Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kate Brian – Private (4/5)

Series: Private #1


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Genre: YA Chick-lit

This is the book for you if you like:

- Boarding school stories

- Stories about popularity

Summary: (from author’s website)

Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible
Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.
Until she meets the Billings Girls.
They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.
Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private.

Thoughts on covers:

I’m actually not a big fan of any of these covers (Dutch, original cover, new cover). The new, golden cover is definitely wrong for this book. It speaks of glamour and self-confidence, and those things are not what this book is about. I think if I had to chose, I’d pick the Dutch cover.


Same goes for the title; not a big fan. It’s too generic. I didn’t pick this up because of either the title or the cover (it was with my recommendations), and I don’t think I would’ve given this another glance if I wasn’t looking for it.


I like Reed. I hadn’t expected to like her, because she’s the prototype of the I want to be popular girl. I think what makes her different is that Reed, no matter how much she wants to be a Billings girl, has lines that she just won’t cross.

The Billings girl are all pretty mysterious and they all kinda look alike to me. It’s hard to pick someone out to like.

I really didn’t like Thomas, though I guess that was the point.


Private is set at private school Easton Academy, a big campus with different buildings for the students. Every building has its own reputation.

General story:

(I read this book in Dutch translation)

What attracted me most to this story was Brian’s writing style. Her description are vivid – I’m not even a very visual person, but it was fantastically easy to see the world Brian has painted.

This is a popularity story. While I’m a fan of boarding school stories, I usually can’t stand the idea that not being popular is the worst thing that can happen to someone. But what makes this popularity story different was that, to me, this group of girls isn’t all bad. Yes, they can be mean and cruel, but I can see why Reed is attracted to them. Brian does a really good job of describing the atmosphere that they carry with them. It makes it easy to see why Reed is sucked into this spiral of desperately wanting to impress them, while keeping her own identity.

Will I read the other instalments in this series?


Overall rating: 4/5

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