Cliques and Stones…

I recently received this letter on my Facebook page and thought it was worth addressing publicly in case any of you have had similar experiences. Also because it’s a great example of how to disagree with someone in a respectful, intelligent way.

Ms. Harrison,

Hello, my name is Judy. I am 19 year old college student studying Speech Language Pathology with a double minor in Linguistics and Psychology. When your Clique books were first released I was just starting middle school. Like the other 11 girls in my small, parochial grade school, I was an avid reader, constantly anticipating your next book release. However, I was also pale, skinny, middle class and shy–a combination that does not exactly get you many friends in an affluent, private school. Many of the pre-teen girls utilized the vocabulary used in your book. I was called an “Albino LBR” both to my face and behind my back. They also used many of the bullying tactics the characters in your book used on “Claire.” The worst one that I can still remember quite vividly to this day happened right after the release of your first book. “Inspired” by the red paint incident in your novel, girls purposely smeared ketchup all over my seat at lunch. While everyone knew it was ketchup, I was still absolutely devastated and remember running the bathroom and crying. However, I never confided in my parents regarding the abuse, especially my mother who suffered from severe depression for the bulk of my childhood. You might wonder- “Why is this former “LBR” telling me this?” Mrs. Harrison, I have no doubt you are a kind, intelligent woman. You are a successful author who has such a large fan-base of young, impressionable pre-teens. While it is ultimately up to the parent to allow their child to read your books, you have the opportunity to positively affect the attitudes of young girls toward their peers. While these books may reflect teenagers in some affluent, upper-class suburbs, the end message of at least the first few of your novels seems to be “If you kiss up well enough to the popular girls you can become popular and make fun of the girls who aren’t.” I apologize, I actually have not read your more recent books, so I don’t know if this message has changed. I’m just asking you, as a former reader and anti-bullying advocate, to please consider presenting a more positive message and thus empowering young girls to support each other in their goals and aspirations. We need all the help we can get. Thank you for your consideration and have a nice day!

Sincerely,
Judy

cliquebooks

Dear Judy,

I would like to start by thanking you for sharing your horrific experience with me. It sounds awful and lonely and I know it took a lot of courage for you to revisit it.

I understand why you would hold The Clique series accountable for the awful way those girls treated you. After all, they copied the ignorant behaviors of my characters and mistreated you the way Massie Block mistreated Claire Lyons. I wish you had stuck with the series so you could have seen how Claire triumphed in the face of their bullying. Ironically, she was the most confident, self-assured girl of the bunch. She didn’t have money or designer clothes or a gaggle of “beautiful” friends. She had self-esteem and courage to stay who she was in spite of it all. I’m not saying their abuse didn’t crush her. It did. She was devastated. She started dressing differently and lying to her parents so she could fit in with the so-called cool girls. But she learned quickly that in a many ways that felt worse than the abuse. So she returned to her self and stuck with people who treated her well. Eventually, the Pretty Committee recognized her strength and they all became best friends. Claire didn’t change for them, they changed for her. What if they hadn’t? Claire would have been perfectly happy with her one friend Layne and her ah-dorable crush Cam. She was the hero of the series, not Massie.

I have received thousands of letters and emails since the series began in 2003. Most of them were from girls like you who had some bad social experiences. Most of them said the series helped them understand why bullies bully (insecurity) and said they found strength in Claire and Layne. This was always my intention and I am proud of my success in pulling that off.

I am truly sorry The Clique didn’t help you the way it helped others. This is always a risk when you put something out there for the public to interpret. I hope you were able to find comfort in other ways.

If you have some downtime between classes you might want to check out the series again. Slap a speech pathology text book cover over it and no one will know the difference. And if they do, and someone makes fun of you, hold your head high and ask yourself what Claire would do.

TTYW,

Lisi

P.S. If any of you would like to share your personal experiences with The Clique series please do so in the comments section. Sharing is caring.

71 Comments

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    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as
    you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  • Jordan says:

    Hi lisi!
    My expierience with the clique was anything but bad! Alicia was always my fav! My friends and I called one another by the names from the books! I am a very proud portague like Alicia is a very proud spaniard so I was always Alicia. (Like I said she’s my fav so I never had a problem with that!) we started the trend of reading them at our school! And then you came last year to harvest middle school in the napa valley. You signed all of the books but three! Btw please tell me when you may be coming bak to the Bay Area I really wish to get all of them signed! I know that’s off topic sorry! Thanks!
    Jordan

  • Jaq says:

    Dear lisi,my name is jaq and i luv ur stories especialy the clique.i need a favour from you

  • Symone says:

    I can honestly see where Judy is coming from in her letter. I read my first Clique book when I was in 3rd grade, a time when I was a really mean kid and bullied kids a lot, and I guess I got some “inspiration” to start my own “clique”. Of course, at the time I didn’t understand the meaning of the books just yet, I was only about 9, and only the first 3 or 4 books had come out then. I’m 16 now, but from what I remember I made a list of friends and the limit of my clique was 5 people only. So, I introduced the idea to everyone and then I began naming people in my clique, while leaving some girls out. I think it only lasted a week, but I was the self-declared “Massie” and I could kick people out and bring them in when I pleased. It wasn’t very nice obviously, but I was still only a kid and looking back on it I regret it a lot. I hope that some of the girls that I was rude to forgive me now, just like I hope Judy forgives the bullies that were influenced by the series. Everyone has different reactions to things.

