by Ted Michael

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At Long Islands’s private Bennington School, the Diamonds rule supreme. They’re the girls all the boys want to date and all the girls want to be. And fortunately for Marni, she’s right in the middle of them. Best friends with the ringleader, Clarissa, Marni enjoys all the spoils of the ultrapopular: boys, power, and respect. But then Marni gets a little too close to Clarissa’s ex-boyfriend, Anderson.

Wrong move. The Diamonds don’t touch each other’s exes.

And just like that, Marni is jettisoned from Diamond to lower than Cubic Zirconia.

But Marni isn’t about to take her ouster lying down. She has dirt on the Diamonds, and she’s not about to go down without a fight. Everyone knows, the only thing strong enough to cut a Diamond is another Diamond.

Ted Michael is a literary agent and first time novelist. He lives in New York, New York.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375892011
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/14/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Ted Michael was born in 1984 and grew up in Roslyn Heights, New York. He is a graduate of Columbia University and The Juilliard School and is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Michael is the author of the young adult novels The Diamonds and Crash Test Love.

Read an Excerpt

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
--The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

I was in English when it happened.

AP Literature, to be specific. Next to me were Eric Rogerman, who listened to his iPod during class and was prematurely balding, and Mary Aberfeld, who smelled alternately like cheese and pickles and was prematurely balding, too. Behind me sat Dara and Dana Hoebermann, identical twins with lazy eyes and a penchant for gossip. The rest of the class, more or less, was filled with people I didn't particularly care about--not in a rude way, don't get me wrong, but in the sense that my life with or without them would be exactly the same.

It was the third day of school. So far, we'd read scenes from Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare, 1597) out loud while Mrs. Bloom spoke the stage directions with an affected British accent.

Fact: Bloom is a complete nutjob.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn she was from another planet entirely, one where it was acceptable to leave your house in the morning with curlers nestled in your hair, wearing a necklace of baby spoons and forks strung on mint-flavored dental floss. (I won't even try to explain that one.)

Still, there's nothing better than performing Shakespeare--even if it's not onstage. I'd been stuck with the role of the Nurse; at first, this offended me beyond belief. The Nurse was old and probably fat. Definitely fugly. One of the title roles was being played by Marisa T. Karava, the only person I knew who wrote her middle initial on papers and who if asked her name, would reply "Marisa T. Karava." (I could therefore only assume that the "T" stood for "Tool.")

Marisa read Juliet's lines with about as much enthusiasm as I had for going to the dentist. I'd almost suggested to Mrs. Bloom that she'd made a terrible casting mistake, but then I realized I sort of liked reading the Nurse. To spice things up in class, I spoke every other word with a cockney accent. It threw people off, which was a good thing. Jed thought I was predictable, and I despised that label. I wanted to be spontaneous. Fun. Carefree.

Here's the scoop on Jed, my boyfriend: two years before, as a sophomore, he'd become the first underclassman in Bennington's history to be elected student body president. He'd held on to the title ever since. Jed excelled at the game of (high school) politics--patting the right backs, shaking the right hands, kissing the right asses.

I was the girl he could be himself around, loosen his tie around (literally; Jed wore a tie to school every day), even complain around. I'm not sure if it was love, but our relationship was definitely more than your typical high school fling. Jed understood me, which was what I liked most about him. Not that his father was nouveau riche or that he was a Dartmouth legacy or that his wardrobe consisted almost entirely of buttery pastels or even that he ran the morning announcements, which were pretty much his own television show that aired for ten minutes during homeroom.

Fact: At the Bennington School, a disgustingly posh preparatory on the outskirts of Manhattan (and by that I mean Long Island), the morning announcements are presented on televisions throughout the school--one per classroom--in this ridiculous sort of variety show that Jed hosts. One of the privileges of being student body president.

Typically, student groups wrote up their own messages and Jed performed them like monologues while the show filmed live in the video production room behind the auditorium. At Bennington, the morning announcements were a Pretty Big Deal, and Jed Brantley was a Pretty Big Deal for delivering them.

But he was an Even Bigger Deal for dating me.

Marisa had just butchered the balcony scene (Romeo. Pause. Oh Rom-e-o. Wherefore cough art thou yawn Rom-e-o?) when Mrs. Bloom glanced at the clock and flipped on the TV screen above the blackboard.

"Do you like being the center of attention? Are you blind?" Jed asked. He was wearing a ribbed sweater, hair swooped over his right eye in a way that made me want to brush it back. "Auditions for The Miracle Worker are this week and the Drama Club wants you to be there on Friday!"

I really shouldn't let him write his own jokes.

"Now, there's something important I have to say," he said.

My ears perked.

"Most of you know my girlfriend, Marni." A few kids turned around to stare at me.
"Short blond hair, sort of pretty, nice gams."

Sort of pretty? Gams? I attempted to hide my eyes behind my fingers.

"I just want to say how much I've enjoyed dating you this past year," Jed continued.
"You've been a great girlfriend."

A few girls "awwwed," even though his little speech was definitely not aww-worthy. Some of the guys on the opposite side of the room rolled their eyes and I silently applauded them. I had no idea what Jed was doing.

"That being said, it's time to let you know that we're through. I've met someone else who's really great and, uh, doesn't like her friends more than me. Sorry. I'm sure you understand." Jed straightened a few papers on his desk and then said, "Hey, Darcy!" before the announcements were over and the screen turned blue.



