Author: Brendan Kiely
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.
Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social codes behind. She wants freedom, but ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends are determined to keep her in place.
Jamie Baxter feels like an imposter at Fullbrook, but the hockey scholarship that got him in has given him a chance to escape his past and fulfill the dreams of his parents and coaches, whose mantra rings in his ears: Don’t disappoint us.
When Jamie and Jules meet, they recognize in each other a similar instinct for survival, but at a school where girls in the student handbook are rated by their looks, athletes stack hockey pucks in dorm room windows like notches on a bedpost, and school-sponsored dances push first year girls out into the night with senior boys, the stakes for safe sex, real love, and true friendship couldn’t be higher.
As Jules and Jamie’s lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and remain silent about the school’s secrets intensify, they see Fullbrook for what it really is. That tradition, a word Fullbrook hides behind, can be ugly, even violent. Ultimately, Jules and Jamie are faced with the difficult question: can they stand together against classmates—and an institution—who believe they can do no wrong?
This story started a little slow but picked up in the middle. The one good thing about the slow beginning was that it really introduced the characters. By the time the main incident happened, I felt like I really knew who they were.
I really liked that there was a hook at the beginning, which took place right after the main party, so it encouraged me to keep reading. It just took a while to get to that point. Once the incident in Part 2 happened, the story flew by.
The characters were great and they had quite unique backgrounds. Jules was an outcast at school because she promotes women’s health. However, the year before she was dating one of the most popular guys in school. Jamie on the other hand is new to the school. He got a full scholarship to the school after he had to leave his public school.
The traditions of the school were disrupted by real life. The winning hockey team was disrupted by a violent player, and Jules’ life was disrupted by the assault at the party. Both Jules and Jamie had to fit in with the traditions of this private school, but still maintain their modern lives.
This is a great young adult novel.
About the Author:
Living a Hundred Lives– Review
Literary Meanderings– Q&A
Confessions of a YA Reader– Review
YA/NA Book Divas– Review & Favorite Quotes