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Back in Black is the 5th guilty pleasure in this witty series that takes readers behind the scenes of the intoxicating world of Hollywood glitterati.
It's time for the Beverly Hills High senior class trip to Washington, D.C. But every year the reigning A-List call in sick and do their own trip to Vegas, baby, Vegas. Anna joins Cammie, Adam, Sam, Dee, and Parker on the Vegas trip to the uber-hip Palms Hotel and Casino. During a hypnosis show on The Trip, the group is hypnotized into telling the truth. Dee is confronted with just how whack-o she's become and Adam and Cammie are forced to confess their forbidden lusty secrets. When Anna's oldest and best friend from NYC, Cyn, and Anna's long-time adolescent crush, Scott, show up in Vegas too, Anna finds out just how dangerous telling the truth can be.
This debut novel may be just the ticket for Gossip Girls fans. Perennial good girl Anna Percy ("Anna had yet to do one truly nasty thing") moves from New York City to her father's mansion in Los Angeles determined to reinvent herself. Things seem to be going well when the 17-year-old meets and makes out with handsome Princeton student Ben Birnbaum on the plane. Even better, he invites her to the New Years Eve wedding that night of a famous actor, Jackson Sharpe. But when her father fails to pick her up at the airport, Anna's new glamorous life takes a downward turn, made much worse when she meets Ben's nasty friends at the wedding. Covering a four-day period, the author cycles through various perspectives, from Anna to Ben's friends, including Jackson Sharpe's insecure daughter Sam, and Sam's friends, cruel Cammie and ditsy Dee, all of whom secretly attempt to land Ben for their own. Readers will likely be caught up in the glamorous world created here, full of fancy cars, decadent parties and designer clothes (Sam has designer's assistants "to help with the selection process"). But, while Dean raises some intriguing plot points (Why did Ben abandon Anna on his father's yacht? Why is a former child prodigy now driving Anna's father's car? Will Anna's sister check herself out of rehab?), the audience may be frustrated by all the loose ends that point strongly to a sequel, if only by way of explanation. Ages 15-up.