Monday, September 26, 2011

What Is It About Prep School?

Is it the uniforms, the beautiful people, the stuffy history?  Or is it simply the thrill of being let into a private world, which we could never enter in real life, where the characters are filthy, filthy rich?  Here are some great books about prep school.

1) Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Gossip Girl as a vampire novel.  Amongst the elite students at a private school in an Upper East Side townhouse, an even more elite group exists: vampires who trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower, and before that to the rebel angels who were expelled from heaven.

2) My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid
Chanti, the narrator of this novel, is a scholarship student who is shocked by the excess of wealth and possessions she sees amongst her classmates rather than reveling in it.  Her outsider status makes her an easy scapegoat to take the blame for a number of thefts that have occurred at the school.  But unfortunately for the real criminals, Chanti is the daughter of the cop and is determined to use her own prodigious detective skills to clear her name.

3) The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
This novel kicks off when the main character gets an email from her best friend, who has been dead for a year.  The email insists that her death was not an accident.  Over the course of her investigation, the main character encounters hidden Latin messages, secret societies, and a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top!  Basically, everything you want in a book about prep school.

4)   The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
When I was in high school, it seemed like the people I knew who went to small private schools started dating early, and then by high school had ended up all dating each other in a very incestuous Melrose Place-type way.  This book, with it's rules for dating at a small school, just confirms my suspicions that I might have gone on more than one date in high school if I had gone to a small private school.  Ah well.

5) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Does boarding school count as prep school?  Feel free to educate me in the comments.  But know that I was determined to include this series in my prep school list because I love any book that features a strong, tough female lead who doesn't sell out her best friend for the guy she likes.  Hooray for Rose!

6) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
The mother of all prep school novels.  Or at least, the queen of my heart.  Frankie encounters an all-male secret society and ends up covertly controlling them.  Although this book is set is prep school, it is less about wealth and more about the power and gender dynamics of our society, as Frankie wonders why, despite her intellect, boys don't respect her the same way they respect one another.

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