Saturday, July 3, 2010

Book Review: Private (Private #1)

Title: Private (Private #1)
Author: Kate Brian
Publisher: Simon+Schuster
Page Total: 227 pages
Date read: May 10th, 2010
Genre(s): Young-Adult

Reviewed by Ginny

Where I come from everything is gray. The bland, square strip malls. The water in the lake at the center of town. Even the sunlight has a murky quality.

Reed Brennan, a fifteen-year-old poor girl from a cracked-up family arrives at the elite-private school Easton Academy, so she can escape her mom who takes pills every day and who depresses her to no end. But once arrived, Reed notices that it is not as she thought it would be; at her old school, her grades were perfect. Now she is struggling not to get an F. She hoped she would find friends here, and she would do everything to be accepted by the Billings Girls, the most beautiful, intelligent and intensely confident girls at Easton, whose members are mainly Noelle, Ariana, Kiran and Taylor.

Actually, I didn’t like this book very much until I recently had the chance to re-read it. When I first read the book, I thought the heroine -Reed- was weak and pathetic, the plot somehow annoying yet quite addictive and I despised the Billings Girls. But now that I know the whole story (I’ve read the first four books in this series), I notice small things I hadn’t before, and while it’s true that Reed is self-conscious, let others easily influence her and can’t make up her mind, I also sort of understand her loneliness and her longing to belong to the famous BG. If you can get past the sometimes annoying narrator, you might like this book.
I really enjoyed the school stuff, like ‘morning services’ (it’s not a Catholic school), lunch time, succor practice and Reed’s struggle to keep up with others. The story took an unexpected turn after another, and the relationship between Reed and Thomas was, well, unexpected as well. Not the relationship itself, but how it developed.

4 Kisses!


“Hmmmm… tough schedule. We have a smarty on our hands.”
“Not really.”
“And modest, too. You’re one of those girls, aren’t you?”
“What girls?”
“Those girls who are smart but pretend they’re not. Those girls who are absolutely model-level gorgeous but are always saying they’re ugly. Those girls whose very existence tortures all the other self-esteem-lacking girls around her.”
“I guess that makes you one of those obnoxious guys who thinks he knows everything and is so full of himself that he’s convinced that everyone around him wants to hear his every last unoriginal thought.”
He grinned. “Got me pegged.”

“How were the rest of your classes?” she asked sympathetically.
Translation: “I already know history sucked. Did it get any better?”
Answer: Definitely not.

“Aren’t you going to study?” I asked.
“Remember what Noelle said about me having done the whole semester’s work?” Taylor said.
I nodded.
“She wasn’t kidding.”


Hawk said...

I liked how you come out and say, I didn't like th book the first time. I'm very curious as to what your Kisses rating was after your inital thoughts?

Yes, sometimes books about HS can be annoying. I mean actually going to HS was annoying. Although, some days I would love to go back and start all over again.

Great review, it was so unexpected.

Jen the bibliophile said...

I hated high school with a fervent passion. So, it's funny that I should enjoy so many books that take place in high school. I think it's because I am trying to see that someone got off better than me possibly. I wish I could go back and do it again only because I KNOW so much more than I ever did about what is important and what isn't.

I have this on my TBR, but now I don't know... I'm not a fan of weak females in books, but I can definitely feel for the lonely girl. What to do?

Hawk said...

I am also drawn tithe strong female character. However, I must admit it can also be wonderful to watch a chacter develop and come into their own skin.

Zakiya the Booknerd said...

Good review Ginny! Have been wanting to read this series for sooo long! Lols :)

Ginny said...

Um, sorry to disappoint you, Lyss and Jen, but Reed hardly makes any progress of coming into their own skin, in my opinion. Sometimes she steels herself to be more strong, but the second she sees the Billings Girls, she gives up. But if you can see past the weak-heroine part, the book is pretty okay.

@Zakiya: Thanks!

Anonymous said...

i agree with you gin, after reading this i didnt know if i would read the rest of the series but since you say it gets better i will

Ginny said...

I know! I'm still debating if I should read the rest of the series (I got the boxed set, so the first four books were given, but the rest?) And, uh... did I say that? That it gets better? *scratches head*

Anonymous said...

But now that I know the whole story (I’ve read the first four books in this series), I notice small things I hadn’t before, and while it’s true that Reed is self-conscious, let (...)

okay so its not the same thing, oops

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