The Market

The Market
By: J.M. Steele

High school senior Kate Winthrop is about to find out just how much she's worth.

After stumbling across the Millbank Social Stock Market, Kate is horrified to discover that out of the 140 girls in her class, she's ranked a bleak 71.  Sure, she's not drop-dead gorgeous, and her "fashion" choices leave a bit to be desired...but 71?!  Determined not to accept her fate as a "junk bond," she and her best friends quickly set out to make her the fastest rising stock on the Market.

Armed with a sexy new haircut and killer wardrobe, Kate puts her plan into effect -- and the analysts take note.  In a matter of weeks, her stock value soars, and "Blue Chip" status is within reach.  But what begins as a fun social experiment quickly turns into an obsession, one that threatens to ruin her reputation, friendships, and a chance at first love.  Will Kate survive the highs and lows of the Market, or will her security crash and burn?

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My Rating: 4/5

The Market is in short, a lot of fun. Armed with an intriguing and unique plot as well as Katie, a protagonist that is easy to understand and relate to, it would have been difficult for me not to have become absorbed with this novel. The whole concept of having a stock market ranking girls based on popularity and physicality is terrible but I have to be honest in saying that it made for a highly entertaining novel. I found the concept to be different; a fresh way of addressing the topic of popularity and striving towards it in a new and interesting way. The Market like I mentioned above is as a whole a fun book but it addresses many topics serious in tone such as a longing to fit in, not feeling good enough and so on. It manages to cover a lot of ground all the while keeping you intrigued and in suspense the whole way through.

Now, I hate, no, loathe economics yet somehow The Market was able to take similar concepts that I'd been forced to study in the past and made them entertaining. Like I mentioned above, the plot for this book was great! I guess you could say that it was predictable in some areas although I spent the majority of the time while reading being so wrapped up in the happenings that were occurring in the here and now that I didn't think too far down the road as to what was possibly going to unfold next. Even though I predicted a few small occurrences, many parts of this book did take me by surprise.

Character wise, I really liked Kate. I think that multiple people will be able to recognize many different parts of themselves within her. Although I never would have gone to the extremes that Kate did, I still found myself sympathizing and being able to comprehend her actions and desires. We've all at one point and time in our lives striven to fit in and be accepted by our peers. It's a part of growing up, yearning to be well liked and wanted etc. That's what made Kate so appealing to me, the fact that she was just a girl like everyone else with similar desires and wants that we've all at one point and time hoped for.

Overall: I really enjoyed The Market. Like I had assumed prior to reading it, the concept makes for a very interesting and overall highly enjoyable read. You won't be able to put it down once you've become absorbed in  Kate's world.


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