The Education of Hailey Kendrickby Eileen Cook
Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall
Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her. She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.
Suddenly, Hailey's perfect lifeand her reputationare blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped.
They say honesty is the best policybut some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?
* "Hailey may be an A student headed to the Ivy League, but when it comes to taking a chance on life, she’s clueless. She’s also enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read. Yes, it’s chick lit, but of the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat.” Kirkus starred review
"A frothy blend of social politics, keenly felt angst, boarding-school hijinks, and rom-com banter....Cook offers a nice twist on the classic YA discover-of-a-friend's-unrequited-feelings-via-accidental-kiss trope." The Bulletin
Ever since her mom was killed by a drunk driver, Hailey—rich, smart, pretty and popular—has specialized in avoiding risk. Tristan, her boyfriend at their upscale boarding school in Vermont, dotes on her. So why does she risk everything she's worked so hard for on a random impulse? Or is it random? After her dad cancels their long-planned summer together, she's caught vandalizing a statue of the school mascot. Worse, she's seen kissing her partner in crime, and he's not Tristan. When she refuses to divulge his name, not only is Hailey grounded, so are her classmates, and they're not happy about it. Her punishment includes assisting the janitor, Drew, a townie whose perspective rocks her world. (It doesn't hurt that he's also smart and gorgeous.) Hailey may be an A student headed to the Ivy League, but when it comes to taking a chance on life, she's clueless. She's also enormously appealing and great company throughout this breezy read. Yes, it's chick lit, but of the highest quality—like a gourmet truffle. Cook has whipped up a real treat. (Chick lit. 14 & up)
Read an Excerpt
There was a matter of life and death to deal with, and instead we were wasting our time discussing Mandy Gallaway’s crotch. I kept a neutral smile plastered on my face, but my foot bobbed up and down impatiently. More people have seen Mandy Gallaway’s naked crotch than saw last year’s Super Bowl. The girl’s incapable of getting out of a car without flashing the sixty zillion paparazzi that follow her around. The concept of knees together and underwear on isn’t that complicated, which leaves me to believe she likes the sensation of flashbulbs lighting up where the sun isn’t supposed to shine.
Given that her crotch had been photographed more than most supermodels, I failed to see why one online leaked picture of her standing in her gym shorts and a sports bra was causing this much drama. The situation certainly didn’t call for the public flogging and stoning the student body was advocating. All the crowd was missing were some pitchforks and torches, and we could have stormed the town. On the upside, at least people had shown up for our student government meeting, for a change.
The Evesham student body usually had more important things to care about, like planning their next vacation to a private island near the Bahamas, or deciding between another Coach or Louis Vuitton bag. Most of the time the only people who came to our meetings were those of us on the board.
It wasn’t clear what had really happened, but the theory was that a female security guard had snapped the photo of the half-dressed Mandy in the locker room and had sold it to the tabloids. A few people had seen a guard doing her rounds of the gym, and she’d had her cell phone out. Given who attends Evesham, paparazzi is a common problem, but before this incident they’d tended to hang outside the school gates. No one had ever had a picture leaked from inside. This was officially big news on campus.
“We should send her to prison for violating Mandy’s privacy,” Garrett said. His dad is a U.S. Senator; you would think he would have a better idea of how the system works.
“We’re a student government association,” I pointed out. “We don’t actually have the power to sentence anyone to jail time.” I straightened the nameplate on the desk in front of me: HAILEY KENDRICK—VICE PRESIDENT. I managed to avoid pointing out that we barely had the authority to hold a bake sale.
“Whatever. I want her fired,” Mandy said. “Like, today.” She crossed her arms and stuck her chin up into the air.
“We can’t have her fired, either. The school employees all belong to a union. The whole thing is outside of the student government domain. It’s up to the administration.” I considered pulling the copy of the employee union agreement out of my file, but I was pretty sure no one was interested in the details of due process. It wasn’t exactly a big pro-union crowd. I didn’t know why we bothered to have this issue on the agenda at all, except for the fact that everyone wanted to talk about it.
