Being the new girl is tough—just ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has no clue how she's going to fit in at her fancy new private school in Southern California. Plus, being late, overdressed, and named after a Duran Duran song doesn't make the first day any easier.
Then, Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich, and a cheerleader, Kristi is the queen bee of Newport Beach, and she isn't friends with just anyone, so Rio is thrilled when she's invited to be part of the most exclusive, popular clique. Of course, like any club, Kristi and her friends have rules: Always smile (even if you don't mean it), always dress cute (and never repeat outfits), and always flirt (but only with jocks, preps, and rich college guys).
At first, Rio is having a great time, but, as she becomes more immersed in this jet set crowd, she discovers there is one last rule that her new friends forgot to mention: don't cross Kristi...
Art Geeks and Prom Queens a was cute and light read that I finished in less than a day. I enjoyed reading about Rio's up and downs as she began to rise to be the most popular girl in her class and than going crashing to the bottom when the Kristi, the former queen bee, turns out to be well... mean. I thought Rio's character was very believable by how she handled the situation, because I could see why she would get lost in the moment of popularity which would quickly lead her to want to be the Prom Queen instead of the Art Geek. In the end, Rio handled the situation in a very adult manor which made me like her even more. Alyson Noel's writing truly sounded how a teenager would talk and act which made the novel fly by for me.
Though, I enjoyed Art Geeks and Prom Queens I had one problem with it which was how much it sounded like the movie Mean Girls. For example, when Rio moved to Orange County she quickly became friends with the some people who were interested in art and films, similar to Lindsay Lohan's character, and than when given the chance to be popular she ditches the people in her new school who are starting to like her. Also, Kristi's character was very similar to Rachel McAdams' character Reginae, in the way that she had two sidekicks that she controlled completely, had a set of rules that each girl had to follow, and was the queen of her high school even though she was a junior. Lastly, Rio, like Lindsay's character had a boy who that she was interested in and who was interested back, but she ended up making him distant when she began to follow all of Kristi's rules.
Even though it contained some of those key aspects of Mean Girls, it did stand on it own in many ways. For one, it had substance. Especially in the message that Alyson Noel was trying to get across which was find your true friends not the ones who will turn their backs on you in a moment, and don't just focus on things you don't have, but instead be happy for the ones that you have.
Over all, Art Geeks and Prom Queens is probably one of my favorite Alyson Noel books even with the faults it had.