Kate Brian’s fish-out-of-water Private takes place at the elite boarding school Easton Academy. 15-year-old Reed Brennan gets into this privileged world because of her scholarly and athletic accomplishments but feels outclassed and overshadowed by her wealthier and more glamorous classmates.
Reed, voiced in an appealingly candid tone by Cassandra Campbell, longs to be accepted by the most beautiful and savviest girls at Easton, the ones who live in the Billings dorm. At first, she is willing to do anything to be accepted by these girls. Once she gets to know them, she learns that they’ve got secrets that can be exploited.
Campbell excels in her characterization of Reed, capturing both her naiveté and her sardonic humor.
Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in. Until she meets the Billings Girls. They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.
Reed uses every part of herself---the good, the bad, and the beautiful---to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private.
©2006 Kate Brian; (P)2009 Tantor
The books idea was good. I liked the idea of going to a private school and then having something exclusive you wanted to work for. I did not like how the main character let herself be used and abused by the popular girls she was dying to be friends with. She had many normal girls wanting to be her friend but instead she wanted to be popular at any cost. She made lots of dumb decisions and in the end got what she wanted but I don't think it was what would really make her happy.
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