Clique Connection

Hi friends. I had an entirely different blah-g post in mind for today, and then I got Taylor’s message. I couldn’t help myself. I had to respond.

Here’s what she said:

Hey, Lisi!
I’ll try not to take up too much of your time and bore you with one of those “your book really changed my life” stories because those are so cliché. I just wanted to tell you that I started reading The Clique in sixth grade and I fell in love instantly. After I read your books I began to read different kinds of literature and then I began to write. I finished The Clique series my sophomore year of high school and literally felt like I’d lost five of my best friends. I honestly felt as if I had grown up with these girls and shared their struggles and triumphs. I am now a freshman in college pursuing a career in English, and, hopefully soon, journalism too. Without you and your amazing books, I don’t think I would be writing today. I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to do this and giving me five of the most amazing best friends a girl could ask for, even if it was only for a few years. Though they were
fictional, they’ll always be in a special place in my heart, and so will you!
-Taylor Johnson

That seriously brings a tear to my eye. The left one. The right one is throbbing from staring at a computer for the last five hours. Those girls were as much a part of my life as they were yours. They lived inside my head for years and took 30 years to form. Writing fiction is like getting a golden ticket to travel to a new universe. One that plays by your rules and is inhabited by the creatures you create. It’s also a really cheap form of therapy. I get to work out all of my angst and issues and you get to read about them. Hmmm, maybe that’s not therapy. Maybe that’s more of a perversion–some form of mental flashing. Whatever you want to call it I am grateful. Grateful as a reader, a compulsive writer, and a pale California girl who has found a way to connect with people like you.

Thank you for the kind words Taylor! So proud to have you in the Clique.

Clique girls

 

TTYW,

Lisi

 

Clique Picks

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Last week I asked you to tweet me some of the lessons you learned reading the Clique series. I asked you to make me proud and you didn’t disappoint. In no particular order, here are my top five favorite #CliqueLessons.

1) Hayley

It was my biggest insecurity in the past, but the Clique has taught me to never worry about my body image.

2) Twitter Claire

The Clique taught me that people like Claire Lyons have more strength than most people in the world.

3) Kimberly

I learned that sometimes the best friends come in unstylish packaging.

4) Kaitlyn

I learned that being in the “in crowd” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

5) Kathy’s is a three-parter but her lessons were so good I included them all. She learned…

If people don’t like you for who you are, they’re not right for you. Don’t ever change to suit them.

Wit and wisdom can take you a long way.

Never lose sight of the people who really matter to you.

 

Want to know what I learned from writing the Clique? Here are my personal top five #CliqueLessons:

1) People, regardless of age, connect with the idea of wanting to fit in.
2) Young adult readers are far more intelligent than most old adult readers assume.
3) True success comes more from knowing I’m connecting with an audience than the number of books I sell.
4) The fact that I can make myself laugh hysterically while writing is the coolest thing ever. Also the weirdest.
5) Stop a series when you feel like your characters have learned their lessons. If you keep going after that, you risk being known as the series that used to be good before it jumped the shark.

Now who’s learned from Pretenders?

TTYW,

Lisi

Calling All Cliques

Claire is not excused

Massie Block doesn't speak loser

It comes with being a writer, or human, I guess. Some people get me, some don’t. Thank Gawd for those, like Alex, who do.

(Foul language has been censored for your reading pleasure)

Caroline says:

Lisi Harrison,
I would love to know what the f$*& inspired you to write these books for young girls. I read every single one in middle school and looking back I realize they were garbage for my mind. They put out the idea that materialism and expensive things make you cool and popular. They glorify bitchy behavior and in no way promoted love towards anyone. I remember thinking I would be respected and feared if only I saved up all my money to buy a Coach purse. It wasn’t until later that I realized that people respect you when you are confident, empowered, and show genuine love for all other people. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the people that never grow out of the petty ideas spread from your books. I am so glad I have now discovered feminism and all the girl love that exists out there. I only wish those ideas would spread to the younger girls, instead of the catty bulls#*& ideas pf competitiveness and hate reinforced by books like yours and other media. I just want to know what you think you are doing for girls who read your Clique books.

Here’s what Alex said in response:

Alex says:

Caroline,
While you make some very valid points here, I think it is equally important that we observe the importance of parental guidance. A book series should never be where you learn how to be a young a woman. These books are meant for entertainment purposes, not learning valuable life lessons.
And while bitchy as she may be Massie did have some great qualities that maybe you should have taken notice of, rather than her money and clothes. Massie was headstrong, and determined, and if her mother and father had found a productive way to focus that energy she’d have been better off.
The Clique is a clever, witty, and extremely addictive book series, yes. The main character is very ill willed and immature, yes. It focuses on material things a lot, yes. But it is a BOOK, not a guide. It is well written and funny as hell. If what you needed growing up was a role model, you’d been better off reading the Hunger Games or Uglies. Do not harp on Lisi for writing this book, it was not meant to teach girls how to be justified in their self worth. But rather to paint a picture of an extreme situation.
Again, I get where you’re coming from. I ABSOLUETLY understand what you mean here. But, let’s put blame where it due.

 

I ah-dore Alex’s reply. She kept it classy, articulated her point of view, and did it in a respectful way. This is a moment when I’m so proud of the Clique fans who read my books and stand by their central messages.

My point in writing the Clique was not to glorify hate and competitiveness and superficiality among girls, as Caroline said. Rather to satirize it and show what real strength is though characters like Claire and Layne.

And I feel compelled to mention that not a single one of my 31 books uses the f-word, bs, or bitchy so I can’t take all the credit for Caroline’s outpouring of “girl love.’ Instead of me spelling it out, I’d love to hear what all the Clique fans reading this right now have to say.

CALLING ALL CLIQUE FANS:

Tweet what you learned from the series to @LisiHarrison #CliqueLessons. I’m looking forward to reading your tweets!

 

TTYW,

Lisi