  • Kendal says:

    It was not Judy who missed the point and took the series the wrong way, but the girls who picked on her. In my opinion, those girls were the unintelligent ones. And if I was in Judy’s position, I probably would have done the same thing. Thank you Lisi for allowing honesty and discussion and THANK YOU FOR WRITING THE CLIQUE 🙂 <3

  • Jenna says:

    Honestly, when I was in middle school, I never heard of the clique books. I can’t remember any of the girls talking about. I mean, some sure did act like the pretty committee, but I think that was just who they are. I discovered The Clique a couple of months ago. My mom brought home some of the books. I picked it up and I said, “Ew, like I will ever read this.” Then I opened it and read the first few pages. Suddenly, I’m in love. I read up to Bratfest at Tiffany’s in only two months. (I’m still waiting for the rest of the books) Then i I found out that there is a Clique movie. Ever since then I became in love with everything clique. This is quite frankly weird, considering I have no relation to it. When I was in middle school, I guess you’d call me ‘middle-class.’ I was friends with everyone, LR’s and the so-called ‘cool kids’. I was never bullied, though I was far from perfect like the others. But I was nice to everyone; I was outgoing and a fun person to be around. (So they say) (; I guess that’s how I won my spot, not fashion, hair, makeup. I was me, and I never cared what anyone thought.
    Now that I’m in high school, everything’s different. I mind my own business and stay in my own world, which one me the spot of a border-line LBR. But what I’m trying to say is really, who cares what people think about you! Live life to the fullest. (:
    Sorry this was not intended to be long (:
    Jenna

  • Lillie says:

    Hi Lisi,

    You responded to Judy’s letter well and professionally.
    My personal experiences with the Clique was pretty much pre-teenage-girl naivete.
    This was back in Gr. 5 & 6.
    My group of friends and I (we called ourselves the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so corny, I know), were very into the Clique. We were all excited that we also had a C and a P in our group name, just like the Pretty Committee (PC.) One of my friends had started reading the series, and before long, everyone in our group was hooked. We used the term LBR around school, jokingly calling people LBRs (key word: joking). We loved how witty and “new” the Massie comebacks were, and we tried them out on guys in our class. They gave us quizzical looks in return. We started gossiping about completely nice people during our lunch hour, saying how we would make each girl over to become more feminine. We became very aware of our clothes. I remember one of my friends (who was the most like Massie, she even kind of matched the physical description in the books), called me out on our first day back at school for wearing the same shoes that I had worn all the time last year. We read the books during class whenever we could, always looking for news of a “The Clique” movie so we could audition (mainly for the role of Massie).
    We bullied someone who is now part of our group, for reasons I don’t know why. I felt horrible about it. We excluded her from our so called RHCP group, even though the name meant nothing. We had sleepovers where we would watch Mean Girls all the time, and before long, we started saying “So Fetch!” at almost everything. A couple of us (not myself), even wrote that phrase as our Favorite Saying in our graduation yearbook, for everyone to see.
    Now that I look back at those times, they were extremely childish and superficial. Although it brought us a new friend, we should’ve never tried to imitate the Pretty Committee girls. Those types of girls are best left for the enjoyment of fiction.
    Our group is now completely over the Clique-y ways in which we behaved.

    But all else aside, the Clique will always be one of my favourite series..

  • Haylee says:

    “It was books that made me feel that perhaps I wasn’t completely alone.”
    That is how I feel about your work Lisi. Along with HP, THG, TMI, PJO, TID (which btw ended today :(), etc. It was your books that I could really relate to. Out of all the girls my favorite was Kristen. I liked how she was intelligent, sporty and quirky and could really relate to her desire to not be pushed to limits. My sister however loved Alicia the most. I even got her to read the last book, even though she hadn’t read the books for so long.
    About bullying: I did get bullied a lot and while I did have friends in 7th grade, in 8th grade I wasn’t so lucky. I mean I did have a few nice people to talk to I guess (although some of the “nice” people turned out to be jerks in the end.) but I was mostly alone, I got bullied over things I had no control over, I cried a lot and my grades fell. I just felt like my life was going to get worse and that things would never change and that I was to surpress every feeling or thought I had. I felt like trash. And not only did I get bullied by others, I bullied myself too.
    The Clique is a must read for any middle-school girl. It gives a good message and there are so many different characters and situations that anyone can relate to. There’s something for everyone and there’s something so powerful about your books that I feel like these girls are really 12 years old, even if they try to hard to act older. And THANK YOU for not letting Massie having character assasination from going shallow to deep unlike *cough cough* Blair Waldorf (I used to love her, but the writers ruined her character for me. At the end of GG I hated ALL of the characters.)
    Thank you so much Lisi Harrison. You gave me a lot and quoting Mr. D from PJO: “Sometimes the small things can be very large indeed.” THANK YOU for writing a concept worth reading about. And I really can’t wait for Pretenders! It seems better than the Clique!
    Sincerely,
    Haylee

  • Danielle says:

    I think the series is amazing I’ve read all of the books but in a way I was scared that a group of girls would use these i guess hateful pranks agansit me because they also read the series and I was never really friends with them and they didnt really like me but I didnt really care. I actually discovered these books from them I saw one of them sitting in front of me reading it and it looked good so I got it and got hooked. I think reading this book helped me realize that these people dont mean anything to me and that I should cherish the friends I have. I’m happy I’ve read the books because even if they did use these tactics on me I would know that in some sort of way they might be jealous of me and want to make me feel small and 2 that theyre not smart enough to come up with their own pranks to use on me so thank you Lisi for writing this ah-mazing series 🙂

  • Jenna says:

