The Upper Class (Upper Class Series)

The Upper Class (Upper Class Series)

3.7 19
by Hobson Brown, Taylor Materne, Caroline Says
     
 

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Welcome to Wellington

Boarding school for society's elite, overachievers, and rich screwups.

No matter who you are, Wellington can be the deepest and most beautiful time of your life, or the loneliest and most difficult. And two new girls are about to find out which it will be for them . . .

Laine Hunt is a Wellington girl by blood: She lives

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Overview

Welcome to Wellington

Boarding school for society's elite, overachievers, and rich screwups.

No matter who you are, Wellington can be the deepest and most beautiful time of your life, or the loneliest and most difficult. And two new girls are about to find out which it will be for them . . .

Laine Hunt is a Wellington girl by blood: She lives the country club life in Greenwich, Connecticut, she's a field hockey star, and her turquoise eyes and blond hair turn heads wherever she goes. But Laine has a mortal fear of failure that wakes her in the middle of the night with a fever, and she'll do anything to avoid it.

She also wants to avoid her roommate, fellow new girl Nikki Olivetti. Nikki is not Wellington material—she comes from a new-money Long Island family who have sent her away to save her from the bad influence of her friends back home. Nikki's a tease, a loudmouth, and an absolute sweetheart—and she just doesn't belong.

The girls couldn't have less in common. Except, of course, they both have to learn to survive in their new world—a world with no parents, no safety net, and no limit to how much trouble they can get into. No one ever thinks they'll crash and burn, but someone always does.

Will the new girls make it to the upper class?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Assigned as roommates at the prestigious Wellington boarding school, brash Long Island native Nikki and Connecticut-bred Laine are as different as can be. Each girl is uniquely troubled: Nikki's mother is dead, and at Wellington, her sexy clothes and big mouth mark her as a misfit; Laine's parents are divorced, and while her highbrow background helps her fit in, she's unable to stand up to anyone, including her dorm's alpha girl, who frequently targets Nikki. The trio of authors, former boarding school chums themselves, has created a readily believable environment and characters (and of course, there is no shortage of bad behavior at Wellington.) Popular girls bet on "which new girl will leave first"-Nikki is a prime candidate-and circle other girls' body flaws with markers, adding derogatory words. Nikki must meet with the dean after she's caught with a boy out in the woods. Teens will not be surprised when Nikki and Laine eventually learn to like-and lean on-each other, though their bonding over Thanksgiving break does not feel entirely convincing. Still, the authors' often lyrical language ("Tree branches clatter in the cool autumn night. Clouds move fast over the moon, changing the shadows, and light pools on the roofs.... It's moments like these when she belongs to no one, not even herself") breathes life into this take on a classic culture clash story. Ages 14-up. (May)

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Richie Rich
“This book is fabulous! The Upper Class has substance and style, and it just screams, READ ME!”
Raghida Dergham
“The Upper Class is a surprise. My 16-year-old daughter gulped it in one day with delicious familiarity.”
Leslie Marshall
“The Upper Class is not just a book—it is a wild and original reading adventure.”
Alyson Richman
“Sharp and clever… There is little that is left unexplored in this poignant and evocative coming-of-age novel.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061971785
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Series:
Upper Class Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
497,598
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Upper Class

Chapter One

Outside the black window of the country club, moonlight glazes tiger lilies, dripping off the petals like cream. The Connecticut night pants. Tomorrow's forecast is 99 degrees.

Laine Hunt is Going Away. With enormous and untelling blue eyes, she surveys the dining room in its seersucker and gingham glory, trying to know what she's leaving, what exactly she's Going Away from. She's known this room, these portraits of men in banana cashmere sweaters or madras sportcoats, this muted chandelier, since before she knew what knowing was. But the essence of it all slides through her fingers now.

Her mother, Polly, thinks Laine needs cheering up. "It's going to be Parents' Weekend before you even know it, sweetie."

That's nice except I don't think I want it to be Parents' Weekend. "You're right, Mom. It's not so far away."

Philip Breck, her stepdad, pats his mouth with a linen napkin. "Laine, you'll be back in this room for Christmas before you can blink an eye."

When I get out of this tiny town and our tangled-up house, I'm not exactly going to be racing back.

