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Scandal (Private Series #11)
     

Scandal (Private Series #11)

4.6 114
by Kate Brian
 

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After her harrowing kidnapping, Reed returns to Easton to find the worst thing she can think of—Billings has been torn down. Finally, after years of controversy, the school’s wealthiest female alumni have been overruled, and the historical dorm is gone from Easton Academy. How will Reed and the rest of the Billings Girls handle it? Will they still be as

Overview

After her harrowing kidnapping, Reed returns to Easton to find the worst thing she can think of—Billings has been torn down. Finally, after years of controversy, the school’s wealthiest female alumni have been overruled, and the historical dorm is gone from Easton Academy. How will Reed and the rest of the Billings Girls handle it? Will they still be as powerful, as popular, and as wicked—with literally no ground to stand on?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416999058
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
03/09/2010
Series:
Kate Brian's Private Series , #11
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
471,270
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Scandal

HOPE AND CHANGE

I tried not to look at the Billings destruction site as I crossed the snow-covered campus with Constance, Kiki, and Astrid, all of us huddled together against the cold, rushing for the stone chapel on the east side of the quad. Once inside, I was hit with a surprisingly warm wall of air. I tugged off my wool hat and looked at my friends in confusion.

“It’s like the Caribbean in here,” Constance said, removing her red wool gloves.

The Caribbean. Sigh. Even though I’d sworn I’d never go back there, the word instantly conjured up thoughts of Upton Giles, my winter break boyfriend, and my heart pinged and panged like mad. I could practically feel his solid arms around me, smell the clean island scent of him in the air. I wondered what he was doing right then. Oxford was five hours ahead, so he might very well have been heading off to class at the university, lunching with friends, or catching up on his reading for school. I imagined what he might say to me if he knew about Billings.

“It’s your future, Reed. Your choice. Who are you going to be?”

I felt a shiver as his sexy English accent echoed in my mind. Later I’d give him a call and a chance to pep-talk me himself.

“Reed? People are starting to queue up,” Astrid said, nudging me from behind. Her English accent wasn’t quite as hot as Upton’s, but it got me moving.

I shed my coat and let the other girls slide into one of the pews ahead of me so I could sit on the end. The source of all the unexpected warmth appeared to be a series of long white space heaters, which had been placed along the outer walls of the chapel. Their insides glowed red and filled the air with the nose-prickling scent of warm iron. Why no one had ever thought of this before was beyond me. It gave the formerly cold, dank chapel a pleasant, cozy vibe. Many of the students around me actually looked happy to be there. That was new.

The whispering and chatter suddenly intensified and I turned around to find Spencer Hathaway walking into the chapel, along with his two sons Sawyer and Graham. Graham, all preppy in a burgundy V-neck sweater and navy pea coat, took a seat at the very back of the chapel in the senior section. Sawyer and his dad paused at the end of the pew across from mine and whispered a few words to each other; then Sawyer sat as his dad made his way up the aisle to the podium. As soon as Mr. Hathaway got there, the chapel fell silent. In his seat, Sawyer flicked his blond hair away from his eyes. I waved and his entire demeanor relaxed when he saw me.

“How are you?” he mouthed.

I shrugged. “Fine, I guess.”

“Good morning, Easton Academy students!” Mr. Hathaway’s voice boomed across the chapel, scaring my heart into a sprint. I saw Lorna and Missy exchange an incredulous look. Who knew such a commanding voice could come out of such a slight, handsome man? The few people who hadn’t been at attention before were now.

Astrid whistled quietly. “The new headmaster is hotttt!” she sang.

“Ew,” I replied under my breath. “He’s, like, over forty.”

“And hot!”

I stifled a laugh and faced forward. I guess when it came to parental types, Mr. Hathaway was on the good-looking side. He was of medium height, no taller than I was, but slim and athletic. He wore his dark hair slicked back from his face, and his pin-striped suit was slim-cut and stylish.

“My name is Headmaster Hathaway,” he said, resting his hands on either side of the podium.

“Double H. I like it. Very sexy superspy,” Astrid said.

“Where do you come up with these things?” I whispered.

“I have a highly creative inner dialogue running through my head at all times,” she replied matter-of-factly.

“I’m here to welcome you to a brand-new semester and a brand-new era, at Easton Academy,” Headmaster Hathaway continued.

“Oh boy. Here we go,” Kiki said sarcastically, slumping so low in her seat her butt hung off the pew. “Hope and change all over again. I get the appeal, but the coattails are full. Get a new point of view already.”

“I’m sure you’ve all noticed there have been a few changes around here since you’ve been gone.” Headmaster Hathaway smoothed his eggplant-colored tie and drew himself up straight, like he was preening over the destruction of Billings. Which kind of made me want to smack him.

Kiki rolled her eyes at me and mouthed “duh.”