    I’m so confused… O.K., so I’m fourteen years old in the ninth grade and I like this kid named nick, he’s in tenth grade. I only have one class with him which is art. I don’t know if he likes me or not. We don’t have assigned seats, but he still sits next to me. Sometimes, he’ll randomly brake out and sing to me… he’s a really funny kid. When I see him in the hallway, he looks at me with this really cute look, it’s unexplainable.
    He’s like the only guy I can act like myself around. Usually people say, “I know I like him because I get butterflies” No, that has never happened with me and him. So is that a sign? I don’t know what to think. His Sophomore Formal is coming up and he jokes and says he’s going to take me, but is he serious? The class even jokes and when he’s absent they say, “Hey Jenna, where’s your boyfriend?” Can they notice how I feel?
    Sincerely,
    Jenna

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Jenna, my parents want me to get off the computer now (not that you really care), but I just wanted to tell you that I posted a comment as one of the last replies to comment 18 with a link to a video called 13 signs a guy likes you. I think you should check it out, it could help 🙂

      Hope things work out with Nick <3
      Kathy

      • Jenna says:

        Thank you so much (: I will definately make sure to check it out. I really appreciate it!
        Thanks again,
        Jenna

  • Kyra says:

    When I was in Fifth grade, I got bullied by my best friend. First, we started crushing on the same guy and soon she started using offending put-downs on me. I was heart broken because I thought we were BFFs… And she betrayed me. I would tell her everything, but then she would just make fun of evertything and gossip behind my back… This was even after your Clique series came out… And I never heard of it… Every day I would come home from school and cry (I would even cry AT school….) And music was the only thing that got me threw it. Thank you for writing such awesome books… They truly are Ah-mazing…. (:

    • Jenna says:

      Kyra,
      Don’t let boys get in between your friendship, but if a friend does that to you, then she was never a true friend.

      • Kyra says:

        I understand, but we are much much much closer now… we started over… And we were always very close. People can change though and if you both like the same guy, then you can ask eachother, “Is this REALLY worth it?”

  • Julia says:

    Sorry, I just wanted to say…
    This is totally off-topic since everyone is writing these heart-felt comments and stuff. I was never bullied- in fact, I’ve always been that girl who is friends with everyone. I think ‘hate’ is too strong of a word, I dislike talking about people behind their back, and I love my closest friends unconditionally. I don’t know what to say except that just be strong. If someone said something mean to me, I wouldn’t take it. I actually don’t care what people think about me- it’s one thing I like about myself. The books were mostly about the CLIQUE’S problems, not really them bullying other people. They did bully, but it was just showing how they put them down to stay on top.
    Anyway, what I wanted to say was, I was SO excited when I realized there was a movie in… 2008, maybe (I read the series kinda too early- don’t worry, I read them again and actually got them). I watched it with my friends, me being the only one who read the series. I really don’t want to be mean but…
    The movie stunk. I mean, the books were SO much better and then this movie came around and was kinda weird. I don’t mean whoever the director is bad or the actresses were horrible at acting, I just… didn’t like it.
    Sorry this is late (I had a lot of tests) but I just wanted to say this.
    Don’t take this personally, I just think that for such ah-mazing books, the movie should have been better.
    🙂

  • While I know the main goal of The Clique series was to show that even the popular girls have insecurities, I think what I learned from the series more than anything is that you should always act like you are a superstar, even if you aren’t feeling like one. For example, Massie was the “rock” of the Pretty Committee, it was up to her to get the others pumped up or reassure them when things were bad or when things got tough. Even if she was feeling just as scared or angry or upset as they were, she had to pretend like she wasn’t. She faked confidence in order to get through tough times. I think that’s something you can carry with you throughout life. Sometimes when I’m feeling insecure, I try to channel my inner Massie (among other people I admire) and think “What would they do in this situation? How would they react?” I also think each of these girls have something to teach- Massie teaches confidence and to brush people and lame situations off her shoulder. Alicia teaches how to strive to be more competitive and not let someone else intimidate you, even when you know you are better at something than they are. Dylan teaches how to love yourself and your body and to treat life with a sense of humor. Kristen teaches that brains are just as important as money and looks. Claire teaches that it’s important to be yourself, even if it means being different from others. Layne teaches that life is a little more fun when you just let loose and be weird. Like this girl Judy I am also a 19-year-old college student and grew up reading these books since middle school. I read all of them and enjoy the series so much that I still go back and read them sometimes. Perhaps not everyone will enjoy this series or “get something” out of it, but I for one did truly learn something from it and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I only wish there were more books!

  • Kathy says:

    Mikaeyla,

    I meant to leave this as a reply to your comment but I couldn’t so too bad! Thanks, you are really nice :)! Don’t worry about feeling nervous, so do I a little when I see him, but then we start talking and it all fades away. If you and his best friend are close, I think you should trust him, cus he could give you the information about who he likes (that sounded weird).
    I guess, worst case senario you don’t tell your mom. I know it doesn’t seem right, and you’d probably want to tell her, but I think if you feel ready to date she shouldn’t be holding you back. It’s your life and it’s not like you’re getting married or anything. If you think it’ll be awkward to talk about, try leaving her a note somewhere where she’ll see it. Then she might come to you and talk about it. That’s what I do when I’m too nervous to tell my mom something or if I feel embarassed to talk about it.
    Idn’t really think dating someone will ruin your friendship with them. After you break up at first it mignt be a little awkward, but it you still spend a lot of time together you’ll probably get over it pretty quickly. I have friends who’ve dated eachother, broken up and are still really close. Of you think about it, there isn’t that much of a difference with being friends and dating someone. You just spend a little more time just the 2 of you if you’re dating and (this might sond a little weird) but you get more physical ( i mean like huging and slow dancing and stuff). To me that’s really all that changes.
    I know the feeling, it’s nice to have someone be in the same situation as you and that understands what you’re going through.

