Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. (From Goodreads)
Best Bits: A modern re-telling of The Tempest with Prospero as an ousted private-school princess? Yes, please. I enjoyed the fact that Miranda wasn't your typical mean girl. She enjoys classic literature and cares for others...most of the time. The cast of characters, similar to the source material, are fabulous. Ariel serves as a replacement (and let's be real, a better) best friend to Miranda after her old crew ditches her. They work together at Hog-Dog Kabob, and anyone who can stand by you when you're wearing a hot dog on your head is truly a friend. Add in Caleb, who works at the mall's game shop, a giant snowstorm, and plans for revenge and you've got a great read. Did I also mention that there is a mystery to solve? The various plot lines didn't overwhelm me. In fact, they all fit together very smoothly. I enjoyed the excitement that the mystery added to the story. Finally, and most importantly, I enjoyed the growth of Miranda. She begins the book wishing that she could go back to her old way of life, before she was falsely accused of setting up the cheating ring. It was refreshing to see her character come to the realization that being a part of the mall food court gang was more meaningful than being an "it girl".
Nit picks: I wish that Miranda could have matured more in terms of her behaviors. She directly confronts her attitudes about the mall, friendship, and revenge, but she never really addresses the fact that she uses her status and beauty to manipulate people.
By Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Published by Merit Press
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Received for review