Written by: Kate Brian
Released: June 27, 2006 by Simon Pulse
Summary: 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.
I don’t like Reed.
There, I said it, may the backlash commence.
Ok, it’s not that I particularly hated her, I just thought that she was a bit of a jerk who was using anyone to get what she wanted even though she didn’t particularly earn it at all. Honestly, I think it’s because I read the Privilege books first (excluding the final novel which comes out this summer) and I really have come to like Ariana and her completely insane brain. Maybe in comparison Reed is just too annoying and the previous idea from Ariana’s head that Reed is horrible.
That being said, I think that I’m going to enjoy this series even though I know some major spoilers already – like that happened to Thomas at the end of this novel.
It was interesting to see the characters from a different perspective that was previously established in the Privilege series and I think that I may have rethought my stance on which to read first. While I don’t think it’s going to really take away anything from these books by reading Privilege before Private, it would be nice going into Private with a sense of unknowing. Still, I don’t regret reading Privilege first.
Overall, I think that this is a 6/10. My dislike for Reed brings the mark way down but the intrigue that’s building saves it a little. Thankfully I have the next five books all ready to read, so I hope that it get better as they progress, especially after the arc with Ariana is completed. After that I’ll be in the dark and won’t know what’s coming.