    I meant for this to be short again, but I guess that’s just not in my nature 😉
    Hope this helps!!

    Kathy

    • Julia says:

      What happened? Does he like you back?
      I like this guy and I think he may like me back but I’m not sure. Do you think it would be an OK move to give him my number? I’m only 12, but I don’t really think it matters what age since we are in 7th grade and you don’t actually date, anyway.
      Julia

      • Kathy says:

        I didn’t ask yet but we had lunch together on Monday at school. It went really well and I think he might 😀
        I asked him for his number a couple weeks ago, and since we’re also friends he gave it to me. He asked me for mine too. I think it’s fine if you give the guy you like your number.
        I don’t think there’s really an age either. You date when you feel ready and understand what you feel. other than that no one can really tell you when you can or can’t date.
        I’m 12 too 😉

    • Mikaeyla says:

      Thanks Kathy!
      Sorry my reply is soooo late but I’ve been pretty busy ahaha. I’m pretty sure my guy friend who is his mutual friend wouldn’t tell me anything because I already tried to get some information out of him, and that FAILED. AHAHA (they are bffs though). But I guess if I did anything I would first make certainly POSITIVE that he likes me back, because a pretty close friend and I liked each other for a bit and now our friendship is awks x10. I’m a pretty awkward person ahaha so I honestly don’t think our friendship could survive if our relationship was to fail. What do you think some signs are that show that a guy likes you? Would writing an essay about how you made an impact on their life count? Or is that just the best friend thing in his head? Plus, I haven’t had my first lip-kiss yet. And now that I think about it, sitting on that rock in Tahoe, just overlooking everything would’ve been an amazing first kiss, but I was too scared to do it. Also, he’s a lot more experienced in the whole relationship thing and so that’s also kinda scary for me too. But I hope you’re having better luck than me!
      xoxo,
      M

      • Kathy says:

        Mikaeyla,
        That’s fine if you take a while to reply, I’m sure you’ve got a life outside of Lisi’s Balh-g. Tomorrow when I get get my crush’s (so he doesn’t know when my friend and I are talking about him we call him Leo) best friend (we call him Steve) alone I’ll ask him to ask Leo if he would go out with me, without making it too obvious.
        I think if you two are really good friends, you could still be friends after you break up. My ex was a guy that I wasn’t really that close with before we started dating, so naturally when we broke up we went back to the way we were before we started dating, strangers… I think that if you were close with your ex before you started dating than after you break up things’ll go back to the way they were.
        I totally think that the essay is a sign. I mean, he actually wrote an essay about how you changed his life!! That’s got to count for something… There’s this video I watched on YouTube a while ago, called 13 signs a guy likes you. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS-2ZdgfALg. Think these are true, most of them have applied for me with guys who’ve liked me.
        I know, I haven’t had my 1st kiss either, and I have regretted not kissing guys when I had the chance (that makes me sound slutty but trust me I’m not). Like when my ex boy friend (I’ve only had 1) and I were slow dancing at a party, I didn’t kiss him. Afterwards, when I got home, I regretted it. But now when I think back about it, I’m glad I didn’t kiss him, because he turned out to be a jerk I regret having dated and if I had lost my lip-kiss virginity to him I would have regretted that even more.
        It’s normal that you feel afraid, but you have to jump, even if you fall afterwards 🙂 I’m actually really nervous about it too, I’m afraid to ask him out and dance with him at the party. I’m afraid that after we break up (which let’s face it, after a while we probably will) we won’t stay friends, but I believe we can make it work. Even if it does make me nervous, I try not to think too much about it and if it’s right things’ll come naturally.

        I hope this REALLY long comment helped!!
        Can’t wait for Lisi’s next post!!

        Kathy

      • Mikaeyla says:

        Kathy 🙂
        The video was great, I feel totally dumb for not even thinking about searching online for signs of if he’s interested. AHAHA. I know exactly how you feel about the whole first lip-kiss thing. So like I’ve not done a lot of things that I’ve always regretted later, but like kissing him on top of that rock with the beautiful view is something I will always regret not doing. Like how many people can say their first lip-kiss was that romantic? Cause that’s what I want. A lip-kiss story that’s worth telling to my future kids or whatever. So I’m still kinda bummed I didn’t do anything, but I did have gum in my mouth and I actually contemplated spitting it out right then and there just so I could have my first lip-kiss (cause I don’t think having gum in your mouth when you kiss someone your first time is a good idea…) I’m glad you’re making your move, because I am living vicariously through you. I am too scared to think what will happen if it doesn’t work out cause he is pretty much my only friend and I can’t risk losing that yet. A couple years ago my heart was broken by a guy (we weren’t even dating, but we liked each other ah-lawt) and I haven’t liked anyone as much since, till now. Which sucks. Oh well, and at your party, ask him to slow dance with you (unless he asks first 😉 cause BFF’s can still slow dance together you know? How did talking with the BFF go? Did he say he liked you??? Good Luck, gurrrll.
        xoxo,
        M

    • Julia says:

      Wow- you seem so much older!
      OMG, I’m have boy mayhem.
      I like this one guy (let’s call him J) who is in my creative writing class. He makes me laugh a lot!
      Then… the is another guy. Let’s call him S. S is super tall and buff and we have been friends since kindergarden. He is really nice and never curses or is perverted. He also is really funny and is always talking to me.
      OH, and they are both cute. 🙁
      They also both seem to like me back (more S than J, but still) and I don’t know who to choose! I thought maybe to let one of them make the first move, but I don’t know how long that will take.
      Help! You seem so wise 😀
      Julia

      • Kathy says:

