Author: Kate Brian (Pseudonym of Kieran Scott)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Seriously, do I even have to talk about this series anymore? The first book had me hooked, but my library didn't have any more, so I had to stop reading them. HOWEVER. My lovely friend has most of the series (and the spin-off, mostly) so I am IN BUSINESS with my obsession of this amazing brain candy. Candy, I tell you! Killing, secrets, boarding schools, and Mean Girls-like paranoia. It's better than real life!
Okay. Calm down, John. Try and review this normally. Review four books at a time, since one book is fairly short and you don't want to give much plot summary for each one (lazy, but hey...) Instead, you want to fanboy and focus on the drama and quality of said drama. So go at it. Private. Book one. Yeah.
Reed Brennan is a smart, savvy soccer player that's been accepted into an elite prep school in Pennsylvania for her sophomore year. Ivy League is just around the corner if she can survive the courses, and it's supposed to be one of the best schools in the country. But she feels out of place. Every other student there has designer handbags, rich and famous parents, and still manages to be smarter than the average teenager. Adding in a scholarship student who gets most of her clothes from Wal-Mart, and you don't get a balanced equation.
However, there is a way for Reed to get in at Easton. The Billings girls. Noelle, Ariana, Taylor, and Kiran. They are the best of the best. A leader, a poet, an intellectual genius, and a model for all of the hottest clothing designs. Billings dorm as a whole is the best thing about Easton. Billings graduates have everything. Famous, world-changing novelists, politicians, and CEOs have come out of that dorm, and Reed needs to do whatever she can to get in and become friends with the most powerful clique of girls at Easton.
Invitation Only picks up where Private leaves off, giving Reed major boyfriend drama and officially letting her in the Billings house. Unfortunately, she's pretty much the maid. And she is being forced upon a gentlemanly boy named Whit. Except she still likes Thomas. Maybe. Whit's not her thing, anyway, and she really does not want to date him. She also rooms with Natasha, who seems to have quite the large grudge against her. Things only get more dramatic from there.
Untouchable deals even more with Thomas...this time in a less living form (take that for what you will). Reed is also having feelings for Josh, who used to be Thomas' roommate. Natshya and Reed are finally working on being friends, and life at Billings isn't completely stinking anymore. That is, until Taylor starts having issues and acts out more than Reed. Even she can get over Thomas' unfortunate state, but why would Taylor be so high strung? It seems the Billings girls are keeping even more secrets than before.
These books are ADDICTING plot-intense fests of AWESOME. Don't expect anything of an amazingly high literary caliber, because these are in the vein of Sara Shepard and Anna Godbersen. Fun stories with sex and lies and a lot more realism (okay, and some not) than anything else. Yes, it may be a bit ridiculous, but these are guilty pleasure reads worth your time and energy. Now, if only my friend could FINALLY get me the next book. Starving here. Since plot is key, up there is pretty much the chunk of it you'd want.
Oh, and the characters alternate between annoying and addicting. You'll get their motives, even if they are a bit shallow, because they do synch up well with a lot of (scary) teenage fantasies. At least there are lesbians and stuff. I mean, there are series that would never even touch on that and drinking or smoking. Not that they are all that and a bag of chips, but at least Kate Brian isn't going to shy away from the truth in here. Plus, I just like knowing that there are indeed lesbians in the world. YA makes that hard to notice sometimes.
How did that turn into a story about the mysterious YA lesbian character? I don't know. Will save that for a future post. So...read them. Enjoy them. Don't expect anything outstanding, but they are crack like all the same. Pure. Crack.
Covers: Love that they are all different yet uniform. Like these more than the new ones. Nothing amazing, but pretty much show what the books will be like.
Rating: 3.5 Stars to 4 Stars (Some are better than others, folks)
Copies: Borrowed from Friend (Thanks friend of mine!)