Published: July 30th 2013
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Rating: 4.5/5 STARS
In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.
Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.
When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.
This was a huge a lovely surprise for me. I was totally not expecting this amazing story. When I first read the blurb and it compared it to Gossip Girl, I was expecting a bitchy protagonist and catty dialogue. What I got with Prep School Confidential instead was a fast paced murder mystery and a sassy protagonist who was actually a nice person!
Anne Dowling gets transplanted to The Wheatley School in Boston after she has an accidental case of arson at her previous prep school in NYC. One of the only genuine friends she makes at The Wheatley School is her roommate Isabella. During her first week at school, Isabella is murdered and Anne is the only person who is willing to speak up and stand up for Isabella, when the rest of the school is strangely silent, and give her the justice she deserves by trying to find her murderer.
The mystery seriously had me going until the very end. I could not figure out who did it until Taylor literally wanted me to figure it out. Anne was whip smart and determined, and it kept the pacing of the book fast and intense. There were moments where I was nervous, excited and just as determined to find out who dunnit as Anne. Prep School Confidential was incredibly unpredictable. One second I was believing it was one person, and two pages later it was someone else. I literally felt like I could trust no one in this book, and by the end I was completely blown away. Taylor didn’t write a book about a boarding school with a casual murder thrown in, she wrote a book that was all about the murder and mystery, that just so happened to be at a gorgeous and old boarding school full of secrets.
I think my favourite part about this book was Anne herself. She was such a refreshing YA female protagonist to read about and she kept me on my toes. She took risks that were stupid at times and always incredibly daring, and she didn’t back down, even when she was threatened. She stuck by her morals, despite the social hierarchy of high school (and boarding school no less) and wouldn’t stop until she proved the truth. The school covered up a lot of stuff, and she wouldn’t put up with it.
The romance in Prep School Confidential bothered me a little bit, because there was a wee bit of a love triangle, but I didn’t let it stop me from loving everything else. I had my guy I was rooting for and I just kind of let the other one slide.
I am a huge sucker for boarding school books! They just always suck me in with their intrigue, dynamics and usually deception, and that was especially the case once a murder was thrown in. I am so excited for Wicked Little Secrets and the next mystery of The Wheatley School that Anne Dowling will get herself mixed up with!
Have you read Prep School Confidential? If so, let me know what you thought below! And if not, go pick it up!