“Really?” Mandy raised one perfectly plucked eyebrow. “If the administration isn’t interested in what students think, maybe I should have my parents give them a call.”
Mandy’s parents had more money than most countries. I was pretty sure they could buy up some small ones—Luxembourg or the Philippines, for example—without even breaking the monthly budget. Her great-grandparents had owned several oil and gas companies and hung out with people like the Vanderbilts. If her parents called the school administration and said jump, people there would start leaping around before even bothering to ask how high.
I looked at the clock. We were going to run out of time. In addition to tackling the safety issue I had hoped to discuss, the council meeting was supposed to be focused on choosing between the two possible themes for our spring formal dance. Any talk of Southern Nights or Old Hollywood had gone out the door when the news about the picture had spread across campus. It was standing room only in the classroom we used for our meetings. No one wanted to miss any hot dirt.
“It totally grosses me out that that dyke took my picture.” Mandy made a face like she had just bitten into month-old cottage cheese.
“Careful,” Joel said. As the president of the student council, he was always sure to enforce the “respect and dignity” clause in the student handbook. “Her sexual orientation isn’t an issue here.”
“God, it’s not a gay thing. I have tons of family friends who are gay,” Mandy said. “‘Dyke’ is just a description.”
It was classic Mandy to make a distinction between okay gay people (those who design houses or clothing, work in Hollywood, or write for the New Yorker) and not okay gay people (women who wear flannel shirts from Walmart.) The real issue wasn’t the fact that the security guard might be gay, it was that she had a cheap haircut and unshaven legs, and had made a few thousand dollars selling an unflattering photo of Mandy. Even the haircut, flannel, and legs might have been forgiven if the photo hadn’t made Mandy’s thighs look a bit chunky.
Joel clapped his hands together to get everyone’s attention. “Hailey is right. This issue doesn’t fall under student government business.” The crowd in the room started to grumble and protest, and Joel held up one hand. “That doesn’t mean we can’t make it our business.”
A cheer went up from the group. Joel was a natural politician. I was certain he would be president of the United States someday. He had written to every living former president and asked them for advice on leadership. He kept the letters he got back in a binder in his room. President Clinton had sent him at least four. Not many people can list a president of the United States as a pen pal.
Joel stood so the people at the back could see him. “Privacy and the ability of everyone to feel safe here at Evesham is critical, and is a value this government is willing to fight to uphold. This isn’t just a boarding school; it’s our home away from home. We go to school here. We live here. We need to feel safe here. I motion that the council write a formal letter to the school administration indicating our concerns and demanding that action be taken. All in favor?”
There was a chorus of cheers and whoops from the crowd. Joel looked at me, and I could see the corner of his mouth twitching as he fought off a smile. He knew we could write all the letters we wanted and the school administration would still do whatever they wanted. However, he’d convinced everyone that he was practically Superman standing up for truth, justice, and the American way. Saving the rich and privileged from unflattering photos. I rolled my eyes at him and pressed my mouth together to avoid smiling. If I gave him any encouragement, there was no telling what he would come up with next.
“We have to have someone second the motion and put it to a vote,” I said.
“Why? Is there some rule?” Garret said. I wanted to smack the smirk right off his face. As a matter of fact, there was a rule. If he wanted the Save the Crotch letter, then there was going to be an official vote. I stared at him with a smile on my face and said nothing.
“I’ll second the motion,” a sophomore girl sitting on the floor said. Joel gave her one of his thousand-watt smiles. Her face flushed bright red, and she let out a high-pitched giggle.
“Great. Now we just need to get a count of all those in favor,” Joel said, and called for a show of hands.
I heard a sound behind me, and I turned to see my boyfriend, Tristan, leaning in the doorway. I held up a finger to let him know it would only be a couple of minutes more. Not surprisingly, no one was opposed to the Save the Crotch letter, and it passed.
