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The Queen of Cool

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  633 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
The author of BOY PROOF is back with a funny, incisive look at a teenage girl whose reign of popularity comes at the price of ennui - until she dares to take off her tiara and do something truly cool with her life.

On the outside, Libby Brin is the most popular girl in school. She has the coolest friends, the hottest boyfriend, the trendiest clothes, and the hippest parents
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 14th 2006 by Candlewick Press
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Community Reviews

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Continuing my completist reading of Cecil Castellucci's novels. The Queen of Cool is her second after Boy Proof.

I didn't love this one as much but it has highlights. Libby Brin is #1 popular girl at school. She is spoiled at home: even when she rarely gets grounded, she gets out of it. She has her own car, a huge wardrobe, and all the requisite toys. Her boyfriend's mind resides in a lower body organ than his brain or heart.

She lives in Los Angeles and (highlight) s
Aug 31, 2009 Adele rated it liked it
Cecil Castellucci is an author that had only recently bleeped on the Persnickety Snark radar via the fantastic Beige. Queen of Cool falls into a trio of novels that Castelucci fondly calls her LA Trilogy though the books are independent of one another bar setting and girls realising they aren’t who they thought they were.
Castellucci is an author that is easy to gravitate and attach yourself to. She’s brilliant at telling contemporary fish-out-of-water teen tales. Considerably shorter than Beige,
I bumped this book up to the top of my to-read list because of a recent complaint from a library patron. She confiscated it from her 13-year-old because it has a hand job and the word f--k 3 times in the first few chapters. But other than that, I found this book pretty tame compared to what else is out there for the YA set. There's no explicit descriptions of sexual acts, just references to them, and the f-word doesn't show up again until almost the end of the book. The book's plot centers aroun ...more
Sara Grochowski
Sep 17, 2009 Sara Grochowski rated it really liked it
This book has been sitting on my shelf since 2006 - and I'm not even sure where I got it from. It is slim book and I totally forgot about it even being on the bookshelf until I was going through books to take with me when I move downstate. I found this one right next to Boy Proof, Castellucci's first novel, and was intrigued by the summary on the book. It helped that this book is pretty short, but I completely devoured this book. I had forgotten how much I loved Castellucci's writing and story t ...more
Emma (eem3)
Dec 05, 2012 Emma (eem3) rated it really liked it
The Queen of Cool is a realistic fiction novel. Libby Brin. She is the most popular girl, the best clothes, the hottest boyfriend , and the hippest friends. Even though Libby has the most easygoing parents. She is dying of boredom. Then, one day she surprises everyone, including herself. She signs up for a internship at the Los Angles Zoo. Her friends start to think she is becoming a loser because Libby becomes friends with Tina (aka "Tiny"), and Sheldon. Libby realizes that the Zoo is more fun ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Jocelyn rated it did not like it
This book is horrible. It is all about getting drunk underage and cursing and boyfriends cheating on girlfriends and that sort of stuff. in one part of the book the parents by beer for libby and her friends, even though they're all under 21. seriously, don't waste your time trying to read this. it took me a few hours when i could have been doing something productive. to the author: why even bother to write a book like this?

Mar 25, 2009 Rio rated it did not like it
While a quick read, a day tops, "The Queen of Cool" characters have little redeeming qualities or personalities. Libby Brin, the hippest in her school and looked up to by many, soon becomes bored with the label and self-destructive. Inappopriate sexual acts, excessive drinking, and a lack of concern for anybody's feelings make her quite unlikeable. Castelluci tries to make this self-absorbed teen a bit more rounded by tossing in a zoo internship, entirely out of character, but the main character ...more
Nov 30, 2014 Audryaunna rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Audryaunna by: Annie
Shelves: ya-books
Awesome. This book is about Libby Brin who is the all around cool girl. She has the top line friends, fashion, boyfriend, but something more is missing. Libby group of friends is the wrong crowd. They make fun of a girl named Tina. Libby is a B student she gets whatever she wants from her father even when her mother disapproves. She she thinks she has everything until she signs up for an internship for the local zoo. She ends up working with Tina and Sheldon who, by her standards are losers. (vi ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Celeste rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I actually did not like this book as much as I wanted to like it. I didn't like the writing style or the main character. I know she's supposed to be this stuck up popular girl but I never really felt like she really changed or learned much. I guess she learned something but I'm sure she's still the judgmental popular girl that will always judge people even if it's not to their face. Even the other characters such as Tina were not likeable and judgmental themselves even if not outright. I just di ...more
Lauren Kapral
Dec 17, 2015 Lauren Kapral rated it liked it
Lauren Kapral #16

Libby is the queen of the school. She's got it all and is the most popular girl in school. When Libby finds herself bored and doesn't see where her life is taking her, she decides to work at a zoo. Not only does she take on this 'dirty' job, but she works with two of the most unpopular kids in school. Her friends begin to look down at her, and she is left to make a decision. Libby is forced to choose between her life at the zoo or her title as queen.

