In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.
Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.
When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.
Hi Amy here! I didn’t read the summary of this book before I started it, but the title caught my attention and the cover looked nice so I thought why not. So at first I thought it was just another boarding school story, like Anna and the French Kiss (don’t get me wrong I love Anna and the French Kiss, it’s one of my favorite books). I was so wrong. It was about a girl at boarding school, but that is the only similarity.
Okay, so the story is about Anne Dowling. She goes to a prep school in New York, St. Bernadette, but gets kicked out because she accidentally set her school’s auditorium on fire. Now, her parents send her to a boarding school.. in Boston! Wheatley is where all the preppy kids from senators go, and Anne’s dad is only a lawyer, so she doesn’t quite fit in. Her roommate Isabella accepts her though, and a clique of other girls hang around with her but only because she’s new and interesting (I mean, Wheatley only accepts 50 students a year, so she’s like a bomb falling from the sky). But then, Isabella’s body is found in the woods. Dead. The police starts an investigation, but that doesn’t satisfy Anne. She goes on a hunt to find Isabella’s killer, all on her own. Well, with the help of two cute guys. I mean, as a hero you need a sidekick right?
Brent and I are sandwiched between two shelves filled with rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. Our chests are pressed together, his rapid heartbeat matching mine. He hasn’t let go of my hand yet. his warm breath on my neck sends sparks all the way to my toes. “That was close,” he whispers. I can barely make out the shape of his face in the dark.
“You’re pretty useful,” I tell him. “I think I’ll keep you around.”
You might not know, but I’m a sucker for spy-like, who’s-done-it books like this, where a bunch of teenagers try to find the bad guy. I’m not quite sure why I do. Maybe because they all seem so smart to figure things out (I mean, I’m not that smart) or brave enough to do so (nope, I ain’t Dauntless). Or the fact they can plan an entire heist (like in Heist Society, damn I love those series. Will do a review of that another time). All that combined, with a badass main character and a cute guy.. well, let’s just say you’re not going to get me off the couch anytime soon then.
Being brave isn’t the same as not being scared, though, it means going through with something even if it totally terrifies you.
Anne is fierce, brave and determined. And she knows how to talk back. The school bitch won’t get to her that easily. And she’s also a bit sarcastic. She calls the girls at Wheatley the Headband Club, and guess why. Yup, they all wear headbands, and Anne hates headbands (I feel a little offended now, since I wear a lot of headbands myself). She wants to get out of Wheatley as soon as possible, because she misses New York, St. Bernadette and her friends. Talking about the latter, you read a couple times that she misses them but only like two times that she’s actually in contact with her best friend back home. Maybe it’s me, but I’d think that if you had moved away you’d talk a lot more to your best friend. Rather like, once a day. Minor detail, though.
I admire Anne for her courage, her loyalty to Isabelle (despite knowing her for only one week) and her determination to find out who the killer is. She has a lot of suspects and even I wasn’t quite sure, even though I was suspecting someone, who it was until the end. Which is good, because it makes you want to keep reading.
Brent looks over at me. “Who do you think did it?” Anyone, I want to say.
Now, let’s talk about those two cute guys. One goes to Wheatley and is Anne’s classmate. His name is Brent and he’s that guy that you are immediately attracted to, but you start out as friends first.. A little like Anna and Etienne now that I think about it. Only a little. The other is Anthony, Isabella’s twin brother. They meet at Isabella’s funeral and after Anthony contacts her about a possible lead for the killer, the ball starts rolling.
I allow myself to breathe, and realize I’m sitting on top of Anthony in a position that’s a little, uh, friendly. I motion to get up, but he puts his hand on my waist. I barely have time to process what the look on his face means before he’s grabbing me. Kissing me.
They are two different guys and Anne is… well, torn between them. And so am I, they both are super cute!
The book ended rather abruptly and I was shocked for a moment until I found out there’s a sequel. Yay for me, I can’t quite deal with open endings. And now I can also find out which guy Anne is going to pick. Overall, I liked this book a lot and I’m glad I picked it up.