The Queen of Cool is one of Cecil Castellucci’s three LA-novels. Just like Boy Proof and Beige, it is set in Los Angeles, and follows a particular ‘scene’ in the city of Angels. This time, the angle is more science-related as the main character decided to do an internship at the Los Angeles Zoo, in an attempt to change her life(style) and find what’s lacking in her life.
Libby Brin is an IT-girl. She has the coolest friends, she throws the greatest parties, she is a natural born leader at her local high school. She leads, and others follow… And yet, she is bored beyond belief – an all too often symptom of contemporary teenhood. The fact that this happens to the queen of cool, the girl who has it all, is of course ironic, but not that strange if you consider the two other volumes of this LA-trilogy. Also in Boy Proof and in Beige, Castellucci related how a teenager – whatever their background – can suddenly find out that they just aren’t who they are supposed to be, and she sets them on course to become who they really are.
With minimal, sparse prose, this book yet again comes over as an ‘easy read’, and yet again, there are some great life lessons, that any teenager can identify with: how to withstand peer pressure, how to be different despite the fact you may become estranged from your previous friends. After all, adolescence is probably the most defining time in a person’s emotional and psychological development. And Cecil Castellucci has a keen insight in the teen mind, but the three novels actually have a ‘universal’ message: do not be afraid to be who you are. Kudos to Cecil Castellucci!
PS. The cat can’t but think that the name Libby Brin might have been inspired by a certain NY author whose husband is mentioned in the acknowledgment as Castellucci’s agent… I’m just guessing here, but is the life lesson that Libby experienced one that is applicable to writers and the writing community?