Malory Towers meets Gossip Girl meets Twin Peaks. From the very first line of Prep School Confidential I was hooked. It is chatty, snarky and fun.Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
Series: Prep School Confidential #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 30 July 2013
Genres: Suspense, YA Contemporary
Buy on Amazon
In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.
Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn't care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.
When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder
Anne gets expelled from her New York school due to carelessly setting the school on fire. Very reluctantly, she has to go from top of the food chain in her current school to being a newbie in a boarding school outside Boston. And things go from bad to worse when her new roomie ends up dead by the end of her first week.
Anne is the kind of character I love in YA. She is friendly, confident but not cocky, intelligent and her observations made me laugh out loud. Her room mate Isabella who wears socks with the mini-periodic-element tables on them is another character I fell for. Their friendship is tentative but fun, you know that despite their differences they are good for each other.
We have all the usual suspects here in this school setting – the cute boy, the nerds, the bitchy rich girl, the outsider bad boy. I don’t mind this but if you hate clichés this might not be for you. And then for the actual murder case, we have a ton of actual suspects. It was nicely build up and kept me guessing.
Most YA books I’ve read don’t handle the mystery/suspense genre will but this one does. We have lots to confuse us, lots of potential side roads to set us off track. It also helped to build up a bit of a creepy, edge side to the book to balance the fluffy side.
The only part of the book I didn’t really get was how Anne became so popular so quickly with the popular crowd ‘grooming’ her as a new leader. I get that she is likeable and her bad chick reputation helped a bit but it didn’t feel totally believable.
Final impression and who should read this book:
Overall though, I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy books set in preppy boarding school settings, then you need to snap this one up. It delivers and then some.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.