“We still need to decide on the theme for the dance,” I said before Joel had a chance to dismiss the meeting.
“What theme do you want?” Tristan called from the doorway.
“I don’t want to influence the vote,” I said.
“I’m thinking you’d go for the Hollywood glamour option,” Tristan said, cocking his head to the side as if he were picking up my brain waves.
“So, are you guessing or making a motion?” Joel asked.
Tristan flipped Joel off, and they both laughed. They’d been roommates since freshman year. As upperclassmen they’d qualified to each get their own room, but they still preferred to share. Tristan found it difficult to trust many people, and he always swore that Joel was more than his friend, that they were brothers. You could tell by looking at them they might be brothers of choice, but they weren’t remotely related. Joel was tall and lanky. He always had to be in motion. I didn’t have a single photo of Joel where his image wasn’t partially blurred. Tristan was the opposite. He seemed unmovable. He was tall too, but broad. One of the first things that had attracted me to him was how solid he appeared. Tristan looked like he could stand straight during a hurricane.
“It’s a motion, Mr. President,” Tristan said with a slight bow.
“Anyone care to second?” Joel called out, and the room filled with hands raised to support Tristan. Joel was the politician, but Tristan was the charmer. It was almost unfair to have that much male charisma in one dorm room. “Great. Now a quick vote. All in favor?” The sea of hands raised again. “Anyone opposed?” He looked around the room, but no one was interested in going against Tristan. Joel looked over at me. “Looks like we have a dance theme. With our business finished, I call this meeting officially to an end.”
Tristan stood next to me while everyone else streamed out of the room. Mandy paused long enough to lean into Joel, pressing her breasts against his chest (there was a running bet that they were fake, which is likely, because no one has breasts that size and that perky, unless they’re filled with a space-age material) and thanking him for standing up for her. Her voice was slightly breathless, as if she were nearly overcome with gratitude. She was acting like he had carried her down twenty-two flights of stairs in a burning building. Both Joel and Tristan turned to watch her stroll out, her hips going back and forth like she was walking across the deck of a listing ship.
“Careful. Your eyes might fall out,” I said.
Tristan looked away, then pulled me close to nuzzle my ear. “The girl can’t hold a candle to you. She’s all flash and glitter. It would be like dating a disco ball.” He looked up at Joel. “You should ask her to the dance. She looks pretty grateful.”
“Oh, so I can have the disco ball. Thanks, man. Your kindness knows no bounds.”
“You need something a little flashy to keep your attention. You get distracted pretty easy. It’s a good thing we’re seniors, because you’re running out of girls to date.”
Joel punched Tristan in the arm, and they jostled around laughing.
“You can do better than Mandy,” I said to Joel while I stuffed papers into my bag.
“I keep trying to convince you to run away with me, but you won’t leave this ape,” Joel said, ducking a headlock from Tristan. Joel darted across the room, hooting like a monkey. Very fourth grade.
“I’m glad we got the dance settled. I was afraid we weren’t going to get to it, ” I said.
“We can put the idea of securing the vending machines on next month’s agenda,” Joel said, raising his hand like he was taking a vow.
Tristan raised an eyebrow at Joel. “Vending machine safety?”
I rolled my eyes at both of them. I was used to being teased about my safety obsession. People could laugh all they wanted. The one thing I knew for sure was that the world was a dangerous and unpredictable place. Smart people do everything they can to eliminate risk. Did you know that more people are killed every year in falling vending machine accidents than in shark attacks? Our school had an entire wall of unsecured vending machines in the lobby of the gym. If someone were crushed to death trying to get a frosty can of Diet Coke, it wouldn’t be my fault. I’d tried to raise the issue.
“Today’s agenda sort of got hijacked. Nothing riles people up like a good scandal and a sense of righteous justice,” Joel said.
“Do you think they’ll fire the security guard?” I asked.
“They shouldn’t. There isn’t any real proof, and if she doesn’t have any other disciplinary notes in her employment file, I’m willing to bet the union rules say they can’t.”
