Enroll in this boarding school thriller about a group of prep school elites who would kill to get into the college of their dreams...literally.
"The Plastics meet the Heathers in this murder mystery about ruthless Ivy League ambition." -Kirkus Reviews
Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I'm one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions...among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it's deadly.
Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn't an extracurricular.
Every year, the best colleges admit only a few graduates each from prestigious Massachusetts boarding school Claflin Academy. White scholarship student Olivia Winters lacks the means and connections of other Claflin seniors, which is why she joined the Ivies a group of five girls, three white, one Black, and one Korean American, all willing to sabotage their peers to help one another secure Ivy League acceptance. Per a rule established by founder and Harvard hopeful Avery Montfort, no two Ivies can target the same institution from the consortium of eight. But the true extent of the clique's cutthroat nature is exposed when fellow Ivy and purported Brown applicant Emma Russo gets accepted early decision to Harvard, and Avery is rejected. Shortly thereafter, someone murders Emma. Budding journalist Olivia resolves to discover the culprit not least because Avery will eventually discover that supposed Penn applicant Olivia also received a Harvard acceptance. Quick pacing, dark humor, and deftly drawn characters distinguish this satirical thriller from Donne (The Stars We Steal). Myriad twists and Olivia's keen detective work propel the mystery to a cynical, gratifying close. Ages 14 up. \n
Wonderful and breezy
The last chapter tied up this book perfectly and it was such a page turner that I read it in one day. I was always trying to figure out what would happen next! Although I predicted some of the outcomes beforehand, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing; there are tropes for a reason and Donne definitely delivered (and exceeded in some cases) expectations!
One last comment on the voice of the main character: it seemed a lot like the persona that Donne uses on her YouTube channel, and I could not help but to hear it in her voice as I read. Not a bad thing, but I thought it was important to note.
Bear in mind that I only leave 5 star reviews for books I intend to read again. Wonderful, breezy thrillers don’t tend to hit that mark. So keep that in mind :)
Best Admissions Scandal plot yet
When I say this was good, I mean GOOD. When I started the book I was a little worried I just wasn’t going to be into it and that it was little too much like Gossip Girl. But, it was Gossip Girl and then some! As soon as I got about 30% into the book and past the college early decision process I was hooked.
The college admissions scandal has been the inspiration for a lot of novels, but this was the first time I felt like it was done right. No one was likable in this book except maybe Olivia our main character - I found myself rooting for. Not just because she was a scholarship student, but because she was trying to figure out how to play the game and do the least amount of damage.
There was scandal after scandal in this book and no one was innocent. I thought I knew who the murderer was for most of the book, then I thought I really knew who did it, and then I realized I definitely did not. With everyone being a suspect and so many red herrings I was guessing until the end.
I thought it was a good book. It was refreshing to read something with a little different plot. I kept the turn the pages because I wanted to find out what would happen next. The one thing I thought that was a little strange was the killer’s motive for the murder.