The Lipstick Laws

The Lipstick Laws

By:  Amy Holder

Also available in:

At Penford High School, Brittany Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone’s life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.

For April Bowers, Brittany is the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don’t know she exists. One lunch spent at Brittany’s table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.

But Brittany’s friendship comes with a high price tag, and April decides it’s not worth the cost. Inspiring and empowering, this is the story of one girl who decides to push back.

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547529493

  • ISBN-10: 054752949X

  • Pages: 240

  • Price: $5.99

  • Publication Date: 04/04/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 10

  • Age(s): 12,13,14,15,16

  • Grade(s): 7-12

Amy Holder

Amy Holder

Amy Holder has worked in the early education, social service, and freelance writing and design fields prior to being published. Originally from upstate New York, Amy resides in the Philadelphia area with her many adopted pets. To find out more, visit her website at
Learn More
  • reviews

    "Holder presents the teen milieu through realistic dialogue and situations, and lightens heavy moments with humor. The protagonist is well developed, and her struggles and gradual self-realizations are believable as she ultimately finds true friends and the self-confidence to make the right choices."--School Library Journal

  • excerpts


    Sitting near Darci Madison on the school bus is enough to put anyone with woman-sprout

    issues over the edge. Sure, she might wear a push-up bra, but the point is that she has more

    than enough there to push up. I, on the other hand, don’t. I glance down to critique my

    Kleenex sculpture...and can’t help but compare her jiggle to my stationary tissue wads.

     Tormented by the abundant boobage sitting across from me, I hesitatingly admit to

    myself that yes, I am an addict. I’m not a drug addict—no, too risky and expensive. I’m

    not a sex addict—please, I haven’t even had a decent make-out session sans drool and

    cheap cologne. Something that others blow their noses into happens to be my addiction

    of choice. I, April Bowers, am a tissue-wasting, size-34C-obsessed bosom sculptor. Yes, I

    confess...I am a bra stuffer.

     As I ponder the injustice of having a bellybutton that sticks out farther than my

    34AA chest, I begin to wonder if instead of growing out, my boobage is growing inward.

    Maybe if I were inside out I’d have the body of a goddess.

     What a fantastic theory.

     My brief smile is abruptly halted by a speed bump that makes Darci’s ginormous

    boobs heave from her chest. A panic bubble lodges in my throat as the bus slows to a

    stop. The bus driver opens the door with a shrewd grin. She watches me in the rearview

    mirror as I approach the exit.

     “First-day jitters?” she says.

     I glance down at my chewed fingernails, smiling passively. First-day jitters doesn’t

    quite describe where I’m at right now. Early-life crisis is more like it.

     With heavy feet, I slowly slink down the steps to emerge onto the hazardous war

    zone that most refer to as Penford High School. The ominous sand-colored building

    stands before me like a large enemy barrack. Déjà vu hits me at warp speed. It seems like

    just yesterday I was making the same brutal walk of shame as a brand-new freshman with

    no friends. This year two things have changed: I’m a sophomore, and I’m not new

    anymore. But one thing remains the same: I have no friends.

     I feel vulnerably alone making my way through the groups of bubbly girls conversing

    about their summer hookups, vacations, and shopping sprees. This is the moment I’ve

    been dreading since Haley Lucas, the one good friend I made last year, moved to

    Dorothy’s wonderland in July.

     Delaying the inevitable, I stop to pull out my compact to make sure my war paint is

    still intact. A wave of relief comes over me. My makeup still looks okay. It’s amazing what

    superficial reassurance can do for someone marching to her social death.

     Just as I’m shutting my compact, I notice a reflection that I’m not at all happy to

    see—Delvin McGerk. Also known as King Stalker McGerk of Loserhood. I walk briskly,

    hoping to slip into the sea of students unseen by his radar eyes. My hopes are smashed

    when he catches up to me, waving excitedly. Frustration floods my body as I glance over

    at him. His creepy eyes look like huge silver dollars lurking behind his thick magnifying


     “April Bowers, you’re looking rather illustrious today,” he says.

