The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

March 27, 2009

Book review: Witty dialogue is ‘So Money’

‘She’s So Money’

By Cherry Cheva

Maya is a high-school senior living in Michigan and dreaming of getting as far from there as possible. She knows that college is her ticket out and she’s doing everything in her power to get into Stanford.

For this reason (and pressure from her very involved parents), she is the quintessential good girl. Her schedule is full of AP classes, tutoring struggling students and working as a waitress at her family’s Thai restaurant. Getting into Stanford shouldn’t be too hard … as long as things don’t go awry.

Maya’s trouble begins when she gets a new student to tutor — hunky and popular Camden King — who tries to talk Maya into just doing his homework instead of tutoring him. Her trouble continues when her parents leave Maya and her little brother, Nat, in charge of the restaurant while they’re out of town. After a few good days in charge, Sunday comes. On Sunday, Maya is plagued with mixed-up orders, a jammed dishwasher and two angry ladies. After Maya sasses the angry ladies, they threaten to send the health inspector to the restaurant to shut it down. Maya takes this as an empty threat and makes the managerial decision to put off cleanup from the night’s business to the next day.

Unfortunately, the angry ladies weren’t bluffing. The health inspector shows up before things get cleaned up and gives the restaurant a whopping $10,000 fine. Instead of confessing to her parents, Maya decides to take matters into her own hands. The tips she earns at the restaurant go into her college fund, so she has to be creative. Remembering Camden’s suggestion, Maya starts an elaborate cheating ring. For an impressive price, the smart kids do the popular (not-smart) kids’ homework while Maya and Camden skim money off the top. Maya is sure she can get enough money to pay the fine but all the lying and, well, cheating may cause her to lose everyone she loves.

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