I have mixed emotions about t
Apr 30, 2014 Daysia rated it liked it

In the book Queen Of Cool by Cecile Castellucci. Libby Brin is the queen of the school, her life isnt very interesting until and she decides to change that by doing the unexpected.

The book shows how many high schools deal with drugs, sex and drama. Libby's life begins to change when she signs up for an internship. Her partners are not what she expected but she soon realizes there not as bad as she thought.Her friends don't approve of her new vision in life. They use the queen bee of the school a
Apr 09, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it
I felt like this book was made for 13 year olds who have sticks up their butts. In this book, the main girl was very snobby. And not very smart. She becomes friends with new people, but that's it. Not that great of a moral. Or a storyline. She goes to work at a zoo. Whoop de doop. Not very good. I suggest this book for pre-teens. I mean, it could seem really bad to me because i'm 17, and i'm not young enough to think this is a really cool book, but whatever. I didn't like it.
Jun 15, 2014 Carien rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
After reading Tin Star and Boy Proof, I wanted more, so I picked up The Queen of Cool.

Just as Boy Proof, this story is about finding out who you are and where you belong. But instead of Libby being someone on the outside, trying to fit in, she is part of the popular crowd. I found it refreshing to read how a teen who outwardly seems to have it all, is so full of questions and doubts.

I loved reading how Libby starts to realize that popularity isn't everything, and that the important thing is to b
Jul 13, 2014 Brooklyn rated it did not like it
I got this book thinking 'hey this'll be a good book to read in my spare time" but I was soooooooo wrong. This book was so gross and inappropriate for my taste. Some people may like this book but I kind of hated most of it. I liked certain tiny parts but other then that it was down the drain.
Jun 18, 2008 Emily rated it liked it
Libby is one of the popular kids at school, but she's dissatisfied, bored of everything including her popular friends and her own popularity. On a whim, she signs up for an internship at the zoo, where she is mortified to be working with an astronomy nerd (who wants to be an exobiologist) and a little person, Tina ("Tiny"), who her group has always mocked.

This book has what I love from Cecil Castellucci: the conviction that teenagers can be awesome people when they have goals and useful things
Sep 09, 2010 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-and-younger, 2010
Remember back in the high school days of what you thought cool was and those who were considered cool did you ever wonder about them or what they did or what problems they may have faced in life? Libby Brin is the cool girl. She has a wild character, panache and even seems courageous. Her life seems free from too much attention from parents or even teachers. She seems as if she could do or have anything in her life without major consequences.
Yet, life isn't always so carefree for her, inside of
Ringo The Cat
Jan 06, 2012 Ringo The Cat rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, young-adult
The Queen of Cool is one of Cecil Castellucci’s three LA-novels. Just like Boy Proof and Beige, it is set in Los Angeles, and follows a particular ‘scene’ in the city of Angels. This time, the angle is more science-related as the main character decided to do an internship at the Los Angeles Zoo, in an attempt to change her life(style) and find what’s lacking in her life.

Libby Brin is an IT-girl. She has the coolest friends, she throws the greatest parties, she is a natural born leader at her loc
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Dena Landon for

Libby Brin is the popular girl. She has the right friends, the right clothes, and goes to all the right parties. Where she leads, the school follows, from "pencil day" to "funny walk day." But she's hiding a deep, dark secret. She's bored. No matter what she does, she doesn't feel alive. Which might explain the temporary insanity that causes her to sign up for an the zoo. When she's assigned to a team with two of the biggest losers in s
Feb 16, 2008 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome-ya
I HEART CECIL CASTELLUCCI! I love this book. Libby's cool clique rules the school, but Libby is bored out of her mind. She signs up for a zoo internship to stop her mind from unraveling, meets different people, and finds a way to get away from the zombies.

"There are these crabs in the ocean," I begin. "They get into a fisherman's net, and they're too stupid to get out. They just can't figure it out. But every once in a while, one crab figures out how to escape, and the other crabs go crazy and p
Feb 27, 2014 Eden rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I kind-of-loved this book - WAIT! Scratch that! I absolutely adored this book! I thought it was pretty funny , and a nice way to finish my reading goal... Yep, I finished yesterday, or the day before, I honestly can't remember. And now I have to make a new one. Less than 40, but higher than 25. Man, I have a lot more time on my hands than I think.
Anyway , back to the point... *mentally slaps myself* I thought this book was interesting. I lately realized I have a habit of judging books by i
Jan 13, 2014 Su rated it liked it
I started reading this book quite casually and didn't really expect anything out of it. I didn't read any review prior to it either. But turned out I liked it.

