BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Prep School Confidential

Average Rating 4.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Prep School

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
Book One of the Prep School Confidential series
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley




Summary (from Good...
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
Book One of the Prep School Confidential series
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley




Summary (from Goodreads):




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 could 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.




What I Liked:




Oh how I liked this book! I seriously did not expect to like it as much as I did. I mean, I didn't expect NOT to like it, but I didn't think I would like it this much. You know what I mean? I usually don't like the Nancy Drew thing, and definitely not Gossip Girl. I never enjoyed that show. Anyway.




I love books set in boarding school! Examples are Haven by Kristi Cook, Night School by C.J. Daugherty, Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin, etc. I was pleased to see that Anne was sent to boarding school (though she was not!). Anne basically set her school on fire while doing naughty things with a guy she shouldn't be around, and so her fancy parents ship her off to an even fancier boarding school.




Reading the summary, I was kind of meh. I get board easily when it comes to whodunit novels, because usually, the author takes you around and around and then drops you back to where you started. I know that sounds really vague, but basically, I hate wondering about who did it and what happened, especially when I can figure it out pretty quickly.




Well. In this novel, I could NOT figure out who was at fault quickly. There are always ideas as to who might be at fault and who definitely had a role to play in Isabella's murder, but the ending was shocking! The person, the reasons, and everything that followed the Big Confession... everything was a surprise to me! I like how Ms. Taylor kept readers guessing constantly, but not in such a way that readers would get bored.




I love the depth of the characterization in this book. I go from completely hating Anne to really liking her. In the beginning, I just wanted to punch her in the face, because she acts so stupid and rich and spoiled and stuck up. By the end, she definitely has more backbone and better judgment.




There is a love triangle in this book, but it didn't bother me that much, which was nice. I kind of didn't care which boy Anne liked more. Brent is the golden boy of the boarding school, and we meet him first. Anthony is Isabella's brother, and we meet him towards the middle of the book. Anthony is definitely more rough and dangerously appealing than Brent, but Brent is sweet and level-headed. I'll let you figure out who she chose.




Like I said before, the author did a great job of keeping readers guessing. The plot kept me interested, as their was something happening at every turn of the page.I was never bored during this book! And the ending is nice, but it leaves room for more books (which is why this is book one of a series). I can't wait to read the next installments in this series!




What I Did Not Like:




I think I really wanted more from the romance on both sides. Anne ends up with this one guy, but I didn't feel the chemistry or romance between them. I really felt the chemistry between Anne and the other guy, but that's not who she chose in the end. I think that the author played up the guy who Anne chose, and made their relationship seem like it was full of romance, but it wasn't.




I have no idea if that makes sense. Basically, the chemistry between Anne and the rejected guy was better than the intended chemistry (and romance) between Anne and the chosen guy. Which bothered me, because I know that the author intended readers to see the chemistry and romance between Anne and the chosen guy. I just didn't feel it.




Also, I know I said that I liked the progression of characterization of Anne, but I need to mention this. I almost stopped reading this book at the very first chapter. I disliked Anne from the very beginning that much. Granted, I did end up liking her. But gosh. I wanted to punch her in the face or stop reading in the first chapter. That's not a good sign. Not everyone has a rule against DNFing.




Would I Recommend It:




I totally would! To contemporary lovers, this is something you should definitely pick up. I can't say that hardcore science fiction or paranormal lovers will like this one, but give it a try if you see it around. 




Rating:




4 stars. A fine debut, Ms. Taylor! I hope to read the next books in this series as soon as possible.

posted by Alyssa75 on July 30, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Anne Dowling took me back to school. I walked the halls with my

Anne Dowling took me back to school. I walked the halls with my teenage self, only in this reincarnation I had more money and an attitude to match. I may have even been a practicing pyromaniac with a chip on my shoulder, neither of which occurred during my formative yea...
Anne Dowling took me back to school. I walked the halls with my teenage self, only in this reincarnation I had more money and an attitude to match. I may have even been a practicing pyromaniac with a chip on my shoulder, neither of which occurred during my formative years. But both of which helped define Anne's character, along with the Boston setting. A universe which felt real to me, and which I thoroughly enjoyed, since I spent a couple of years meandering through Boston's cobblestone streets, soaking in history and culture and seafood and listening to accents much different than my own, accents which had a different cadence and rhythm and appreciation for language.

Anne proved a rather enjoyable character for me, despite her arsonist tendencies and well-defined swagger, even going so far as to meet trouble head-on rather than run from it. Youthful naiveté certainly helped her immensely in these situations, but she took responsibility for her actions, something many adults routinely shy away from faster than an introvert asked to present a speech in front of a football stadium-sized audience.

The mystery proved interesting and intriguing enough to hold my attention, but it was the youthful voice that offered more promise than a charm bracelet. The antagonist proved simpler than I would have liked, but like all high schools, even the preppy and prestigious ones, this world was filled with backpacks and Skechers and dating and social hierarchies and sagas and solutions and dorm rooms and roommates named Isabella, who may not be who they seem to be, and a senator's daughter who is in serious need of an attitude adjustment.

