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The Fruit of My Lipstick by Shelley Adina
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The Fruit of My Lipstick

by Shelley Adina

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Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK introduces the reader to Gillian Chang. For those that have read IT'S ALL ABOUT US, you will recall that Gillian is the outspoken Christian roommate of Lissa Mansfield. This is Gillian's story.

Gillian is by far the most verbal of her group of friends. She speaks honestly and openly about matters that are dear to her. That would be her family, her studies, her friends, and her faith. But when Lucas Hayes, most likely the smartest boy at Spencer Academy, starts paying more attention to Gillian, all common sense leaves her head.

Before long, Gillian is sacrificing time with her family and friends to drop everything and spend time with Lucas. She cancels Chinese New Year's plans with her aunt and uncle who have come to the city to see relatives and graciously included Gillian in their plans. She avoids attending Church with her roommate, Lissa.

As the semester winds down, the junior class is notified that someone has managed to steal exam answers and is selling them for profit. If the culprit doesn't confess, the entire junior class will receive Fs for the term. Gillian gets called in to the headmistress's office due to her high grades. Gillian can't possibly be guilty. But she worries about her grades and starts to accuse her close friends.

It's only as things with Lucas turn ugly and the spotlight is placed on Gillian, does she remember her faith and ask for guidance from God. With God and her friends standing beside her, Gillian remembers who she is and what is worth fighting for.

THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK is the second novel in the ALL ABOUT US series. The spiritual tone of this novel was less obvious as that found in IT'S ALL ABOUT US. However, the positive reinforcement of Gillian's faith in God and friends still shines through. I enjoyed being able to read about Gillian in this volume after meeting her in the first book.

I have to admit, though, having just finished the first novel before picking this one up, I had a hard time at first remembering that the first-person character in this novel was not Lissa, but Gillian. Besides that one small detail, this is another fine addition to the rich girls at boarding school genre. The Christian tone is a nice change from the others found in this same genre.

And in case you're wondering where the title comes from, check out Hebrews 13:15-16. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 9, 2009 |
The Review

I started the series backwards and read Who Made You A Princess? first. After all, it is the last book of the series and I was lucky enough to get an ARC. After reading it, I wanted to read the entire series as soon as I could! Thank GOD for Hachette!

As soon as I got the remaining three books to the series, I read and reviewed It’s All About Us, which is the also the title of the series. Due to my exuding enthusiasm, I was fortunate enough to able to host a fabulous giveaway in which I was able to host a contest for 3 copies of Who Made You A Princess? and also the grand prize of the entire It’s All About Us Series.

So, what was remaining on my shelves were The Fruit of My Lipstick (Book 2) and Be Strong and Curvaceous (Book 3). I decided that I wanted to read them back-to-back so that I could get the full story line in my head all at once. This week, I read them both. Now, I have to do some Mommy bragging and tell you a little story. I have been told that I’m a fast reader. But, apparently, not as fast as my daughter Dee. She read It’s All About Us last night in bed in just under a couple of hours. She LOVED the book and is begging me to “hurry up and write the blog post” so that she can read the next two books. As a Mommy and a Christian, I couldn’t be more thrilled!

In It’s All About Us, we started the story with Lissa and her friends. This second book is the story of Lissa’s friend Gillian, a Chinese-American junior in the elite private high school they all attend in Northern California. As aforementioned, Gillian is a genius and an incredible pianist. Gillian is deeply committed in her relationship to God and hosts a weekly prayer circle for the students. She also has a mad crush on Lucas. Although, with my experienced eyes, I could see that Lucas wasn’t all that he was presenting himself to be, poor Gillian was lost in her puppy-dog eyes for him. She allows him demean her and starts to change who she is so that he will still like her and be her boyfriend. (Examples: Trying to lose weight at the expense of her favorite art class and toning down her personality to present more demurely.) What her friends saw and Gillian didn’t is that she was fabulous just the way she was. And, of course, you shouldn’t change who you are for a boy as he should like you just the way you are.

Lucas ends up being more of the “bad guy” than Gillian expected and displays violent tendencies. When she breaks up with him, he lashes out and tries to frame her for some acts she didn’t commit. Her friends, at the assistance of the Lord, rally to rescue her from Lucas’ attacks. The ending of the story does not disappoint because, with God on your side, you’re going to end up A-Okay!

The content of this book is lighter than It’s All About Us, but the message is equally important. Throughout the story, Gillian looks to God to help her find her center and make the right decisions that will honor him. As I’ve stated in my other two reviews for this series, I appreciate Shelley Adina’s commitment to providing books that we can be proud to buy for our daughters! These are stories that give mothers a platform to talk to their daughters about the peer pressures that they face or are going to eventually encounter.