“They should.” Tristan’s voice turned serious. I wasn’t surprised. Having parents with four Oscars between them meant you could have Steven Spielberg as your godfather, but never a moment of privacy. His ninth birthday had been ruined when a photographer had fallen out of a tree onto the pool deck while trying to get a picture of his parents. “You aren’t taking her side, are you?” Tristan asked Joel.
“I’m not taking anyone’s side. Just saying she doesn’t deserve to be burned at the stake until we know what really happened.” He looked over at Tristan. “You don’t have to worry, dude. No one wants a picture of your ugly half-dressed ass.”
“Except you,” Tristan shot back. “I’ve seen how you look at me.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’ll let you guys have some special alone time. I’m supposed to meet up with Kelsie to work on our history project.”
“Hang out with us. We’re going to the café to get some ice cream. What sounds like more fun, ice cream or the Revolutionary War?” Tristan held on to my hand. He rubbed his thumb against the inside of my palm, a move that always gave me
shivers. “Even George Washington would pick mint chocolate chip, and he had freedom on the line.”
“George didn’t have to worry about college applications,” I pointed out, pulling my hand away before how he made me feel distracted me from homework. I was dedicated to getting good grades, but time with Tristan was never a bad thing. I kissed his cheek.
“Fine. Abandon us,” Joel said, grabbing his stuff from the table. “I’m used to you snubbing me, but I’m not sure how he’s going to handle it.”
“I’m sure he can soldier on without me for a few hours.”
“Despite the fact that you’re breaking my heart, I still have amazing news for you,” Tristan said.
“I don’t know if I’m going to tell you,” he said, turning away. “I may be too devastated to talk now.”
I smacked him across the shoulder. “Tell me.”
“It’s going to cost you a kiss,” Tristan said.
I quickly kissed him.
“It’s a way better secret than that,” he said, leaning back against the table and crossing his arms.
I leaned in and he pulled me closer. He wound his hands into my hair and kissed me deeply, causing my heart to speed up.
“Still standing here,” Joel said, interrupting us. “In fact, I’m feeling a little pervy just watching.”
Tristan laughed. “Watch and learn, Grasshopper.” He turned to me. “I called my mom and told her the theme to the dance is going to be Old Hollywood. She says if you want, you can borrow one of her vintage dresses. She has a gown that used to belong to Bette Davis back in the forties. My mom wore it to some awards show.”
“Seriously?” I squeaked, bouncing up on my tiptoes. I hadn’t even seen the dress, but I knew I wanted it. “I could kiss your mom.”
“You can kiss me and I’ll pass it along,” Tristan promised. I planted a big smack on his lips.
“How did you know people would vote for Old Hollywood as the theme?” I asked.
“He also had his mom pick up Vivien Leigh’s costume from Gone with the Wind in case everyone went with the Southern idea instead,” Joel said. “It comes complete with a small black girl who follows you around to wave you with a fan.”
Tristan gave Joel another shove, before smiling at me. “I knew you wanted Old Hollywood, which meant that’s what I wanted.”
“Ah, popularity. What you two want, the whole world wants. But what about me? I’m left still wanting ice cream,” Joel said.
We headed out together. The guys offered to walk me back to my dorm in case any rogue security guards tried to get a photo of me, but I declined. I couldn’t wait to tell my best friend, Kelsie, about the Bette Davis dress. She was going to freak out. She wants to be an actress and loves anything vintage Hollywood.
Joel was right, popularity has its advantages.
