From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up–Reed Brennan is nervous as she begins her sophomore year as a transfer student at prestigious Easton Academy. All of the other students are richer than she could ever believe, and she immediately finds that she's in way over her head academically. She determines that she'll do anything to keep from flunking out and going back to her dreary home. Reed aspires to be just like the beautiful and brilliant girls who live in the luxurious Billings dorm, but she has little hope of ever being accepted into that elite crowd. Somehow, though, she edges in and barely notices their cruelty because she's so grateful to be tossed the crumbs of their kindness. Although her experiences could have resulted in nine months of insight, the teen doesn't seem to make much progress in understanding herself or the larger world around her. The story has major gaps in plot development and background. Too many elements are left hanging or unexplained, such as why Reed can't empathize at all with her mother's pain-killer addiction following a long-ago accident, her lack of a relationship with her brother, her oddly unemotional loss of virginity, and any sort of character development in the Billings girls. Readers might feel as if they've missed the first 10 minutes of a 30-minute TV show, and the ending is choppy and unsatisfying. Steer readers to Brian's earlier (and better-written) titles.–Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY
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