“In addition to the obvious, physical changes to the campus, I’d like to mention one new rule up front,” he said, pacing out from behind the podium. “As of today, elitism and insularity will no longer be tolerated at Easton Academy. Any and all social groups and clubs are to be disbanded, and no new clubs will be incorporated unless they have a clear mission statement. In order to facilitate this change, any new clubs will have to fill out an application in my office, which will be reviewed by me personally.”

Here he paused, to level us all with a no-nonsense stare. I didn’t know of any clubs on campus that were strictly social clubs, so I wasn’t sure whom he was trying to intimidate.

“I want you to know that while some of these changes may seem, at the moment, unfair, they were all made in your interest—and in the interest of the community of Easton Academy at large. I have been brought here by your board of directors to usher in a new way of thinking,” he said, clasping his hands. “I value honesty, integrity, humility, and, above all else, equality.”

I swallowed hard. Was Mr. Hathaway saying what I thought he was saying? Had it been his decision to tear down Billings to send a message? To put us all on the same level? I glanced over at Sawyer, but he was staring ahead, studiously avoiding my gaze.

“But I also value your opinions,” the headmaster said, seeming somehow to make eye contact with each of the two hundred–plus students in the room. “This is your school. It should be a place where you feel nurtured, inspired, and safe.”

I looked down the pew at my friends. Safe was one thing I hadn’t felt around here in a long time. Around the room, people sat up a bit straighter, looked at one another, impressed. Hathaway already had them eating out of his hand.

“To that end, I will have an open-door policy,” Mr. Hathaway continued. “If you have any questions about the changes being made on campus, please feel free to stop by my office to chat. My goal is to get to know every one of you personally. The better we know one another, the better we can work together.”

A bright smile creased Headmaster Hathaway’s tan face. I had definitely liked Sawyer’s dad when we were all down in St. Barths together, and he still seemed like a vast improvement over Headmaster Cromwell, who was more like an automaton than a person, but there was something about his touchy-feely speech that made my skin crawl. I wanted a headmaster, not a new BFF or therapist.

“But this semester won’t be all about work,” he said, relaxing his posture and giving us a grin. “A week from Saturday I will be hosting a schoolwide party in the Great Room. A get-to-know-you dance of sorts. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I expect to see all of you there.”

A dubious murmur carried throughout the room. No one at Easton attended on-campus school dances. Unless they were clueless. Or freshmen. Or were, you know, dared to go, as I had been last year by Missy and Lorna for the first dance of my sophomore year.

Of course, I’d ended up sharing my first kiss with Thomas Pearson at that dance, so, as lame as it had been, it was one of my best nights at Easton. I hugged my arms around my body, a chill traveling across my shoulders and all the way down my arms. It had been more than a year since Thomas had died, and I was starting to wonder if that visceral reaction to his name would ever go away.

“Just to be clear, your attendance is expected at this dance,” Mr. Hathaway continued. “I believe it will engender school spirit and strengthen our sense of community. If, for some reason, you are unable to attend, I expect to personally receive your excuse in writing and signed by your parents. That’s how we’ll be doing things around here from now on, people. Trust is a big thing with me. I’ll do whatever I can to earn yours, and I hope you’ll do the same for me.”

Right. Making us bring an excuse note to get out of a dance was very trusting.

As Headmaster Hathaway continued to wax on about our bright new future, I glanced over my shoulder, trying to get a glimpse of Noelle. Maybe Double H would erode her earlier nonchalance and inspire her to help me bring Billings back. But as I turned, my gaze fell on someone else. Someone so distracting I forgot what I’d been thinking two seconds before.

Josh Hollis. Josh, who was no longer my Josh, but Ivy Slade’s Josh. He was sitting in the back row of the boys’ section, wearing a black cashmere sweater over a white T-shirt, his curly, dark blond hair slightly unruly. He seemed tense; his hands were tucked under his arms and he was pressed so far back in the pew that it looked like he was trying to fuse his spine to the wood. I saw him glance toward the aisle and followed his gaze. There sat Graham Hathaway—the usually jovial, devil-may-care Graham Hathaway—bent forward with his elbows braced on his knees, his feet bouncing beneath him, his jaw and fists clenched tightly, like he wanted to punch someone.

My eyes darted back to Josh. He was now chewing on the side of his thumb and sliding his eyes toward the exit, as if he wanted to escape.

Graham, Josh. Josh, Graham.

Did those two know each other?

The moment Mr. Hathaway dismissed us, Josh was out the side door, shoving it open with the heel of his hand. As everyone else got up and gathered their things, the room exploding with conversation, I saw Ivy look around for him. Our eyes met and I shrugged.

Never a dull moment at Easton.

Meet the Author

Kate Brian is the author of the NY Times and USA Today best-selling Private series and it's spin-off series, Privilege. She has also written many other books for teens including Sweet 16 and Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys.