© 2011 Eileen Cook
Meet the Author
Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She is the author of The Almost Truth, Unraveling Isobel, The Education of Hailey Kendrick, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, and What Would Emma Do? as well as the Fourth Grade Fairy series. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and dogs. Visit her at EileenCook.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I have to admit, I judged this book by its cover. I took one look at it and thought it would be some easy-read, frilly novel. I was proven wrong. This book is quite the page-turner and takes the reader on a journey of figuring out who you are, friendship, and finding love. I was pleasantly surprised by its tender moments and its charm. I liked the ending because of the fact that not everyone ended up with just what they wanted- it was true to real life and the ending that most readers crave. Although character development was done fairly well for Hailey, I found myself wishing the same amount of attention had been given to her friends. Overall, this is a book that I will probably pick up again someday, whether to reread it or recommend it!
it was my most favorite book so much suspense! i deinetley would recomend.
This book really helped me with a problem I had. I felt tha I were in love with 3 boys but it tough me a true quality of a boy.
After the death of her mother, Hailey has done her best to be a great daughter for her father. Hailey is an outstanding student with good grades and always followed the rules. She also gained popularity while dating her boyfriend, Tristan, who is the son of Oscar winning celebrities. Although she is an excellent student with a bright future ahead of her, Hailey does her best to please everyone else except herself. Hailey wants nothing more than to spend the last summer of high school with her father before she leaves for college; however, her father cancels plans with her through e-mail one night. This leaves Hailey feeling as though all she had done to make her father proud was meaningless and that she would never come first. Hailey's anger gets the best of her and she takes it out on school property with the help of a boy named Joel, Tristan's best friend. In the heat of the moment, Joel kisses Hailey and reveals his true feelings for her. The school security guard catches them in the act, however, only recognizes Hailey. For the very first time that Hailey does something rebellious, she gets caught. Dean Winston demands Hailey to reveal who her accomplice was in front of the entire school, however, she refuses to name Joel. Dean Winston decides to punish the entire school by making them unable to leave campus until Hailey reveals who her accomplice was. Hailey loses her boyfriend, the trust of her best friend and is shunned by peers who always looked up to her and befriended her, yet she still refuses to reveal who was with her that night. The Education of Hailey Kendrick is a fun and entertaining novel which will have you smiling, laughing and rooting for Hailey right until the very end. Hailey is character who you will instantly fall in love with. Although Hailey seems to have the perfect life at the start, she does have some flaws and needs help to discover what she truly desires most for herself. Throughout the novel I found myself wishing I could be there to help her through it all. From the very beginning, I enjoyed the flow of the story. Eileen Cook incorporated humor and created a genuine main character, complete with many relatable emotions. I admire that Eileen Cook created a story-line based on real issues such as friendship, family, responsibility and loyalty. I believe there are many lessons to be learned in this novel. One lesson can be described through the journey Hailey took to discover who she really is, and doing so all on her own. This takes a lot of courage and perseverance. Although Hailey comes from wealth and she is popular, Hailey never took anything she had for granted and remained loyal to those around her for the most part. I believe Eileen Cook is a fantastic writer whose work I look forward to reading more of. I recommend The Education of Hailey Kendrick to anyone who enjoys Young Adult fiction. 4/5 - An Enjoyable Read, Well Written, Recommended
I've been a fan of all of Eileen Cook's books and this one did not disappoint. It has all the good stuff that I've come to know as regular ingredients in a Cook novel: great characters, real issues and laugh out loud moments that are so rare in other books. Hailey Kendrick is a strong, smart and loyal character - the kind you'd totally want as a best friend, but it seems that in being what everyone wants her to be, she's missed out on figuring out what she wants to be. With the help of a new friend, the kind of guy she never would have expected to hang out with, Hailey begins to figure out her life and realizes that real living means taking real risks. Another great title from Cook that reminded me a bit of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - another great boarding school book. I can't wait to see what's next from this author.