So, in many ways PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL resembled life, just a simpler, more controlled, and drama filled one. And, in the end, I was perfectly okay with that.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Robert Downs
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

posted by RobertDowns on July 30, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted July 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Prep School

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***




    Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor
    Book One of the Prep School Confidential series
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Publication Date: July 30, 2013
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: eARC from NetGalley




    Summary (from Goodreads):




    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 could 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.




    What I Liked:




    Oh how I liked this book! I seriously did not expect to like it as much as I did. I mean, I didn't expect NOT to like it, but I didn't think I would like it this much. You know what I mean? I usually don't like the Nancy Drew thing, and definitely not Gossip Girl. I never enjoyed that show. Anyway.




    I love books set in boarding school! Examples are Haven by Kristi Cook, Night School by C.J. Daugherty, Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin, etc. I was pleased to see that Anne was sent to boarding school (though she was not!). Anne basically set her school on fire while doing naughty things with a guy she shouldn't be around, and so her fancy parents ship her off to an even fancier boarding school.




    Reading the summary, I was kind of meh. I get board easily when it comes to whodunit novels, because usually, the author takes you around and around and then drops you back to where you started. I know that sounds really vague, but basically, I hate wondering about who did it and what happened, especially when I can figure it out pretty quickly.




    Well. In this novel, I could NOT figure out who was at fault quickly. There are always ideas as to who might be at fault and who definitely had a role to play in Isabella's murder, but the ending was shocking! The person, the reasons, and everything that followed the Big Confession... everything was a surprise to me! I like how Ms. Taylor kept readers guessing constantly, but not in such a way that readers would get bored.




    I love the depth of the characterization in this book. I go from completely hating Anne to really liking her. In the beginning, I just wanted to punch her in the face, because she acts so stupid and rich and spoiled and stuck up. By the end, she definitely has more backbone and better judgment.




    There is a love triangle in this book, but it didn't bother me that much, which was nice. I kind of didn't care which boy Anne liked more. Brent is the golden boy of the boarding school, and we meet him first. Anthony is Isabella's brother, and we meet him towards the middle of the book. Anthony is definitely more rough and dangerously appealing than Brent, but Brent is sweet and level-headed. I'll let you figure out who she chose.




    Like I said before, the author did a great job of keeping readers guessing. The plot kept me interested, as their was something happening at every turn of the page.I was never bored during this book! And the ending is nice, but it leaves room for more books (which is why this is book one of a series). I can't wait to read the next installments in this series!




    What I Did Not Like:




    I think I really wanted more from the romance on both sides. Anne ends up with this one guy, but I didn't feel the chemistry or romance between them. I really felt the chemistry between Anne and the other guy, but that's not who she chose in the end. I think that the author played up the guy who Anne chose, and made their relationship seem like it was full of romance, but it wasn't.




    I have no idea if that makes sense. Basically, the chemistry between Anne and the rejected guy was better than the intended chemistry (and romance) between Anne and the chosen guy. Which bothered me, because I know that the author intended readers to see the chemistry and romance between Anne and the chosen guy. I just didn't feel it.




    Also, I know I said that I liked the progression of characterization of Anne, but I need to mention this. I almost stopped reading this book at the very first chapter. I disliked Anne from the very beginning that much. Granted, I did end up liking her. But gosh. I wanted to punch her in the face or stop reading in the first chapter. That's not a good sign. Not everyone has a rule against DNFing.




    Would I Recommend It:




    I totally would! To contemporary lovers, this is something you should definitely pick up. I can't say that hardcore science fiction or paranormal lovers will like this one, but give it a try if you see it around. 




    Rating:




    4 stars. A fine debut, Ms. Taylor! I hope to read the next books in this series as soon as possible.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2013

    When I signed up for this tour, I thought this would be a light

    When I signed up for this tour, I thought this would be a light contemporary with some suspense. When I read the first chapter I was afraid it was going to be a book I wasn't going to finish because of the direction it seemed to be going (language, innuendo, a spoiled rich girl...). I was pleased and surprised that things change when Anne moves to the Wheatley School. The book turned out to not be so light either.

    What makes this a little bit of a heavier read is that the characters aren't exactly what they seem. I didn't like Anne at first from my first impression of her. It's when she moves to Wheatley and you really see inside her head, that my perception changed. She is actually very smart, can be quite sweet, isn't a bully and stands up for herself and others. I also liked the two guys she is attracted to, although I wasn't sure if she could trust them at first. I wasn't really sure of anyone through the first half of the book until I figured out who the murderer was. Then I just had to wait for Anne to figure it out, which she didn't until towards the end. Even though I knew who the villain was, the ending still surprised me. I also liked that the romance wasn't the focal point. Of course it played a large role, but Anne was more focused on figuring out what was going on and who killed her roommate.

