Release Date: May 1, 2009
...I had no idea what could come of packing all those boys into one school building...how the competition would play out in relentless insults, the constant sorting out that went on every day, all day, to determine who was okay and who was worthless. The halls of St. Stephen's reek of money, secrets, and desperation. Competition to be top dog at the Manhattan private school is fierce. But Mauricio Londoño—Latino, middle-class, and new to the brutality of prep school life—just wants to survive ninth grade. Apartments the size of a city block...Vacations in the Hamptons... Being near all this extravagance, intellect, and beauty is a thrill. But navigating their sparkling world is another story. When two warring freshmen use the Web as a weapon, Mauricio gets burned in the online crossfire and learns firsthand how the privileged don't always play by the rules. (From Amazon)
Character Development: 6/10
Total Score: 33
-It never got me hooked. That was the problem. The writing was gorgeous and for a person who can read a book purely based on the writing then this book would be great but for me I need more relatability. It had great descriptions and metaphors and “flow” but it never really got me hooked and like I said above that’s what made it such a problem. The voice lacked a certain emotion or relatability. I’m thinking that this was probably because I’m not a boy and this novel was written in the male perspective but what throws that idea out is that I’ve read other books in a guy’s perspective and those didn’t bother me a bit.
-Another reason may be because the story is kind of old – “Poor middle class” kid goes to a “rich” school and is shocked at their power and privileges. To me there wasn’t a really unique spin that made it new and got me interested. It wasn’t boring per se because there was a plot but ½ the book was fantasies of Mauricio and his victim of love stalking. Elizabeth. Again I’m not a guy so I don’t think like one. Therefore I don’t want to read stuff like that either. But of course that was part of the character and I doubt it could be left out without taking it away from the character.
-OK now let me make this clear right now—Susan Fine is a GREAT author. I’m not trying to bash her. Just her book. And there is a huge difference. Trust me. And it wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t the one for me because I can’t read a book without a relatable voice. So to sum it up this is a book to check out if you are looking for great writing but not necessarily a fast read, great plot, or (if you’re a girl) much to relate to.
-I still recommend this book though just not as one that you have to go out and get right this second because it’s such a must read. I would describe it as “put-downable”. It was written with intensity and all about hierarchies and such so if you are into that I totally recommend this book. I just didn’t like it.
P.S. Can you tell I hate writing bad reviews? I tried to avoid it as best I could because I want y’all to remember (as if y’all don’t already know) just because I’m not a fan doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book. Opinions differ. So challenge me and read this book. See if you can prove my review wrong.