Everyone speaks lines as though Ang Lee and crew are hiding behind the swinging kitchen doors. Laine envisions rolled-up, much used scripts instead of napkins by each of her family members' plates.

The Brecks look wholesome in dinner table formation: Polly and Philip wear formal and benevolent clubhouse expressions, and Christine and Maggie, Laine's younger sisters, squabble in hushed sibling code over cherries in their Shirley Temples. The two little girls are angelic and glum, nut-brown skin covered in Band-Aidsand bruises, the diminishing season of sailing and swimming and diving having written its script on their bodies. Like Laine, their hair is white as swan feathers, whiter still against teak skin. Everyone wears lobster bibs, but Laine now sees the flesh out of the red exoskeleton as too surreal to eat, when once it was her favorite food. She dangles the rubbery meat, crudded with white paste, in her butter. And the red sugary drink is disgusting and odd as well. That's how this last year has been: everything normal morphing into strange.

"Good luck!" a friend of Christine's calls to Laine across the room.

Laine thanks her, ducking her head, hating attention called to her family. My second family. Philip and his family used to sit over there, Polly and the girls and Thomas over here, when Thomas was still her husband and their father. Now a pink neon sign blinks Second Marriage! over this table, casting a rosy sheen on her sisters' cheekbones. Not like the clubhouse isn't full to bursting with third and fourth and fifth marriages, but it shouldn't have been my family.

If this weren't enough, Laine is also worried about a blur of turquoise Izod shirt outside the window, careening about the club grounds. Hunter and his crew probably bribed the kitchen staff for whipped cream canisters. All summer he's courted Laine—who freezes when she hears his voice, as she does when any guy approaches, so they haven't even kissed, and he's fed up.

A woman who golfs with Polly approaches the table and stage-whispers: "Is she r-e-a-d-y?"

"Yes, she can barely wait," Polly answers proudly.

The woman looks to Laine. "Are you ready, dear? Ready for liftoff?" She makes an awkwardly funny imitation of a rocket with her hands, and everyone kindly laughs at her little joke, wincing simultaneously at her martini breath, strong as gasoline.

"I'm definitely ready," Laine says, craning her neck to see out the window. "I'm really excited."

"I bet you are." The woman winks. "St. Paul's is a fabulous school. My brothers all went there, way back in the day."

Polly smiles, indicating that St. Paul's would be great but this is greater: "Laine's going up to Wellington, actually."

"AH!" the woman says, clutching her heart as though Laine had won the Nobel prize, even though she thinks no differently of St. Paul's than of Wellington. "Even more fabulous. That lake, my oh my, what a gorgeous little corner of the world. And you'll be on the soccer team, no?"

"Field hockey," Philip says.

The woman lets out an extravagant sound, between laughter and self-reproach, then smiles devilishly at Laine, pauses for effect, and says quietly: "I get things mixed up, dear. But one thing I know for darn sure, you are going to have the greatest experience."

The Brecks let that hang in the air, as if Laine had been ordained by a priest. The woman waddles away, clutching her beads, oblivious of white cat hairs stuck to her rump, which is sealed in black slacks and cruelly cinched with a kelly green lizard belt.

And this is what I could become if I stuck around. The woman's name is in the next room, in gilded letters on the tennis plaque, from when she was my age. She probably fell in love with the first guy she kissed, married the first guy she had sex with, got pregnant the first time she tried. She raised her family in the house where she grew up. She drinks the same way her dad drinks, smokes as much as her mom did. And now her intellect is gelatinous (she reads Danielle Steel and Dean Koontz) and her conscience provincial (she donates thousands to museums and still calls the Ecuadorian guys who mow her lawn boys).

After dinner, on their way to the door, the Breck family duly stops to talk with the Townes, the Walden-Thornes, the Crandalls. Everyone knows someone who went to Wellington: J.J. Emerson had a grand old time on the sailing team, Esther Woodbury went from there to Harvard, and didn't Jonas Baker, oh, that's right, he didn't make it through, did he? Ended up at, oh never mind. James Hill claps Philip on the shoulder and congratulates Laine—his way of communicating: You're a good man, Phil, to pony up big tuition for a relatively new stepdaughter.

The Upper Class. Copyright © by Hobson Brown. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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