This series debut alternates between the perspectives of African-American twin sisters, the overachieving Sydney and (per Sydney's description) "superficial, self-centered, scandalous drama queen" Lauren. The trappings of clique lit are all here: the twins wear designer clothes, attend "the premier, predominantly African-American private institution of learning in the Atlanta area" and are glued to an anonymous blog tracking all the school's gossip. The plot deepens when Sydney starts secretly spending time with the twins' father, recently released from jail, and when Lauren starts dating a cute boy from a bad neighborhood; it gets even fuller-if harder to believe-when the sisters realize their rich stepfather may not actually be a car dealer (Lauren's boyfriend, Jermaine, tells them that "he been running things in the hood Godfather-style for years"). Beyond some outrageous plotting, Millner (The Sistahs' Rules) and Miller (The Angry Black Woman's Guide to Life) offer challenges unique to their African-American characters (Sydney wishes her boyfriend would get off his "all-natural-beauty" soapbox so she could press her hair, while Jermaine tells Lauren he wears expensive sneakers to keep safe on his rough block). These insights earn the authors credibility with their audience, although the glamorous outfits and events-and the mystery surrounding the girls' stepfather-are probably what will keep readers burning through the pages. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hotlanta (Hotlanta Series)by Denene Millner
Designer clothes. Gorgeous boys. Family secrets. Major drama. Welcome to Atlanta and the lives of the Duke twins, Sydney and Lauren. They don't call it Hotlanta for nothing! The Duke twins, Sydney and Lauren, live the life: They attend the fanciest school in Atlanta, they live in Buckhead, the most exclusive neighborhood, and they only date the hottest guys. … See more details below
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Designer clothes. Gorgeous boys. Family secrets. Major drama. Welcome to Atlanta and the lives of the Duke twins, Sydney and Lauren. They don't call it Hotlanta for nothing! The Duke twins, Sydney and Lauren, live the life: They attend the fanciest school in Atlanta, they live in Buckhead, the most exclusive neighborhood, and they only date the hottest guys. And their secrets? Are the darkest of all. When their estranged father is released from prison and a murder is committed, their lives are plunged into a whirlwind of tabloid scrutiny, vicious gossip, and shocking revelation. Lauren, always such a party girl, and Sydney, bent on perfection by way of the Ivy League, can't trust anyone. Not their mother, not their rich stepfather. Maybe not even each other.
Sydney and Lauren Duke are identical twins; similar in looks, night and day in personalities. Both girls go to a private, high-society high school where the elite of the elite African American Atlanta socialites go to school. When Sydney's boyfriend is caught cheating on her with Lauren's best friend, these two sisters begin lashing out at each other with sisterly revenge. Their problems are compounded by the fact that their biological father has just been released from jail. Now they must not only keep up with their rich-and-should-be-famous appearances, but they start to realize that their family is not the Brady Bunch. This scandal-filled high school drama will remind readers of an African American Gossip Girl novel gone Southern. However, readers will be anxiously waiting for the next book and some sort of resolution (seeing as how a murder and mysterious family identities and connections are introduced at the end of the novel but never cleared up). Hotlanta is a fast, high interest book for young adults. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
Gr 7-10- Twins Sydney and Lauren lead charmed lives in Buckhead, a tony section of Atlanta. Their stepfather, Altimus, is wealthy, and they attend a posh private school for the city's wealthiest blacks. What could be better? They buy the fliest clothes, drive the most expensive cars, and are school leaders. Still, their lives are not idyllic. Their mother is a shrew, they constantly fight, and their birth father just got out of jail. This fast, fun read will delight fans of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" and Lisi Harrison's "Clique" series (both Little, Brown). The plot is rather convoluted, with a number of story lines, none of which is truly resolved at the end. Yes, the twins do realize that they really only have one another, and Sydney jettisons her faithless boyfriend, but a brutal murder remains unsolved, their father is still odd man out, and Altimus still rules the hood. It would appear, however, that the loose ends will have to wait for the second book in the series.-Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ
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