The Education of Hailey Kendrick is about a girl, Hailey, who goes to a rich private school in Vermont called Evesham Academy, set in modern times. Before she was sent there, her mother died in a drunk driver car crash. After that, Hailey wanted to be the best daughter she could be for her father. She got good grades, acted well, and did everything she could to prevent disaster. Hailey was a senior at Evesham, and was planning on having a huge summer party for the seniors and spend the summer with her dad. When her father canceled it because of a business trip, she was devastated. Hailey got angry, and did something she really shouldn’t have done. She broke the school’s mascot statue and kissed the guy who was her partner in crime, a friend named Joel who was her boyfriend's roommate. Hailey got in a ton of trouble, but didn’t give Joel away, and took the blame. As punishment, Dean Winston, the school’s dean, put all of Evesham on restriction, so none of the students could go into town. He also made Hailey do janitorial service on the weekends. What was even worse, Joel was her punishment advisor. Hailey’s boyfriend, the son of Oscar-winning parents, Tristan, wouldn’t talk to her. No one in Evesham trusted Hailey. Hailey went on a journey that revealed to her who she was and what she wanted. Drew, her janitor service advisor showed her what it was like to not always follow the rules. More unexpected things come her way, but Hailey fights through them. Nothing goes the way she wants, and barely anyone understands her. Hailey was brave enough to go through all that, and came out okay in the end. She shows us that even if you’re having a rough time, it will all end up okay. I would recommend this to people who like realistic stories that are relatable, and because it is an inspirational story that makes you want to keep reading and turning the pages. I also recommend it because it is very well written and organized, which made it easy to read and comprehend.
This was one of the best books i ever read!! I totally recomend this books!!
this book was absolutely amazing i found myself crying when it was over. i stayed up all night just to finish the book it was great riveting i could never predict what was comming around the corner. maybe its cuz i'm a sucker for a good romance, but i have fallen in love with this book!
This is a page turning must read. It is dramatic, romantic, funny, and suspensful. You should totally read it!
This may sound strange, but I knew the moment I saw one of Eileen Cook's books that I would love her. Still, I was shocked by how much I adored this book. The Education of Hailey Kendrick is a contemporary that perfectly balances funny and serious, life lessons and good times, pain and laughter. I was addicted from the very first sentence: There was a matter of life and death to deal with, and instead we were wasting our time discussing Mandy Gallaway's crotch. This is the classic "Uptight bitty learns to let loose" story, but it doesn't feel exhausting. It's fresh and sweet. And it has hot guys, which is like....HOT GUYS! What I liked a lot is that there's not really a love triangle. It's more like there are 3 guys that like her and she has to figure out what she really wants. She doesn't lead any of the guys on, but she does have strange feelings about all three of them at one time or another, which has been known to happen to teenage girls. But Hailey's relationship problems are not the prominent focus in the book, because honestly, she has more important things to worry about. She's got mad Daddy issues, she went from hero to zero because of one silly mistake, and now she has to be a part-time janitor. But through all of that, she remains strong and doesn't snitch on her friend. Even though she changes a lot, she doesn't cave under pressure and she doesn't really lose sight of who she is. I really like Hailey and I like how much she grows throughout the novel. And the aforementioned guys...I love all 3 of them. They were all really sweet in their own ways. There was no bad boy. I was split in 3 throughout this entire book, because I wanted her to end up with each one of them. Joel is smart and sort of nerdy. Tristan is the popular celebrity's son. And Drew was just full of surprises! I'm pretty happy how things ended up on this front, though it seemed that things were tied up with Tristan too quickly and too easily. There was a lot of fun in this book. Hailey learns that she has to let go of her safety precautions (she has an obsession with safety. As in, she'll calculate all the ways a person can die in every single activity she does). She sneaks out of the school. She goes to Walmart and puts on a crazy outfit. She even does karaoke! It's amazing to witness all these simple firsts, and so much fun because they all remind me of stuff me and my friends do. I loved the ending. Besides the one thing I said about Tristan, things were wrapped up quite nicely. With her dad and her "prison" sentence. With her best friend. And with the kids at school. I loved that even though Hailey made a mistake that pretty much screwed the entire school, it's obvious that they still have her back and that they are very willing to forgive her. I'd recommend this to anybody, but especially those who want to feel young again! This book is full of goofy antics and important lessons. I can't wait to read more from Eileen Cook.