        Thank you, you are soooo sweet!!! I often read your posts and you seem super mature 🙂
        I don’t really know the guys, but from what you said, if I was in your place, I think I’d pick S. He seems sweet, and since he doesn’t curse and isn’t perverted that’s definately a plus. If you’ve been friends for a long time, you two probably know eachother better than you and J. If you two talk a lot I think that would make a healthy relationship ;). Also, if S seems to like you more, you mignt have more chances with him.
        I don’t know them as well as you do, but from what I can tell I think I’d pick S. Seems to me that you are closer with him than with J. But I guess in the end, it IS your decision, all I can do is give advice.
        I’ve tryed waiting for the guy to make the first move, and he ended up taking about one month and a half. Every day I was hoping he would finally make the move but I waited a LONG time (felt like it to me). I think that if you really do like one of them, you should try to talk to him, eat with him, and just sort of stick around him (not in a stalker type way). Guys like to feel like they made the first move, but you can still sort of iniciate it even if he doesn’t notice.

        I hope this helped you, and I hope things work out 🙂
        Kathy

      • Julia says:

        Thanks, it does! I’ve been having mixed feelings about both of them. Ah! 🙂
        We should chat on this blah-g more often!!
        Julia

  • Laila N says:

    *sniff* I think I’ve seen it all, now. Both that letter and that response… they’resolovelyandtragic.
    But I’m so sad now, ’cause I’ve yet to read the rest of the Clique series… and any of your other books. I stopped at Bratfest at Tiffany’s, because the library stopped updating, and it’s just too expensive to keep buying the series. One day, hopefully. One day. It will be an amazing time indeed, when I finish The Clique, Alphas, Monster High… and eventually, Pretenders. I’ll be shedding tears of joy ^_^

  • Mikaeyla says:

    Hi Lisi,
    I know this has nothing to do with today’s Blah-g, but I need advice, like ASAP. So I went to Winter camp with my friends and one of my best guy friends. We spent pretty much the whole weekend together. We’re really close, like tell each other everything close, and it’s been like that for about a year now. So, as I said before, we hung together at camp ah-lawt, and people started teasing us saying that we liked each other, and many of my girlfriends asked what was happening between us (in private, of course). I just laughed at their thoughts that he and I could like each other and told everyone, “We’re just friends. Best friends.” or something like that. I didn’t really notice anything different between us, because we usually hang out together. But then my best friend (a girl this time not the guy,) was teasing me about it and said, “You guys like each other.” and I was like, “No, we don’t. We’re just really good friends.” and then she was like, “Dude, you guys totally like each other, I can tell from the way you two look at each other.” After that I guess I became a little more conscious of the way we were with each other. The next day at camp, we went for a hike, just us. And when we finally got to the top of the rocks, he’d gone to before, we sat there for about an hour and just talked, and looked at the beauty of nature, and everything just felt right. After that trip, I have begun to realize that I do like him as more of a friend, and I think (I’m usually right about these “thinks”) that he likes me back, even though he tells me who he likes at school. However, I don’t want to like him because people said that he liked me, because I tend to fall for that guy who everyone says likes me, and that doesn’t usually end well and I don’t want to do that. I also don’t want our friendship to be over faster than you can say “Not Interested.” Awh-nestly Lisi and other Blah-ggers, what should I do? Make the first move, wait for him to make the first move, or forget about him and move awn. (Because I’m seriously considering Option 3.)
    Thanks in advance.
    xoxo,
    M

    • jenna says:

      Make the first move !! (:

      • Mikaeyla says:

        But what if he doesn’t like me, I’m not really one to throw myself out there, just to end up hurt. I did that once. And I swore I would never do that again. How do you even tell if the guy likes you. But if I do throw myself out there, what should I even do?

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Mikaeyla!

      OMG I’m in almost the same situation. There’s this guy I’ve been really good friends with (he’s my best guy friend) for about 2 years now. We have a lot in commun. Recently, I think I’ve been starting to like him. I’m also the kind of person to fall for a guy just cus he likes me or I think he might like me. A lot of my friends have been telling me they think he likes me.
      I think I’m going to ask him out. I’ve been eating lunch with him more recently. It feels right. Next Friday is our school dance, and I think I’ll ask him to dance with me. If he seems interested I’ll ask, if he doesn’t I’ll just get over him.
      Another thing I might do is ask his best friend who is also one of my friends if the guy I like likes me back (that felt hard to say). I don’t think guys like it when girls come up to them and say ” so and so likes you, if they ask you out what will you say?”, but if it’s their best friend there are more chances they will tell them. I remember when a guy liked me, all of his friends were coming up to me and asking me what I’d tell him. Even though I liked him, I didn’t want to tell them. It was really annoying. But I told my BFFs if they asked me. I think for a guy it could be the same.
      So basically, if you’re nervous about making the 1st move, I think you should wait a little, and either ask his friends and stuff to find out if he likes you, or simply spend more time with him. If you two are in the same class without a seating chart, try to sit with him. Eat with him at lunch. If it feels right, he’ll probably notice too. Then if you are sure about it, ask him out.

