. 128 pages. Photo heavy.

The Secret Life of It Girls by Dakota Lane is an eye-opening and eye-catching piece of work. The pages are glossy and photo heavy. On first glance one might assume the text takes a back seat and is simply an after-thought to a photo project. That assumption would be wrong. The text, while sparse in places, perfectly complements the photos (and vice versa).

So, what’s it all about? The Secret Life of It Girls is a series of thirteen vignettes that allow readers a glimpse into a few fleeting moments in a teenaged It Girl’s life, exposing jealousies, insecurities, drunken nights, broken families, and first loves.

As I started reading, I assumed that all the stories would be like the first, “How an It Girl Became an Out Girl”, a vicious and catty retelling of how a friend became an enemy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. Some stories, such as “Dear Dad” which is written as a letter from a daughter to the musician father from whome she desperately needs acceptance and love, but in return has her letters turned into hit songs, and “Beautiful Scars” about a girl scarred from an auto accident who is forced to discover her true self and her true friends, are hopeful and moving. Others such as “How to Fail Spanish (or at least the midterm)” are just simply fun to read.

While the cattiness and viciousness does return in other parts of the book, Lane does not glorify or excuse the behavior. Nor does she turn to pedantic measures to get a point across. Instead, Lane includes a piece unaccompanied by photos or graphics entitled “Dear It Girl”. Written as a letter, “Dear It Girl” shows what’s left in the glittery wake of an It Girl: the shunned, the mocked, the trampled upon, the lonely. The simplest piece in the book is, for me, the most effective.

Some of the pieces are slightly weak, both in style and in execution, and most of the pieces are written in an informal, conversational style (some txt speak, slang, and improper grammar) that might put some readers off. However, if one can look past these things, the end result is an entirely real and honest look into the lives of teenage girls in America.

It’s not all pretty, but it’s not all ugly either.

Rating: 4 cliques out of 5.

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Where else you can find me:

Books That Go Bump in the Night- Halloween and scary books for kids and teens. My other blog.


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