From her dying mother’s last words seventeen year old Jade Leigh learned that being different sets you apart from the clones of this world. As a result she is friends with a small group of Goths who are considered freaks by the in-crowd, which includes Mercedes, the popular girl with the Barbie clones as friends.
When Jade gets into trouble for the third time in a week, her principal decides that it’s time for an extreme intervention and convinces her father to sign a permission slip for what he thinks is a field trip but is actually a virtual reality program designed to teach Jade a lesson.
When Jade wakes up the next morning, things are decidedly different. The whole school has turned Goth and her friends have now become the Barbie clones. To make matters worse they hate her and Jade has become the popular girl. But not only is Jade in the program, Mercedes is too and she has taken Jade’s place as the outcast.
With the help of Clarik, a strange new student, Jade and Mercedes struggle to find their way out of the program and back to real life but learn a valuable lesson on the way home.
I thought the book was a cute read with a good lesson for teens but I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting to. The writing is good and the characters are typical teens but the virtual reality premise was just a little too weird for me. I wish the switch from Goth to popular girl was accomplished a different way. Maybe a bump on the head a la Wizard of Oz or some magical hocus pocus. I just couldn’t get into it being a program when Mercedes and Clarik were also in there with her.
I do recommend the book for teens and young adults but I’d skip it if you’re on the fence about picking this one up.