      This is longer then I meant for it to be, for anyone who read this whole thing, thank you 🙂

      Mikaeyla, please tell me if this helped, I really hope it did!!
      Kathy

      • Mikaeyla says:

        Kathy,
        You have some serious balls. Ahahaha but seriously!! I wish I was more like that. His best friend (who is also one of my good friends, OMG WE ARE TWINS) keeps asking me if I like him, and unfortunately I lie and say no (I have serious trust issues.) I haven’t exactly admitted to anyone except all of you that I liked him, because I thought if I didn’t tell people it would stay buried inside of me (that didn’t work out well at all). I’m also not exactly allowed to date… Well I dunno cause my mom might’ve changed her mind, but having a convo with her about it would be kinda embarrassing. However, your advice really helped and had gotten me inspire! And I thank you for it very much :). I only see him two to three times a week because we go to different schools and we hang out most of the time during those times (ahaha that was confusing) but what if sharing our feelings for each other and try to date each other ends the friendship? Because I cannot handle losing another friend in my life. Kathy, I’m sorry to say this but I’m glad we are in the same pickle (it’s good to know someone feels the way you do) but I hope you get yours worked out soon (: thanks again!

    • Kyra says:

      Oh my gosh, what IF he likes you? I am kinda in the same situation…
      So this guy I have a pretty big crush on is kinda acting weird around me… Not like “Your weird! go away!” Like blushing, and saying sweet things around me. the problem is my best friend likes him too… this is how my last BFF bullied me and I’m worried it will happen between us… my friend has been asking him “Do you like this person or this person or this person?” And he said it is someone in the class. Whenever she asks him “Do you like Kyra?” (Me) he says no and kind of blushes a little. Do you think he likes me or not? I seriously just wanna know!!
      Please help,
      Kyra

      • Mikaeyla says:

        Kyra,
        I don’t know if he likes me. I really wish I did though! We talk almost everyday though and I think we sorta flirt, but I mean we always have flirted in a friendship-ly way though ahahaha. I say talk to your Best Friend. Like if he really does like you (which I think he does from what you said above,) then you should be able to go out with him, and your BFF should support it even though she likes him too, because she’s your BEST FRIEND, and Best Friends want their BFFs to be happy. So I think you guys should talk it out, but if she’s not cool with it, maybe don’t pursue it because Friends are Forever, and Guys usually are not (unless you’re lucky and you end up marrying them like 10 yrs later). I wish you good luck with your crush! (:
        xoxo,
        M

    • Kyra says:

      Thanks for replying. I’m only in sixth grade, and my parents said I can’t date yet until I’m 16…. Which sucks, but of course I’m a goody-too-shoes and I’ll listen to my parents… But I think he likes me. Next year were both heading off to different Middle Schools and My bestie and I are (probably) going to the same school, but I really should talk to her… She doesn’t really make me jealous anymore by calling our crush hot or saying “Were going to get married!!”. I know that she still likes him though… She told me. I guess I still like him, although he’s been kinda rude to me lately, which I guess is flirting. He told the guy I absolutely HATE that I like him… I don’t know what to do…

  • Katelynn says:

    Lisi,
    Like many girls, I began reading your books when I was in seventh grade. I had had a tough year; some girls had treated me terribly and I was lonely; I cried every day. I had adjusted to the best of my ability by the time Spring Break rolled around, but was still finding it hard to trust anyone. Then I found the third Clique book in my library, and within a few weeks, I had read them all. The books helped me to realize I was lucky. The bullies did not deserve my time, and while they had once been my friends, in all reality I was better off without them. Claire allowed herself to be hidden in the shadows of the Pretty Committee, rather than be herself, and for some time she was miserable. I know I would have been miserable had I decided to do the same. Your books taught me to separate myself for happiness, rather than live in the shadows of girls who didn’t even like me.
    In the Clique books, it turned out Claire had made the right choice to stick it out, although it took some time for Massie and the rest of the Pretty Committee to change. For me, had I stuck it out, I would have been miserable for the next five years. The girls I had once been friends with never changed for the better, in fact, they became more and more shallow over time. I blossomed, however and moved on to high school and was involved with everything I could be, and now I’m at my dream college.
    If it hadn’t been for the Clique, I don’t think I would have faired so well. I would not have become so independent and I would not currently be so happy. I doubt the way I was impacted was what you intended for your books. Thankfully, for me, they were exactly what I needed in my time of distress.
    Thank you, Lisi!
    Katelynn

  • Tara says:

    The Clique taught me all the life lessons I’d never learn untill the hard way. Lisi, you rock! I’m in 11th grade and I still can’t imagine my life without the Pretty Commitee they gave me a sense of what should be right or wrong. I’d like to say I do read a lot but out of all the many books I have read in my lifetime The Clique series will be on top of my list tying in with Harry Potter. I hope to be able to save everyboo of the series so I can have my daughters (b”h) read them. I just love each and every character.. okay I’m not a huge fan of Claire but I still love her. Each member of that Clique grew with me as I grew older so obvs they’re going to be a big part of me.

  • Janelle says:

    I made a mistake in my post. In my online community we were NOT condescending. whoops.

  • Sylvia says:

    Hi Lisi!
    I am 12 years old and i’m in the seventh grade.
    I have read the whole Clique and Alphas series and I would like to thank you for writing these books. I live in a country where the education system is Elementary school (kindergarten to grade 7) high school (grade 8 to grade 12) and the rest is explainable. I wouldn’t say I’d side with anyone, although i agree with both Judy and Lisi Harrison. My life experience spans 12 years, so I don’t have a lot of experience, of course. I know the Clique series is meant not only to entertain but to teach and expand and heal relationships. I think i know well enough by now that you do not intend the message of the Clique series to go off tune.
    However, upon reading the first few books of the series, i began to worry about what would happen if the girls at my school got a hold on the books. the girls in my class had a nice side and a cruel side. they’d get inspiration from anywhere, including books and internet.
    I acted incredibly selfishly. I put plain paper covers on my books in fear that if they found out, their actions would rely completely on the series.
    But now, i don’t bring them to school. and even if i do, i don’t put covers on them anymore. So what if they have to rely on books to be cool in a bad way? the Clique series is an incredibly well-written series. i wouldn’t use the information given against people. I’d use it to help people understand what they are doing, and even if i myself can’t help, the books can.
    So once again, thank you so much for bringing the Clique series to life.
    -S.

