A clash between boarding school rivals becomes a platform for a thought-provoking, in-depth dual character study.
Caitlin finds herself suddenly moved from Manhattan to a posh boarding school in England when her parents divorce. There, shy Caitlin admires the beautiful, brilliant Stella, who rules the school with her posse of five friends, the Stars. When she banishes one of her Stars for a minor infraction, she invites Caitlin to join her exclusive group. Popular for the first time in her life, Caitlin begins to wonder if she might beat out Stella for the coveted position of Head Girl, a position Stella intends to claim as if by right. As the girls clash, Eve delves into their personalities, revealing secrets and hidden talents, along with hidden flaws. As Stella remembers her beloved older sister’s death, Caitlin must decide if she will abandon her pursuit of Head Girl in order to return to New York to see her beloved little brother. The decisions each makes regarding boys, sex, fashion and friendship may alter readers’ initial perceptions of the girls. The author makes deliberate reference to Great Expectations, writing Stella as a modern-day Estella, taught to break hearts. This time, however, the focus falls on the effect of that upbringing on Stella instead of on the boys she targets.
A fizzy, fashionable, schoolgirl rivalry with depth. (Fiction. 12 & up)