Raye Archer is new at her high school, and even though she has a close friend, she’d like to fit in with more people. So when the opportunity comes up for her to tutor Ella Parker, leader of the mean girl popular group, she grabs it. But Ella’s not all that interested in learning to speak Chinese, so when the tutoring sessions turn to other talk, Raye finds herself offering to help Ella get back at her ex-boyfriend Julian by using a fake online personality.
Their scheme works better than Raye expected, or wanted, when it ends in a set up fistfight. Raye finds herself confessing to Julian, and becoming better acquainted with him in the process. But when Raye ends up on Ella’s bad side, she has to figure out who her true friends are and what is most important to her.
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin is a look at so many issues that teens deal with: wanting to be liked, finding out what friendship really means, deciding how far they’ll go to get back at someone who has hurt them, and creating online personalities to meet people they feel are unreachable in real life. Mother daughter-book clubs with girls aged 14 and up should be able to mine this book for lots of great discussion. I highly recommend it.