The Ashleys is a book series by Melissa de la Cruz about three girls all named Ashley. They rule Miss Gamble's Preporatory School for girls with a (manicured) iron fist. Ashley Spencer is top dog, Ashley "A.A." Alioto is the tomboy and Ashley "LiLi" Li is the Asian and Nerdy girl being raised by her Education Mama. Enter Lauren, whose family suddenly becomes rich when her fathers new site Yourtv takes off. She decides to take down the Ashleys and 'free' the rest of the school from their power.Unfortunately, Lauren is an Ashley at heart with few redeeming qualities and she finds herself trying not to take them down, but trying to fit in and becoming more like them. And while she's still trying to take the Ashley's out, her plan becomes less 'to free the school' and more 'so I can rule it'.Not to be confused with the other Ashleys (though they're very snobby as well).
The series contains the following books:
- There's a New Name In Town
- Birthday Vicious
- Lip Gloss Jungle
This series exhibits the following tropes:
Note: For reference, Ashley Spencer will be referred to as Ashley, Ashley Li as LiLi and Ashley Alioto as A.A.
- Achilles' Heel: Ashley and nuts.
- All There in the Manual: THE END tells the story of the girls after the series, well... ends.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Ashley's Mothernote and Fathernote
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking and Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Almost always whenever in Ashley's perspective these two tropes come up.
- Art Shift: The book covers change from Silouhettes of the Ashleys and Lauren on a coloured background to a live action image for Lip Gloss Jungle. The original covers for books 1-3 were also redone in this style.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Ashley, LiLi and Lauren treat this like a sport.
- Disproportionate Retribution: LiLi goes camping without her parents permission with some Reed Prep kids, it is pretty bad, but her parents then put her under house arrest (During the school year) and cut her off from the rest of the world for a week afterwards.
- Education Mama: Lili's mom, Nancy Khan. Also known as 'Gengis Khan'.
- Emo Teen: Max, Jezebel and the rest of the Reed Prep kids. It's 'arty'.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: After Lauren joins, Lili is Melancholic, Ashley is Choleric, A.A. is Phlegmatic and Lauren is Sanguine.
- Gamer Chick: Averted with A.A., she might be a girl but it's never really brought or made a fuss of.
- Heel–Face Turn: Ashley Spencer after she's shipped off to Boarding School.
- High-School Dance: Middle school dance, the first book.
- Idiot Ball: Lauren, all the time. Especially when her idiocy actually manages to create The S Society, which makes her original plan much more complicated.
- Informed Ability: Lauren's apparent intelligence, Lauren's niceness (She calls her dad a computer geek from book 1, she considered hanging out with an asthmatic girl torture), A.A.'s spaciness (She's much more perceptive than Ashley and LiLi half the time)
- Jerk Ass: Ashley, Lauren and LiLi. Sadie too at the end of Birthday Vicious onward.
- Karma Houdini: Lauren, she two times Christian in Birthday Vicious and he forgives her in about two chapters while Alex suddenly becomes gross and undateable. Averted in Lip Gloss Jungle.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Lauren loses all her money in the Recession after becoming more of a bitch that all the Ashley's combined.
- Long-Distance Relationship: A.A. and Tri, post-series.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Lauren's reaction to Sadie's new personality, that she caused.
- Naïve Everygirl: Lauren before the first book.
- Out-Gambitted: You'd think Lauren would quit trying to play with the Ashleys by now. Especially since her plans tend to explode in her face if the Ashleys don't out gambit her.
- Reality Show: Preteen Queen from Jealous.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ashley and LiLi, respectively
- Remember the New Guy: Sadie was apparently friends with Lauren when she was younger up to fourth grade, she is never mentioned in the flashbacks to fourth grade in There's a New Name In Town.
- Status Quo Is God: What the Ashleys are trying to create at Miss Gable's.
- Ten Minutes in the Closet: Mentioned but averted with LiLi, then played straight with A.A. and Tri.
- Two-Timer Date: Lauren of all people with Christian and Alex for the entirety of Jealous and the first half of Birthday Vicious.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: A.A. for Tri in Jealous, Ashley helped. Then zig-zagged in Birthday Vicious when Tri tells A.A. he loves her and A.A. still has to think about it. They eventually get married after an on-again off-again relationship.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Ashley and LiLi
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Ashley and LiLi from Jealous onwards.