Young-adult novel Brand-New Emily has a high-concept premise: Likeable eighth grader Emily Woods angers a trio of popular mean girls at her school, they use their awesome social might to make her an outcast, and the situation seems hopeless until a freak series of events gains her the assistance of a top New York publicist, who helps her skyrocket to popularity with an image makeover. Its not difficult to guess what will happen next (wackiness), or what lessons young Em will finally learn (be yourself, be careful what you wish for). But the books charms lie in the way it satirizes P.R. lingo, while fleshing out the endlessly fascinating terrain of teen clique battles. Rue, a writer for Teen Vogue and Seventeen, knows her subject matter well. No stranger to effective publicity herself, she arranged a marketing tie-in with Bonne Bell; so attendees of this reading might get to score a free Lip Smacker.
Mon., July 27, 7 p.m., 2009