Posts Tagged 'elite'

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Teddy Crutcher is an English teacher at an elite prep school where money talks and appearances definitely matter. Whenever he feels a student is spoiled or entitled he often tries to find a way to take him or her down a peg and in his mind he is actually helping the student to learn that not everything in life can be bought. Enter Zach Ward, a rich and entitled student with very demanding parents who cannot handle their son not getting straight As in order to set up his entire future. Zach isn’t as worried about his grades as his parents are, but he definitely isn’t used to teachers not liking him and believing every word he says so he starts to keep a closer eye on Mr. Crutcher. Then, during a party at the school a very overbearing mom suddenly drops dead during the speeches. Everyone is shocked to learn that she was actually poisoned, but was it murder or an accident? Was she even the intended target? Soon, everyone at school is alarmed and the growing chaos leads to more gossip and false leads. Sadly, it also leads to more unfortunate incidents at the school that leaves everyone, including police, reeling and struggling to make sense of it. Who is trying to hurt people at this school and is it random or calculated?

In a place where everyone has secrets it can be hard to expose others without your own getting revealed. This story follows several different characters who all have connections to the Belmont Academy and their motivations are quickly revealed, as well as how far they will go to get what they want. The students and staff all feel superior to others in their own way and believe they deserve everything they want. Many are truly surprised when things do not work out as planned. The set up of this school is incredibly believable as students are more competitive than ever to get into prestigious colleges so they can enter enviable careers. It’s not hard to imagine how much tension there can be in an environment where everyone has such lofty goals. Teddy’s motivations are revealed quickly, but several other characters are concealing shady secrets of their own to the point that it’s hard to know who to root for. Fans of crime fiction and true crime podcasts will enjoy this title as it creates an eerie but realistic vibe.

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 433 p.

RAC Book: Yes

This story takes place in Manhattan in 1899. Although, it takes place a long time ago it is still relevant to many issues students deal with today such as dating, popularity, clothes, money, scandals, and friendship.

Elizabeth Holland is a very beautiful girl who comes from an elite family. Her and her sister, Diana, rule the social circles of the time. Elizabeth surprises herself by falling in love with the stable boy. She comes to terms with this, but must choose between being with him or saving her family from ruin. Diana finds herself attracted to Henry Schoonmaker, which causes a problem because he is engaged to someone very close to her. Plus, another major player in the social circuit, Penelope, has set her sights on Henry and will do anything to get him.

This story takes the reader inside the social circuits of 1899 Manhattan and does not disappoint with twists and scandals throughout the story. There were some aspects that seemed a bit predictable and superfluous, however. For example, there were some characters that did not seem to have a purpose. Also, the ending and what actually happens to the characters is left somewhat open ended and it is unrealistic that everything works out perfectly. There could still be a lot of deception and trickery brewing before these characters reach the end of their story.  Readers who enjoy Gossip Girl will be fans of this book.


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