A murder among Manhattan's swanky prep-school set forms the premise for this rather disappointing debut novel by Giberga....

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FRIENDS TO DIE FOR

A murder among Manhattan's swanky prep-school set forms the premise for this rather disappointing debut novel by Giberga. Cristina Garcia-Vasquez is a teen queen who carries an honor's load of classes at her exclusive but demanding private school, plays the lead in its production of The Merchant of Venice, dates soccer player Brian, and accepts the doting of her loving parents. It's the stuff of high-school fantasies, until a girl who is at a party Crissy attends is brutally murdered later that evening. While Crissy's narrative voice recounts events at an authentically breakneck speed, and with a slightly spoiled, jejune air, readers will never quite believe that the world she describes is contemporary upper-crust New York City. Giberga uses few genuine names and places, leading to bland descriptions that could be drawn from any US city; similarly, little in the language or manners of her likable cast of characters conveys a genuine life of privilege. One incredible subplot hangs on the notion that Crissy's mother's decision to become a stay-at-home mom is newsworthy enough for television coverage; in the meantime, Crissy's days are so full that the murder and its repercussions don't have much emotional impact. Those who were hoping for starry nights of excess among Manhattan's elite will be better off renting Whit Stillman's Metropolitan or nabbing Linda Wolfe's Wasted (1989), on the Robert Chambers ""preppie murder"" case, off the adult shelves.

Pub Date: July 1, 1997

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 230

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1997