No one looked at me, and no one made any noise. At all. The room was so silent I could hear myself breathe. I could hear the soft hum of Eric's iPod and the sound Mrs. Bloom's shoes made against the floor. My arms began to tingle and my stomach swirled like water in a toilet bowl.

"Can you believe that?" I heard Dara Hoebermann say.

"That effing sucked," Dana replied. "Even more than the time I ate a Popsicle for breakfast and my tongue was stained orange."

"That was this morning," said Dara.

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Diamonds 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Diamonds was actually a huge surprise for me. My expectations were not that high and my worry lines were there when I received it in the mail for review (which I had no idea was coming). The summary does not draw me in and seems a bit cliché and so done by so many series (which I have not read any¿do not bother to ask why). And yet despite the foreboding I have grown myself attached to Marni and her ¿motley crew¿. I need to stop judging books from the summary and cover alone... The Diamonds reminds me of Mean Girls the movie, you know the one. Starring Lindsey Lohan and her sudden fame to her sudden drop¿it¿s the same in this case. Marni goes from being a Diamond to being a Stonecutter¿a group of people who are trying to overthrow the Diamonds. The politics was a nice surprise that added a bit of a spin to things. The mock trials were entertaining and the newsletter gave insight to some cases that sped the plotline along¿so it does not seem overly excessive and boring, keep things a novelty. The overall progression between the two foes was planned out and nicely done. Giving some suspense here and there but nothing too out there there (my vocabulary has precipitated once it passes 10 PM). There were some predictable scenes and actions and I guess I have to mention, one giant backstabbed that I could have seen from page 50. Overall: A nice and pleasant debut book from Ted Michael. Nothing too in your face but a nice read nonetheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nods. "Have fun." She walks out the door.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. It reminded me a lot of the movie mean girls. Some parts though were not apporpiate for certain ages i would say be at least 13 or 14 before you read this overall a really good book on how a simple mistake can turn into lies and betrayal. Also good for understanding that poulariyy isnt evrrything
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She tracked a mouse and silently stalked it. She pounced and easily killed it. She did the same to two young voles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Marni Valentine is a "Diamond." The Diamonds are the four girls who basically run Bennington School. The name developed when someone made a comment about their matching diamond necklaces when they were freshman. Marni couldn't believe her luck when Clarissa took her into the fold. Being accepted by Clarissa brought instant popularity and acceptance. Which helped Marni, as she wasn't nearly as rich, smart, or pretty as the other three girls: Clarissa, Priya, and Lili. The girls show they are true friends when they come to Marni's aid the day Marni's boyfriend, Jed, publicly dumps her over the morning announcements. During an AP Government class mock trial, Clarissa turns the table on Jed and his new girl, and soon the rest of the school is giving Jed and Darcy the cold shoulder. Because of their composure and confidence, their teacher, Mr. Townsen, suggests the girls join the Mock Trial team. Before long, the Mock Trial team has turned into a mechanism that the Diamonds use to control the school. Fellow students are trying each other and the Diamonds create new rules that the administration unwittingly agrees with. It isn't until Marni finds herself involved with Clarissa's ex-boyfriend that the full brunt of the Diamonds' power is turned against her. She is disowned by her friends and takes refuge with the most unlikely group of people, including her ex-boyfriend, Jed. Marni tries to get the administration to realize that the Diamonds are up to no good, but she gets blown off and realizes that if she wants to remove the Diamonds and get the school back to normal, she'll have to do it herself, with her new friends. THE DIAMONDS was a fascinating look into the inner workings of a private school. It shows the reader how a seemingly small idea can blossom and get out of control. Marni enjoyed being on the inside but it isn't until she's cast out of favor that she truly becomes a decent person. She learns that everyone has something positive they can contribute and not to judge others by outward appearances alone. THE DIAMONDS is written as Marni's testimony on why she does what she does. It flows quickly and has entertaining moments. It's also scary to realize that situations like the ones in the story could actually happen if teens don't fight for what is right.
shalondasblog More than 1 year ago
We all know about the queen bees of high school; however Ted Michael has created a unique story that is about more than just social hierarchies. The best aspect of this book is the incorporation of law and the US Constitution in the dramatic events that unfold in The Diamonds. Broken into two parts, this book outlines the first 10 amendments (Bill of Rights) and the ten Diamond rules. Each is presented with multiple exhibits which consist of drawings, newspaper articles, and other information pertinent to the story. In addition to the originality of the plot, The Diamonds introduces us to solid characters. In this novel, each character truly is an individual and plays a special role. Typically the mean girls are seen as shallow, but pretty. While there are a couple of dense girls in The Diamonds, they add humor to the book. Still, while reading the book, I noticed intelligence, strength, and a self discovery in Marni. The combination of romance, politics, true friendship, and drama make The Diamonds one of the most creative novels of its time. I thought it was phenomenal, and I look forward to what Ted Michael has to offer us in the future!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Diamonds By Ted Michael Pub. Date: April 2009 Not Rated I read the synopsis several weeks ago and this book sounded like it would be a fun let-justice-be-done story with crazy, quirky characters. It turned out to be more sad and serious. I felt the need to read the last few pages of the book because the story was moving slowly and nothing that I synopsis hadn't already stated happened. Since the story was so clearly laid out by the synopsis I wasn't allowed the pleasure of speculation and guessing. I am sure many people will enjoy The Diamonds, but I am going to move on to other books in my reading pile. Date Reviewed: April 9th, 2009 For book reviews and book information check out my blog at
Anonymous More than 1 year ago