On Sher’s “Out of Ten Scale:”

Dee (1st Book) and Colie (4th Book) have both told me how much they love these books. I want to provide them good reading material that sends a positive message to girls that will honor their faith and our God. Shelley Adina has provided me that opportunity! I love love love this series and for my review of this Fiction: YA-Christian, I am going to rate this book a 9 OUT OF 10. ( )
  ANovelMenagerie | Jun 27, 2009 |
Once again, I had a blast reading the second book in the "It's All About Us" series. This is one of the most fun YA books I've read. Shelley Adina writes very well in a teen voice and really makes you feel like a bunch of 16-17 year olds are writing this book. It's a very fast read but so enjoyable that you'll want to reread it again (or at least get the other books in the series). This is one of the very few Christian fiction book that I have read that features an Asian American lead character. Especially one that is not an immigrant or an adoptee. I know it's a topic I always bring up with there's an AA character but it's something that needs to be the rule and not the exception. The book is great at showing how an Asian American tries to fit in between two cultures. You can see Gillian struggle to fit in the two worlds with her parents and with her life at school. Her mother reminded me very much of my own mother. I could practically hear my own mother's voice every time Gillian's mother appeared.

This book features a storyline that is very relevant with teen girls and dating. Abusive relationships need to be talked about to girls. They need to know that it's not always physical abuse that one needs to be on the lookout for. Verbal and emotional abuse need to be avoided as well. Lucas was a jerk. He started off being nice, but once he had Gillian wrapped around his finger, he just went off the deep end. It pained me to see him treat her like this and her either not noticing or just shrugging it off. Girls do NOT deserve that type of treatment, no matter what they've done! The scene that really got me was that he wanted to take her to Angel Island. For the majority of the readers of this book, this would have meant nothing of importance. However as a history major, I've studied about Angel Island and would have been horrified as a Chinese American if a guy I liked decided to take me there for a romantic date. This guy seriously had major issues and I was so happy with the ending of the book.

There is also a mystery involving a student selling exam answers to the popular kids. While I guessed who the perpetrator was, I was happy to read how things turned out. However I was NOT happy at how the school handled the situation with Gillian. Very unprofessional of them to condemn someone with all the required evidence. You'd think a boarding school wouldn't want bad publicity!

I really enjoyed this book and was sad to see it end. This whole series has been wonderful and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next addition. If you're a fan of Gossip Girl and want something a bit tamer, this book comes HIGHLY recommended. ( )
  mrsjason | May 13, 2009 |
Clumsy and Unfocused

the fruit of my lipstick: all about us book two by Shelley Adina*
3 ½ out of 5 stars

Gillian Chang is back at Spencer Academy Boarding School in San Francisco for her second term. The joy of meeting her friends again helps her forget the immense stress she is under to be perfect for awhile.

What can be better than being surrounded by Christian friends? Having a Christian boyfriend. Lucas Hayes, brilliant at physics, member of their prayer group, and hot. Who wouldn’t fall for him? The longer they are in a relationship, the more Gillian gets knocked down by Lucas. She is being supportive, thinking of him before herself, and even trying to help him study. But all she gets in return are snobbish remarks and comments about how beautiful Vanessa is. A girl, even as thick-skinned as Gillian, can only take so much.

Gillian is becoming more and more stressed. Her parents expect high grades, if not perfection on her exams, her boyfriend is hurting her, she is constantly in a fight with her friends, and now the whole junior class is in danger of failing all the exams because someone is selling the answers. While Gillian is trying to discover the culprit, she herself is accused. Will Gillian be able to defeat all her personal demons, ace the exams, fix broken relationships, and hold unto the one thing that matters most, her faith?

I had to create a whole new number grade for this book, 3 ½ stars. The reason being the beginning of the book scored 3 and the ending scored 4. The beginning was very confusing. The storyline was all over the place and didn’t stay focused on one topic long enough to be understood. I haven’t read the first book in this series, so in many places I was at a total lost.

I just couldn’t believe that Gillian could like someone like Lucas Hayes. It was totally obvious from the first page that he was a jerk. Her liking him then dating him just made me not like her. Then the way she treated her friends just backed up my opinion of her.

If there wasn’t some really good minor characters, I doubt I would even rate this book this high. The only characters I liked were Jeremy and Shani. And unfortunately, they only had a few lines, but there actions are what stood out.

The fruit of my lipstick was clumsy, unfocused, and with a majority of unlikable characters.

Date Reviewed: September 7th, 2008 ( )
  teenage_critic | Oct 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446177970, Paperback)

New Yorker Gillian Chang starts her second term at posh Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco prepared to focus on her studies, her faith, and her friends. She plays a dozen musical instruments and can recite the periodic table of the elements backward. She's totally prepared for everything--except love!
She's falling hard for Lucas Hayes, who isn't even a senior yet and is already aiming at a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford. The problem is, she never seems to be able to measure up and be the girlfriend he wants. He's under a lot of pressure from his parents to achieve--maybe that's why he's short-tempered sometimes. But even a thick-skinned girl like Gillian can only take so much.
With her heart on the line, Gillian conceals more and more from her friends. So when she's accused of selling exam answer sheets, even her girlfriends, Lissa Mansfield and Carly Aragon, wonder if it can be true. Gillian will need the power of honesty--with herself and with Lucas--to show what she's really made of.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:53 -0400)

Brilliant student and devout Christian Gillian Chang gets her first boyfriend during her junior year at Spencer Academy in San Francisco, but her friends think he may not be good for her.

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