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Review: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies (Stampler)

AUTHOR: Laura Stampler
SERIES: none (though a sequel could work)
ISBN: 9781481459891
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: chick lit
SETTING: Castalia, California and New York City
GIVE IT TO: upper-MS girls

SUMMARY: Seventeen-year old Harper Anderson has watched her popular bestie, Kristina, go out on lots of dates. Athletic and popular, Kristina has always overshadowed Harper when it comes to boys. But now, Harper has won a competitive summer internship at a teen fashion magazine in New York City. Harper is to be the magazine’s new dating blogger, even though it’s Kristina, not Harper, who actually has all the dates. Harper is going to have to figure out how to date–quickly–if she expects people to believe her dating stories.

REVIEW: Pitched as The Devil Wears Prada for teens, Little Black Dresses, is just that. You have a smart-but-homely girl who travels from her small California town to New York City. There, she encounters high fashion, doggie proms, and elite social clubs. It’s too bad her coveted summer internship is based on her lying in her application essay.

So this book is cute! I read it quickly and enjoyed it all the way through. It’s well-paced, and Harper is a (mostly) likeable main character. I loved her snarky voice, and her dating blog posts were hilarious. I also liked all the New York City references, and though I have only been to NYC once, I’m sure all the New York locations in the book are real places. I can tell the author knows the NYC social scene well.

I booktalked this with a class today, and already, three girls asked me if I would be getting the book for the library. Definitely! It’s not life-changing or something I will remember clearly in a few weeks, but it was fun and and well-written.

THEMES: friendship, dating, honesty, plagiarism, fashion, estranged relationship with divorced parent

THE BOTTOM LINE: A fun romp through New York City high society. A perfect teen companion to The Devil Wears Prada.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I plan to buy it for the library when it comes out this summer.


  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Engrossing: 4/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: medium; includes a few F-bombs, shits, and others
  • Sexuality: medium; kissing, “making out,” “hooking up”–no sex happens
  • Violence: mild; internet trolling and cyberbullying
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium; teens have fake IDs and drink alcohol in bars and at parties

One Comment

  • Hello Mrs. Readerpants :O). I applaud you for the work you're doing by helping kids in China select and read better books. I've written a few books of my own, and I was wondering if you could answer a question for me about the younger children in China? One of my books which is soon to be released on, is a stranger danger book that's told in metered rhyme (Another Chicken Story: The Stranger Danger), and I'm wondering if parents in China have the same concerns or fears of their children being lured away by crafty strangers as they do here in the USA? I'm asking so that I'll better understand if this resource might be useful to parents and children on the other side of the world. Thank you for any insight that you might be able to offer to me on this matter. Keep up the great work, and have a very blessed life.


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