Total: Two stars.
Frankly, the only thing that keeps this review decent and expletive-free is the fact that Carrie and Jill have such detailed writing that I feel like I really am standing in front of Van Pelt Academy in Switzerland.
This story is told in the boring, whiny first-person of Lucy Peterson. God, did I ever want to slap some sense into this so-called “brainiac” and “tennis prodigy.” As someone who plays tennis fairly well, this novel was a disgrace to the sport. It only talks about her games and practices shortly, while anyone who’s every picked up a racquet knows tennis is all about hard work. Every time Lucy serves - ace!
Furthermore, the authors are swimming in well-treaded territory: poor, but kind girl attends posh academy. Interesting, unique concept there! Not only have many authors done this before (Claire in The Clique, Jenny in Gossip Girl, Reed from Private etcetera, etcetera), but Carrie and Jill’s YA debut, “Bittersweet Sixteen,” is almost exactly the same! I have yet to read “Summer Intern,” but I assume it’s alike.
Despite the stellar writing, nothing can pull this story through. The plot has already been perfected by many an author before. Nothing new about this. The main theme is “revenge,” and it gets tedious keeping track of who’s friends and who’s not.
A predictable but happy ending is just what middle-grade readers are looking for. I wouldn’t dare recommend this to anyone a day over fourteen, because it’s very immature and scandal-free.
Again, Kate Brian’s ‘Private’ makes for a much better choice, as does the Social Climber series.