CAREER: Writer. Music Television Productions, New York, NY, began as director of production development, senior director, 2003–, created and developed television programs, including Room Raiders. Former magazine columnist.
"CLIQUE" NOVEL SERIES
The Clique, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Best Friends for Never, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Invasion of the Boy Snatchers, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2005.
Revenge of the Wannabes, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Another book in the "Clique" series.
SIDELIGHTS: Lisi Harrison is the author of the "Clique" series of books that follows a group of middle-school girls as they grow up and learn about life while dealing with the typical social problems kids face in school. In an interview on the Warner Books Web site, Harrison noted that the first novel in the series "was written for ages twelve years and up, but people of all ages seem to be getting something out it. I think that's because 'cliques', 'bullying' and the need to 'fit in' happen at every age. Trust me, even adults feel it."
In the series opener, The Clique, young Claire moves with her family into the guest house of a family friend whose daughter, Massie, is the snobbish leader of a school clique made up of similarly wealth, bratty kids. Although Massie's parents try to force her to befriend Claire, the two girls instead start an ongoing battle as Massie and her friends see Claire as an outcast who dresses funny and deserves all the torment they heap upon her. For her part, Claire is wise enough to figure out the perfect revenge. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt the two main characters "stay pretty superficial, unchanged by their victories and defeats." While Diana Pierce, writing in the School Library Journal, did not like "the shallowness of the characters or the one-dimensional plot," in a review in Booklist, Hazel Rochman noted that the author "knows peer pressure, and her first novel has fun with the tyranny of brand names." Olivia Durant, writing in Kliatt, called the novel "a unique take on the popular 'chick lit' genre for teens."
In Best Friends for Never, the cast of characters from the first novel returns, including Massie's fellow clique members Dylan Marvil, Kristen Gregory, and Alicia Rivera. This time the spoiled Massie decides to throw a boy/girl Halloween party with the help of a professional party planner. The battle between Massie and Claire continues, but Massie finds herself struggling to keep her position as her clique's leader. Meanwhile, Claire seems to be gaining ground in her competition with Massie over a potential boyfriend. Another subplot involves the clique previewing their party costumes, only to get in trouble for their choices. "This series continues to ooze fun and a delightfully charming insight into the world of the 'haves' and 'have nots' among the world of seventh grade preteens," wrote Livia Holton on the Romance Reader's Connection Web site.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2004, Hazel Rochman, review of The Clique, p. 1934.
Kliatt, September, 2004, Olivia Durant, review of The Clique, p. 20.
Publishers Weekly, May 24, 2004, review of The Clique, p. 63.
School Library Journal, June, 2004, Diana Pierce, review of The Clique, p. 143.
Teen People, November 1, 2004, Carolyn Juris, review of The Clique, p. 52.
Romance Readers Connection, http://www.theromancereadersconnection.com/ (May 5, 2005), Livia Holton, review of Best Friends for Never.
Time-Warner Books Web site, http://www.twbookmark.com/ (May 5, 2005), interview with Harrison.