Avalon Green and Halley Brandon have been best friends forever. They've survived their first real separation -- Halley is finally home from her summer-long art camp -- and now they're back together, about to start eighth grade, co-edit the school's fashion blog and plan a huge party in celebration of their friendship. But a lot has changed over the course of the summer -- both girls have made new friends and developed new interests. It doesn't take long for the new changes to cause a clash, and sometimes the people who know you the best can make the worst enemies. Will Halvalon split forever?
While Frenemies will certainly act as a good pick to tide some Clique fans over until the next installment, I personally had a hard time finishing it. It read rather like Mad Libs: storyline, brand name, product, storyline, insult, OMG, blog post, brand name, product, insult, brand name, etc. I just didn't feel much heart, even when Avalon set her "Waterford crystal tumbler of fresh-squeezed orange juice next to the NUMBER ONE DAD coffee mug [she] had made for her father when she was eight" to illustrate that yes, her parents are fantastically wealthy, but that they are also caring and down-to-earth.
Maybe I only have room in my heart for one Tween Mean Girls series*.
*The Clique is pretty darn vapid, I grant you, but I still find it strangely entertaining and, even more strangely, almost charming. Maybe Lisi Harrison just happened to pick a formula that works for me, but I think it's more than that -- The Clique books occasionally feel like the author herself is poking fun at their ridiculousness, and that makes them a bit more palatable. They feel fresher, they have a little bit of zing and zip, whereas Frenemies just felt like the first book in a knock-off series.