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Scandal (Private Series #11) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
lexi1001 More than 1 year ago
okay i've been a Kate Brian fan since the first book of the private series. But when she stuck Reed on an island for six days, i was like... "woah! hang on. Kate Brian, you. Are. My. God" for someone to think of that for this story was, in my opinoin, really good thinking. I mean near the end of Suspician I kind of new it was the old chick because, hello? she was the one who found upton and reed almost doing it together and she, NOT poppy was who he went after. It wasn't that hard to figure out. anyway I love the story line of these books and i absolutly love sawyer!!!! him and reed were meant to be <3 <3! i'm kinda mad at Josh for forgetting Reed so easily and not texting her or whatever but I have a feeling their was a reason for that we're gonna find out soon ;] To me the fact that Billing's was knocked down was kinda awesome. I mean now they have a whole new building and social body to climb over in Pemberly. I mean, aren't you at least a bit excited to see what happens?? anyway I can't wait for Scandal and another juicy plot to unfold. Sometimes though, I wish it just wasn't all about Reed always like tie in more characters to these physcotic murderous chicks. Oh, and another thing it seems like all the people that want to kill Reed are girls. Come on Kate! bring in some guy killers next. Make the story line to die for!! You'll always have my support ;]
Brianna_Cruz More than 1 year ago
I knew Sawyer and Reed were meant to be. Just like what happen with the Thomas and Josh situation but it's the Upton and Sawyer situation. First Reed is in love and into Thomas and Josh was always there. Now she was way into Upton but then there is sweet Sawyer, who saved her life. Thomas/ Upton- ladies men, "bad boys". Josh/ Sawyer- Artsy, Sweet guys. It's inevitable that Sawyer and Reed are going to fall deeply in love. Now Reed can make Josh jealous but who knows because he has Ivy. Maybe they are all going to double date. haha. Just kidding. Anyway I can't wait to see what Mr. Hathaway does about the whole Billings fiasco!
StamasaurxD More than 1 year ago
Suspicion was such a cliffhanger!!! So much could happen to Reed. I liked Josh but I'm happy that Kate Brian made the last two books. On St. Barths, I met Sawyer. *Sigh* Sawyer. Reed and Sawyer belong together. I mean, why else would Kate bring him to Easton. Oh, Sawyer please don't die. Pretty pretty please. Marry Reed and sweep her off her feet, let her forget about Josh. I loved Josh, but Sawyer stole my ? . Can you just scream? Upton is gone! I don't like the fact that he's going to be texting her and e-mailing her 24/7 when she's perfectly going to want to hook up with Sawyer (if she doesn't, im climbing into the book and forcing them to kiss) they would be soooo beautiful!!!!??? Rooting for Rawyer [Reed and Sawyer?] and rooting for Scandal ! xD
BigApple More than 1 year ago
ok so the last 2 books were sooo disappointing to me! i found myself skipping pages and just wanted to get to the end. then scandal came alng and i was a little hesitant, i was thinking about those last 2 books and thinking this book was gonna be like those. i was wrong! this book is right on track and full of surprises and suspense! noelle is definitely not herself anymore which makes me kinda sad, she not the fearless leader anymore, reed is, which is cool, but still. i really liked this book and hopefully u will too!!!
lov_a_ley More than 1 year ago
Hey, so I'm a little disappointed as you can so plainly see....I'm getting this vibe that the Private story has totally lost, well, its Private "essense". Seriously, now every time i read one of the books, I feel it's just some random book. Not at all the same Private book I fell in love with. And really? Whats up with Reed almost dieing every 5 seconds. It's getting kind of old. I mean, i get the whole "We hate Reed society" wants revenge and everything but honestly? It's over. Let it Be. And give her one guy already! You already broke our hearts with the whole Josh thing, stop toying with us!! So in conclusion, I'm hoping this next book has some old flare. And also i would really appreciate a sequal to "Megan Meads Guide.." please!
Noelle_Lange More than 1 year ago
Brian has done it yet again. Leaving the door wide open for anything at the end of each book! *cry cry* Billings is gone but you really think they are gonna let the Admin do that? HELL NO! Even Wallace Lange can do something about it! Oh and don't forget about the 2 newest boys Sawyer and Graham Hathaway who are attending because daddy's the new headmaster! haha lol But yeah Upton and Calista *shudders* i kind of saw that coming because lets face it who hasn't Upton laid?!? But anyway Suspicion was great i mean leaving Reed alone on an island for a week was harsh but Private isn't Private without her so of course she wasn't going to die! She did kind of deserve it though after all the drama she started on St Barths! hahaha well i cannot wait for Scandal though because who knows what will happen to our little Glass-licker this time but remember as Noelle always says Everything Happens For A Reason so if Premberly is the place then Premberly it is! March 2010 when the scandals at Easton starts so just be patient! MUCH LOVE, Noelle Lange
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mec-eroni More than 1 year ago
This book was just wonderful I could not put it down hope you think the same to
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