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Posted May 20, 2009
Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for TeensReadToo.com
INITIATION, the debut offering by Susan Fine, follows Mauricio Londono through his first year at St. Stephens School for Boys. Mauricio, newly graduated, looks back and tells how he survived his first year. The cover of the book has a tie made into a noose on it. I know a lot of people who have gone to prep schools and from what I hear, the prep school arena is, in many aspects, survival of the fittest. Just as the GOSSIP GIRL series has drawn in the female reader, this book will draw in the male reader.
High school can be tough. You've got academic pressure and, of course, you have to deal with social issues as well. It can be the best time of your life or it can be the worst.
For Mauricio, the new boy at St. Stephens, it is a little bit of both. There is definite awkwardness as he navigates the hallways, classrooms, and social hierarchy of the school. He, as both the new kid and a freshman, is basically on the bottom rung. Mauricio learns very quickly that St. Stephens School for Boys is a very affluent school and rules that apply to most of the free world don't always apply to the boys here. Drugs, drinking, and casual hookups is nothing unusual.
These boys, most of whom have known each other from the time they were in cribs, have their own set of rules and their own agendas. They have no problem setting people up and watching them fall. If scheming was offered as a course, I am sure that most of the boys at St. Stephens would pass with flying colors. They have the means and the intelligence. Technology allows these kids to take schemes to higher levels.
For most of the book, Mauricio is in awe of the people who fall into the "haves" category. The huge apartments, summers in the Hamptons, jet-setting to this country or that country has a certain allure - especially when your upbringing is not even remotely on the same plane. Even though Mauricio doesn't want to get sucked into all the drama that unfolds around him, he can't help it since his raging hormones and heart's desire - Elizabeth - is smack dab in the middle of it.
The question is, will he walk away unscathed and getting what he wants, or will he fall victim to the cruel games many teens at times play?
After reading this book, all of sudden public school is a lot more desirable.
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Posted September 12, 2009