    The head and teachers of the school really annoyed me. I rather dislike it when individuals try to cover something up because it would look bad for their reputations and, in this case, their school. I was glad that Anne was trying to figure things out, although I wish she would have told her dad what was going on and what she had found instead of thinking she could handle everything on her own. Thank goodness she has a few friends, one of which made quite a big difference. There were a couple of intense moments, especially at the story's conclusion.

    By the end I was completely invested in the story and the characters, who were each interesting with their own stories and roles. I couldn't put this down because I needed to find out what was going to happen. There also was another mystery that I know Anne will delve into that I'm assuming will be the focal point of the next book. She is going to be messing with some pretty powerful figures and I'm really curious to find out what will happen.

    If you enjoy reading YA Contemporary Suspense, then I would definitely recommend this!


    Content: Some language, violence, innuendo, and brief making out.
    Source: Copy from tour host, which did not affect my review in any way.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2013

    Prep School Confidential was a solid debut. I thought it was wel

    Prep School Confidential was a solid debut. I thought it was well-written and there was never a dull moment, especially after Isabella's murder. The mystery was really well-done--it was very twisty with a lot of potential suspects because it seemed a lot of people have some motivation of killing Isabella. The mystery involved a lot secrets that needed to be uncovered, a web of lies that needed to be untangled, secret tunnels, lock picking and a lot of sneaking and snooping. I enjoyed trying to piece together the clues with Anne.
    Anne herself was such a darling of a character. I really liked her. Trouble kind of follows her around and she's a bit of a screw up but she was smart, charming, tenacious and doesn't really let anything stop her from finding out who killed Isabella.
    It was said in the description that this novel "reads" like Gossip Girl. Not so much--do not let that description dissuade you from picking up Prep School Confidential. I dislike the Gossip Girl books because of all the annoying rich brats and over the top mean girl behaviors, plus all the annoying brand name dropping. Yeah, there's hardly any of that in Prep School Confidential. Only Alexis, the Queen Bee wannabe mean girl, and her friends displayed some cattiness towards Anne but there was nothing over the top about their behavior. The other popular students were nice and friendly enough--they did seem to want to elevate Anne as their new Queen Bee though and I didn't quite understand their motivation behind that.
    My biggest issue with Prep School Confidential was the love triangle. I'm not a fan of love triangles in general but the type in this novel was the most frustrating kind. Anne vacillated between preppy good boy Brent and motorcycle riding bad boy Anthony throughout the novel and couldn't settle on one over the other. Both guys had their faults but were equally dreamy for different reasons so I understand Anne's indecisiveness but it was still very frustrating! Urgh! Love triangles are so frustrating! There was no clear "winner" by the end of this book but I really hope the love triangle and Anne's whole I-can't-make-a-decision-because-they're-both-so-cute isn't dragged out through the entire series.
    Overall, Prep School Confidential was a very entertaining read. I flew through the pages and stayed way past my bedtime because I couldn't stop reading. I loved working through the very tangled mystery along with Anne and, with the exception of her wishy-washy-ness when it came to the boys, I loved Anne's character. I highly recommend this book to fans of Nancy Drew mysteries, the Liar Society series (Roecker), Deadly Cool series (Halliday) and to those who like reading YA mysteries in general. I am really looking forward to reading book two, Wicked Little Secrets.
    **Originally posted on Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks book blog.**

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2013

    Prep school confidential was my first attempt at reading a conte

    Prep school confidential was my first attempt at reading a contemporary young adult novel. It came with a package deal of murder mystery and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a dense mystery with lots of clues and many plausible suspects that made it hard to put down.




    The main character Anne was real as in I don’t love her but I also don’t hate her because of the choices she had to make. She was neither white or black and I love nuanced characters like her. I especially loved her stubbornness which was her main drive through all the dangerous and heart breaking situations she had to handle.




    The mystery will hit you hard. At least it did to me. I was shocked just as much as Anne was. Then I watched her make her way through solving the murder by compiling clues like a pyramid.




    The setting was ok. I definitely got the prep school feel but since I’ve never been to NY City or Boston I can’t say much about those.




    Another part of the story was the romance. I think it was done pretty well. Anne’s struggle between two guys was real even though it’s not my cup of tea. I believe Anthony gave up too fast but who knows maybe he really didn’t?




    There were a bit too many secondary characters for all of them to be memorable but since this was just the beginning of Anne’s adventures at the Wheatley School I expect to see more of those characters.




    In all, the murder mystery was very well written and Anne was a character who absolutely stood off the page right from the start. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    I need a bf or else...¿.....

    Give me a bf!!!!!! Or no 5 stars.!?

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Kanjii

    Hello? Anyone here

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    lil... *sigh* u fell asleep huh..  oh well.. :/

    lil... *sigh* u fell asleep huh..  oh well.. :/

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1