Book Review: Surviving High School

Book & Author Details:SHS
Surviving High School
by Lele Pons & Melissa de la Cruz
Published by: Gallery Books
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Vine superstar Lele Pons—“one of the coolest girls on the web” (Teen Vogue)—teams up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost) in this lovable debut novel about the wilds and wonders of high school that’s as laugh-out-loud addictive as Lele’s popular videos.

Ten million followers and I still sit alone at lunch. Lele is a bulls-eye target at her new school in Miami until, overnight, her digital fame catapults the girl with cheerleader looks, a seriously silly personality, and a self-deprecating funny bone into the popular crowd. Now she’s facing a whole new set of challenges—the relentless drama, the ruthless cliques, the unexpected internet celebrity—all while trying to keep her grades up and make her parents proud.

Filled with the zany enthusiasm that has made Lele into Vine’s most viewed star, this charming novel is proof that high school is a trip. From crushing your crushes (what’s up with that hot transfer student Alexei??) to throwing Insta-fake parties with your BFFs and moaning over homework (GAH) with your frenemies, high school is a rollercoaster of exhilarating highs and totally embarrassing lows. Leave it to Lele to reassure us that falling flat on your face is definitely not the end of the world. Fans of Mean Girls will love this fun and heartwarming fish-out-of-water story.


My Review:

The book’s main focus is about how Lele, a Venezuelan teenager, tries to fit in at her new school in Miami. Even though the story is based on Lele Pons’s real life, I’m trying to judge this from a YA fiction book, not an autobiography or something of the sorts. Our character is very known on the Internet, having a very successful Vine account where she uploads videos inspired by real life moments.

The book was interesting to a point. I expected more from it. I understood that someone may be famous online, while being not so popular in school (is this really such a bad thing?). She does have some friends and people to hang out with and somehow she craves more. I did appreciate her maturity when it comes to her relationship with her best friend Alexei. From a writing point of view, I loved the funny parts and I loved that the drama was set to a minimum, even though the main character was focused on her looks as any teenager would be.

It is a good start, but I wanted more and I felt like something was missing from the story. I would have expected more action, I would have expected to know more on how she started posting her videos or why Alexei wanted to help her. I don’t know…. Something to light that spark of “book addiction”. If this is inspired from the real Lele Pons’s life, I can say she had some interesting moments and I am happy all went well in the end.


Lele Pons was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved with her family to Miami when she was five years old. She got her start when she created a page on the video-sharing app Vine in December 2013. Originally intended as a fun outlet to showcase her creativity, her vines evolved into comedic sketches and pulling practical jokes on family and friends. Her following grew from five thousand local followers to more than ten million by November 2015.

Today she is one of the most recognizable names on social media, and has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Time, and more. Lele has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a Streamy Award. In 2015, she was invited to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama to help launch her campaign for disadvantaged kids to go to college. Lele graduated from high school in 2015 and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for readers of all ages, including the Witches of East End, Blue Bloods, and Descendants series.

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  • 2x print copies of Surviving High School

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