  • Judy says:

    Ms. Harrison,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful response. To be quite honest, I did not expect to receive a response from you, never mind a well-written, explanatory blog. I wholeheartedly apologize if I insinuated that your book was the sole cause of the bullying I experienced. There were a variety of factors that contributed to “why” I was bullied and the bullying had begun longer before the release of your book. Unfortunately, the girls misinterpreted the meaning of your book and used it as a guide to further mistreat others. Middle school girls are middle school girls and will sometimes be mean regardless of what book they read. In one of my Psychology classes, we were actually asked to analyze our own experiences with bullying in a discussion format which is why the old memories were rehashed and I decided to make the decision to contact you.

    I was unaware that the last book in the series really possessed such a positive message. I will definitely read it and actually recommend it to my little cousin who is currently in middle school. From what I have read from the synopsis, it looks like an interesting read. Thank you for the positive message you have sent to teens-It probably actually prevented SO much bullying from occurring! You have DEFINITELY restored faith in a former-reader who (despite being a 19 year old student) will be buying your books. I also plan to support your future projects by purchasing any of your new releases and encouraging others to do the same. Thank you again & good luck with any future projects!

    Sincerely,
    Judy

    • Judy you are a very cool girl. I admire you and thank you for your letter. There will always be mean girls. Thank Gawd there are people like you in this world to balance that out. Stay in touch.
      -Lisi

  • Janelle says:

    I grew up with this series and as a reader I established my own identification with the characters. Fortunately I did not suffer the bullying that Judy did and unlike the girls who bullied Judy I understood right away that some of the things that The Pretty Committee said and did were ultimately wrong. Honestly, some of this made the novels interesting, but they were also page-terners for many more reasons. I could also see the growth of each character throughout the series and I think that this is very important to notice. The ‘good’ character, Claire, ultimately affects how the behaviors of the girls change throughout the books.

    For a while I was a member of an online community that mimicked the clique, but in we way condescendingly towards each other or other people. I was simply an interesting way to meet other girls who shared my love for the books; people who I could not find in real-life. I always found myself to identify with Claire for her weaknesses, and some of her strengths; I think she is an excellent role model of a girl who isn’t perfect but somewhat ideal.

    The awesome thing about any series of books is that we can follow the lives of the characters, anticipating the best, but not knowing what really will become of them. I think it is sad that Judy’s bullies had poor judgement, but they were young and hopefully have learned from their mistakes through the ultimate message of the Clique Series.

  • Rebecca Short says:

    Dear Lisi;

    I love the Clique book series! It truly is my favorite book series! (But nothing can beat the Hunger Games!) I really believe, not only are they inspirational, but they are witty and talk about girls who are friends that you’d think betray each other and are backstabbers. Honestly, they are TRUE friends. Yes, they are spoiled. Yes, they are rude or even cruel to others. They care about each other, though. That’s what is so great about the Clique novels! They show that these girls are spoiled, rude, cruel, and just plain mean, but they are human, too. No matter the price or brand of their clothes, they can be insecure and selfish. You made me feel more confident. And, with Massie Block’s help, made me a better Alpha/Leader. I appreciate your works.

    Sincerely, Rebecca Short

    💚Beca💙

  • Laura says:

    I really, truly love this post. I know a lot of people would’ve ignored a letter like this, or said something defensive and rude back, but both Judy and Lisi handled this so well, both actually listening to the other person and being respectful. Seriously, this post just gives me faith in humanity. Honestly.

    To be honest though, when I was younger, I was mean. I used to say horrible things to people, in front of their faces and behind their backs. Sometimes it would be defensive, other times, not so much.
    While I knew the Clique books weren’t saying being mean and rich and popular was good, part of me still really wanted the kind of life Massie had. I went so far to using terms like LBR and trying to plan Friday night sleepovers.
    This was all in like 3rd/4th grade-ish, so needless to say I’ve grown up since then. I’m not the same person I was. I try my best to avoid gossip and back-talking, always make sure I say what I would say in front of someones face, etc.
    I’m not saying that the Clique books influenced me, because I would’ve been just as mean and stupid without them, I just know that I see where Judy is coming from.

    But the Clique books did have a quite a few positive outcomes on my life: 1)Found this blog! 2)Decided to make my own blog, after finding some cool ones on here 3)Got more interested in writing, after reading some of the stories in the comments 4)Bonded with my old BFF over the Clique and Alpha series

    (Sorry if this post is a mess…. I’m not to good at organizing what I want to say in comments…)

  • Faith says:

    I am sorry this happens to you judy, I have the same kind of things happen to me. You’re not alone. I have been bullied saying I was a slut, whore, hoe, sped, gross, everything! I know how you feel. It is hard, well think of this, you cant always have a rain storm forever, at some point it will be a rainbow:) this is comming from a 14 year old….

  • Emily Baxter says:

    Sorry Lisi, but I disagree with you (respectfully, of course). While I took the message of the Clique series as “get back at the bullies” (I’m a pretty confident girl), Judy took it differently. Not wrong, just differently.

    Judy, thank you for writing such a letter. Please pick up more of Lisi’s books. I definitely recommend the last book of the Clique series because that book is a closure and maybe that will feel closure for you.

