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Better Than Yesterday [Kindle Edition]

Robyn Schneider
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

At the elite Hilliard Preparatory School, the competition is fierce, the gossip is worse, and Blake Dorsey has just arrived back on campus after an unexplained two-year absence.

Skylar Banks has a hunch Blake's in trouble. Skylar's the most likely candidate for valedictorian, but she's no stranger to tricky situations herself. She's got a reputation for taking her relationships straight from JV to varsity, and that rep is about to catch up with her.

Charley Morton doesn't have time for Blake's problems—not if he plans to get into Harvard like his parents expect, or to win over his dream girl (a.k.a. Skylar). But then Blake takes off for New York City, and Charley, Skylar, and her roommate, Marissa, have no choice but to risk their perfect transcripts to find him. It's a journey that will change the way they see each other— and themselves—forever.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—This story of four friends who are attending summer session before senior year at their New England boarding school is told by Skylar and Charley, in alternating chapters. Hilliard is known for sending its graduates to top colleges, and the pressure to excel is sometimes overwhelming. Charley struggles to be the student his parents expect him to be. Skylar, who has a "scandalous" reputation, is senior honoree. Marissa, her roommate, is on scholarship and a lover of fantasy and sci-fi who doesn't quite fit in. Blake, who has returned after a two-year absence, seems darker and on a path of self-destruction. Charley and Skylar flirt with romance; Blake disappears, and the others jeopardize their class rankings by heading to New York to find him. The beginning of the novel is overstuffed with raw language, drug use and smoking, and sexual references, which diminish as the book progresses. Skylar's voice is similarly uneven. At first, she talks in asides and lists, and then she becomes more readable and less shallow. Charley is endearing and the most well-developed character. His passion is music, and his rebellion against his parents' desire for him will have readers cheering. Blake's dark side and meltdown are never fully explained, and his story is wrapped up too neatly. Marissa is an underdeveloped figure. Literary references appear throughout. Readers who enjoy Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown) may like this title, but wait for the paperback.—Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Imagine the Gossip Girl books set during summer school, with fewer characters and a more serious bent. In her debut novel, Schneider, a student at Barnard College, captures the pressure-cooker atmosphere of prep school and delivers realistic teen thoughts and dialogue. After Blake, a fellow student with a troubled past, disappears to New York, Skylar and Charley, the two top students at Hilliard Preparatory School, follow, believing that they need to rescue him. As they search through the glamorous, young party circuit in Manhattan, they gain new insights into themselves and their relationships. Schneider includes lots of references to sexual activity and drinking, and, like the Gossip Girls books, the designer labels and pop-culture references will ultimately date this title. This is a fun, fast read, though, filled with characters who prove that money can't buy happiness. References to classic literature, including cleverly titled chapters, may inspire readers to seek out the original texts. Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 177 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385733461
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (August 12, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,408 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too March 29, 2007
Four friends together again in summer session at boarding school. Can you even imagine the adventures?

Skylar, Marissa, Charley, and Blake are seventeen. It's the summer before their senior year. They are moving into Hilliard Preparatory School for the summer session. They spent summer session their freshman year together and are hoping to relive those great times.

However, things have changed. Skylar regrets her freshman experience learning about "love" from Blake's older brother, Kyle. It wasn't really a boost for her reputation. Charley's always had a crush on Skylar, but figured it was hands-off because of Blake. Blake's parents have recently shocked him by announcing the news that they've lost their fortune. Marissa, as Skylar's conservative roommate, is about to risk it all to save another.

It's a learning experience for everyone. There's learning about real love and the bonds of friendship. There's discovering the courage to stand up for what one believes, even if that means defying the wishes and dreams of parents. All four characters live life to the fullest during this last summer together. Despite their crazy and often unwise adventures, their story is filled with positive life lessons many teen readers will relate to and many adult readers will remember.

Robyn Schneider has written a winner. Her characters are believable even if you didn't attend boarding school. She entertains with typical high-risk teen behavior, but she adds the important lessons we all want to communicate to our children. Readers should definitely give Schneider a try and be on the lookout for what she serves up next.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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45 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As Dull As Ditchwater February 24, 2007
I think Robyn has done herself a tremendous disservice with her website and her unabashed display of general immature conceitedness. However I gave her the benefit of the doubt and bought the book. It is literally like something, someone in High School would write, in other words save your pennies and read something more a telephone directory.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cliched, Teen, Overdone March 24, 2010
By Rae
I read a lot, and this was just another cliche book about overprivileged teenagers. It was entertaining and amusing, but not extremely well written and has a very simple plot. It's about four teenagers who were best friends when they were freshmen, and reunite as seniors, only to discover that one of them has changed an awful lot. When this friend, who has become a sort of "bad boy" runs away, the other unite on an adventure in New York City to find him. This book was just okay. I think that if you are a fan of Gossip Girl and Private, then you will like it, however it is not nearly as good, and the plot is not nearly as well thought out.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious July 18, 2011
By Anita
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book, as I thought it would be a more intelligent read than it was. The dialog is badly written and the characters are simply unbelievable. There is also something of a conceited tone to the author's voice that sullies the entire reading experience. While the concept was a good one, the execution of it was a failure. Two thumbs down.
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More About the Author

Robyn Schneider is a writer, actor, and online personality who misspent her youth in a town coincidentally similar to Eastwood. Robyn is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she studied medical ethics. She lives in Los Angeles, California, but also on the internet. You can watch her vlogs at and follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

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Robyn Schneider comes across as arrogant
I'm really going to have to agree with you. To me, it seems like she's incredibly conceited. I know others may see it as confidence, but I think she's too into herself and it was very much a turn off.
Jan 1, 2007 by C. M. Engelgau |  See all 11 posts
Robyn is very helpful and candid
I think the website is great, very informative! I've enjoyed watching her document the publishing process. It takes a lot of work to get a book published, and I'm grateful that she's given us a glimpse of what it took her.

I have read the book. I thought it was a fun read. It was clever, and I... Read More
Apr 2, 2007 by Kim Peek |  See all 2 posts
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