It started off as a little bit boring. I thought it was just another fluffy teen fiction where the characters thought they were just too cool to care about anything. It also started that way with Libby and her friends; they were the cool crowd, they started the new trends in school, they hated everything else and Libby was always bored. I
Kimberly Hirsh
Aug 02, 2009 Kimberly Hirsh rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It surprised me in many ways. I'd never read anything by Cecil Castellucci before, but I know a bit about her (I almost interviewed her once, then decided I couldn't take the time to do the interview justice) and expected her main characters to be kind of hipstery thrift shoppers with cool glasses and entertainingly affected speech patterns. You know, the kind of people I like to have as friends. Instead, I found out that the Queen of Cool was ACTUALLY, you know, cool ...more
McKenzie Richardson
Nov 16, 2014 McKenzie Richardson rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book was surprisingly good.

I think I bought this book when I was in middle school and it has been sitting on my shelf untouched since. Now I finally got around to reading it and it was amazing. From the plot summary, it sounds like just another teenage reform story, but it is so much more.

It's a quick read but definitely worth it. Castellucci delves into the lives of teenagers and touches on issues that aren't expressed as often in books for teens, like feeling depressed or trying to
Jul 14, 2012 Alex added it
Recommends it for: Bored &/or Depressed Teenagers (as they could relate)
Shelves: coming-of-age
I spent a very long time reading this book but that's no fault of the author or the book or anything like that. It wasn't hard to get through and really I've found to really relate to Libby, the main character in the book.
Even though I was never really the most popular kid in school this book sort of has given me a renewed realization of the fact that really, it shouldn't matter how cool your friends are. Just that they're real friends to you. That you enjoy being around them and trust them.
Aug 26, 2015 Sherrie rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading this book. It's light and fast read. It also reminds you of your adolescence. Did you ever feel like Libby? Were you a popular person? I was one of those people that the cool kids made fun of. So this book gave me a different perspective. Libby is bored but not sure what to do to change things. She finally figures it all out.
Feb 22, 2016 Sophie rated it really liked it
Shelves: faves, teenager
I can't tell you how many times I've read this book. It's a quick and easy read, but despite that, it manages to be relatable, which is what always seems to keep me coming back.
The main character and protagonist, Libby, a high school student, is basically bored as hell with her friends and her life in general. She doesn't want to hang out with them, but she doesn't want to bother with any of the undesirables, either, even though she knows she's smarter and more determined than her normal "cool"
Jan 31, 2014 Krysta rated it it was amazing
It was a good book. Learned some stuff i should think about for myself. Would totally read it again if i had the chance. She talks about how she doesn't feel like she belongs with some of her friends anymore. So she takes on an internship and she decideds she likes the people she is working with. Soon after she quits being friends with her "old" friends and starts hanging out with her new friends.
Anna Bendewald
Jun 01, 2016 Anna Bendewald rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly loved this story of Libby and her journey from popular spiritually empty girl to how she grows up, learns what's important and actually Now the book is being voraciously read by my teenaged daughters who are fans of Ms. Castellucci as well.
Jan 16, 2012 Zhen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-2012
"The Queen of Cool" by Cecil Castellucci is a fantastic story about a popular teen named Libby who signs up for an internship at the zoo when she signed her name because she was bored.So she decided to look for something to do. Until she did, she couldn't believe it. Only two names were on the list and one of them were hers and another teen called Tina also known as Tiny because she is very short and small. Compared to Tiny Libby was a very popular girl until when they were posted together as a ...more
Aug 12, 2010 bjneary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, realistic-fiction
I have read and loved all of Cecil Castellucci's books and graphic novels and this book is no exception. Castellucci's Libby Brin is the coolest, cutest girl in her school but she keeps feeling like she is bored, restless, and I thought, at times, depressed. She has potential, could get good grades but instead she decides to take an internship at a zoo and is partnered with a fellow classmate that she makes fun of with her friends in school. As she takes notes with Tina/Tiny and low talker, Shel ...more
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Cecil Castellucci is an author of young adult novels and comic books. Titles include Boy Proof, The Year of the Beasts (illustrated by Nate Powell), First Day on Earth, Rose Sees Red, Beige, The Queen of Cool The Plain Janes and Janes in Love (illustrated by Jim Rugg), Tin Star Stone in the Sky, Odd Duck (illustrated by Sara Varon) and Star Wars: Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure.

Her short
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“Weekday morning routine:
Take shower.
Assemble perfect outfit.
Apply makeup.
Pull hair into bun. Secure with glitter pencils.
Accept twenty-dollar bill from Dad.
Pick up latte and creamy chocolate brioche from cafe.
Drive to school the long way.
Listen to sad music way too loud.
Nab choice parking spot under tree.”
“The parental units take no notice of me as I make my leave. They are too busy having a discussion.” 0 likes
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