     Why does he talk like that? More important, why does he talk to me?

     “Thanks, Delvin,” I mumble, looking to the left to avoid eye contact.

     “Guess what?”

     “What?” I huff irritably.

     Predictably, he grins and croaks, “My mom talked to your mom yesterday.”

     Bingo. I knew he was gonna say that. After all, it’s the only thing we have in

    common. Yes, we both have moms...and yes, they know each other.

     “No way, McGerk. I don’t believe it.” My sarcasm is so thick, I could spoonfeed it

    to a baby.

     “It’s true,” he insists, adjusting his lopsided glasses.

     I stare at his ruler-parted floppy brown hair, wondering what planet he came from.

     An uncomfortable silence ensues.

     It just so happens that my mom and Delvin’s mom are old sorority sisters. Before the

    move here last year, I had high hopes that Delvin would have movie star looks and a

    playboy reputation that would skyrocket me to popularity as soon as I stepped foot in

    the school. Having heard stories about how pretty and popular Patty McGerk was in

    college, I couldn’t help but believe her attractiveness and social skills would be passed

    down to her only son. My disappointment was monumental when during our first

    introduction, Delvin spent a half hour explaining aeronautics while obsessively adjusting

    his lopsided glasses. Lucky me. Since then, he has convinced himself that our mothers’

    friendship gives him the right to be a total stalker.

     “Sooo....” He chuckles, nervously twisting his backpack straps. If I were up for it,

    he’d spend the whole day exchanging awkward glances.

     “Delvin, I’ve gotta go,” I say sharply, leaving no room for mixed signals.

     He winks, like he’s about to say something über suave. “Well then, I guess I’ll see ya


     I pray he’s wrong.

     His chapped lips curl into a ridiculously cheesy smile before we part ways. I’m

    blinded by the sheen of ten pounds of metal securely fastened to his teeth. Why couldn’t

    my mom be old friends with Troy Hoffman’s mom? Probably the same reason I have

    boobs the size of sesame seeds.

     I clutch my class schedule tightly and continue my march through the double doors

    of doom. The hall is bustling with all the personalities one would expect to find in a

    recipe for teenage stew:

    Deliciously Dramatic Teenage Stew


    – Athletic muscle-head beef types

    – Tall, gangly carrot types

    –  Self-conscious round potato types

    –  Angst-ridden emotional onion types (with too many layers to peel)

    – Bully shredded-cabbage types who leave you with stomach cramps and gas

    – Shy bouillon cube types who dissolve into obscurity

    – Social butterfly bean types—beans, beans, the magical fruit; the more you eat, the more you toot...or in this case, talk

    – And finally (drumroll, please), stuck-up acidic tomato juice types who cover all the abovementioned with their gossiping slime

    Cooking Directions:

    Stir together until uncomfortably blended under the high heat pressure of a social nightmare. Let simmer for nine months out of the year, but please don’t overcook...Rumors have the tendency to become vile if cooked too long. Remember to store in an airtight container to ensure drama does not become stale.

     In my former life, I was a social butterfly bean type. However, upon transferring

    schools, I immediately transformed into a shy bouillon cube type. Being comparable to a

    cube of evaporated meat extract is disheartening to say the least.

     After hustling through the strong whiff of simmering personalities, I find my

    homeroom. I beeline it for the first empty desk I see to sit my socially suffering butt down.

     “Pssst—April,” an annoying voice calls out from the back of the classroom.

     I look back at my older brother. He loves to humiliate me in groups. Sadly for me,

    homerooms are alphabetized, not separated by grade level. Apparently living with him isn’t

    punishment enough.

     “Hi, Aaden.” I cringe.

     “How was your ride o...

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: eBook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547529493

  • ISBN-10: 054752949X

  • Pages: 240

  • Price: $5.99

  • Publication Date: 04/04/2011

  • Carton Quantity: 10

  • Age(s): 12,13,14,15,16

  • Grade(s): 7-12

Want the latest...

on all things Children's Books?