From Publishers Weekly
Jones and Miley are journalists and Milton Academy graduates who dig deep into the recent sex scandal at the prestigious Massachusetts prep school, focusing claustrophobically on seven classmates (four female, three male) over the course of their 2004–2005 senior year of high school. All seven are well liked, accomplished and pressured by their families. Eagerly subscribing to an intricate hierarchy of cliques among the Pryce Girls (named for a popular boarding dorm), the Day Student Girls and the most desirable boys, the seven are also stunningly sexual. At parties laced with alcohol and drugs, the girls engage in sexual play to gain popularity points and maybe a boyfriend. The authors catalogue a numbing litany of such hookups over the year, culminating in the revelation of a 15-year-old student's sexual encounter with five older boys in the locker room. The discovery led to the boys' expulsion and national publicity, but the real shame revealed in these puerile chronicles is the degree to which bored rich youth struggle to mimic the behavior of adults. (Sept.)
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In 2005, a student sex scandal marred the reputation of Milton Academy, an elite prep school located near Boston. Rather than focusing on the specifics of the incident, the authors, both Milton alums, try for a broader view of the school's sexual culture in this intimate account that follows a handful of seniors through their academic year. Bystanders to the scandal rather than participants, the profiled students face the ubiquitous concerns of privileged teens: college applications; the difficulties of balancing extracurricular activities, social life, and academics. What may seem startling, though, are the politics of the students' casual hook-ups and the language both sexes use to describe their attitudes and encounters. The unfocused narrative is weakened further by excessive detail that's often more mundane than revealing. Still, the authors, who base their telling on extensive personal interviews with their subjects, emerge with an honest portrait of contemporary teen sexual life that may prompt discussions across generational lines. For more insight into the sexual pressures affecting young adults, suggest Deborah Toman's Dilemmas of Desire (2002). Engberg, Gillian