  • kat10235 says:

    When I first read the clique series, it was the summer between 7th and 8th grade. Now here I am in the 11th grade and if you still ask me what my favorite book is I tell you it’s Revenge of the Wannabes by Lisi Harrison. Honestly what drew me to the series was Massie. Not because she was rich and popular but because I felt sorry for her. For starters, her parents never saw her. The adults in her life were paid to be there and her friends would drop her in a second if someone cooler, richer or trendier came along. I like how the series really explores how insecure Massie really is. How ever at the same time I like how the series shows the flip side. What’s it’s like for someone like Claire who is bullied and picked on by the popular girl. I liked Claire because yes while she did struggle with the bullying from the Pretty Committee she still had her own strength and courage.She much rather hang out with the “wired girl” who is a better friend. Now I wouldn’t say that i’m a Massie but I’m not a Claire either. I’m more of a combination between the two. While i’m not bullied like Claire, I much rather hang out with my best friend who is considered the “weird girl” and while i’m not rich and popular like Massie, I do feel insecure sometimes like her. So I feel like saying that the Clique books encourage bullying in an in accurate statement because if anything these books show the effect of bulling on the victim, to the bully as to why they bully others.

    • kat10235 says:

      I’d like to add one more thing. Judy, those girls whom did that horrible thing to you, missed the point of the books and the series. I am sorry that it did happen to you. It is something that no one should have to go through.

    • asha says:

      I totally agree!

    • Julia says:

      Omigosh, that’s my favorite too! I loved it because after Massie sent those apology e-mails, she became… stronger. I loved her come-backs, what she said to everyone, and how she acted. She had a second chance.

  • Roxy says:

    I find that both you and Judy had a great discussion on the message of your book. I can clearly see both sides of your story. I am also a fan of “the clique” and will remember this post when I am reading the series.

  • Kimberly C. says:

    Lisi, I think your response was thoughtful and spot-on. Judy seems to have missed the entire message of the series. It’s misguided to try and blame you for the girls’ bad behavior after reading The Clique. Middle school girls can be awful no matter what type of books they read or movies they watch. I highly doubt these girls started treating Judy and others badly as a direct result of reading the series. While it’s important for everyone, especially young people, to learn to treat others well, reading only books about rainbows and butterflies where nothing bad happens isn’t going to fix the problem.

    I had some awful middle and high school experiences and I loved the clique series in spite of those experiences. I could relate to each of the characters at some point. So again, the entire post is misguided.

    • Emily Baxter says:

      I think I’m going to stand up for Judy here, as a 19-year-old girl.

      I suspect that the series could have played a part. I was one of the girls bullied in middle school and discovered the Clique series at the same time. The series inspired me to dish out cutting remarks back at the bullies, but I found out that over time I became a defensive person. Now it’s hard to change old habits. I will defend myself and anyone else if need be to the very end, even if that means stepping on people’s feelings to do so.

      I would invoke religion here but I won’t. I just think you need to give the girl some credit. Kim, you’re harshly judging her. You don’t even know Judy! Whether her story is true or not true, it’s true that media influences kids. We soak the stuff up like a sponge. Kanye West, Gossip Girl, Pitch Perfect–kids so much younger than me watch and listen to this. I suspect that it influences part of their behavior. Not everything, but part.

      • Kimberly C. says:

        “harshly judging her”? Not exactly. Harshly judging her would have been calling her names or insulting her. I simply stated my opinion which is that she missed the point of the books. And since she hasn’t read the end of the series that isn’t so far-fetched a statement.

      • Emily Baxter says:

        The whole series is like the first book until the last book where everyone makes up. If I haven’t read the end of the series, I could conclude that I wouldn’t think it ended up very well the way the books were going. Although I was wrong, there is evidence that points in that direction. No offense to Lisi, cause I think she’s great! Just analyzing.

  • Arianna says:

    I’ve always been a really intelligent student and I read a lot and analyze texts. I’ve been in AP English throughout my entire high school career and even when I was 11 and first reason the Clique books, I was smart enough and had enough common sense to realize what the books meant. Claire was always my least favorite characters, especially towards the end of the series, but I understood the meaning you we’re trying to convey. I liked seeing how the “pretty” girls struggled to maintain control and could fall so easily. I understood the message.

    I’m not saying Judy is unintelligent but the girls who bullied her are. If all they got from that series was a how-to guide to be mean, then obviously they’re not smart enough to even be given a second thought. Even now as a college freshman who has no idea what I’m doing, I think back to the Clique books and try to channel Massie’s inner strength to remain cool and calm in public and try to gain some of Claire’s confidence. I actually just had a pretty extreme bout of depression and began cutting myself and wanting to die because I hate my appearance to much. As a result of trying to make myself, I’ve started rereading the Clique series and changed my major from Creative Writing to History.

    I found the meaning because I was smart enough to realize its a book about overcoming your bullies and insecurities. The meaning is timeless and the books have saved my life twice now.

    • Julia says:

      Woah, Claire was your least favorite? I liked Claire, Massie, Dylan, and Layne. Kristen’s way of ‘writing’ (You know, in P.S. I Loathe You?) for some reason annoyed me a lot.

      • Arianna says:

        Yeah, I couldn’t really stand Claire. Self-righteous people drive me insane, and she had this goody-good air to her and I just didn’t like her. She annoyed me. Cam annoyed me too. Them together annoyed me. I liked the Clique girls the best.

    • Mehreen says:

      Very interesting, I forgot about Blah-G… i just readit now

    • Cata says:

      That’s so inspiring. I’m so happy you found a way to make yourself better. Just remember that A: You can always talk to someone and B: These books will always be here

      Also thank you for finding the true meaning of the series

  • zakiyabee13 says:

    thats so dure ! (get it ? word jumble ! ) if i could wish you luck when you were in middle school , i would judy (: and thanks for the post lisi !

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