This novel is the second in the "A List" series, based on the lives of privileged teens in California as they try to cope with the trauma of everyday life in Beverly Hills. The novel is suggested for ages 15 and up, but some parts include explicit language and sexual situations perhaps not appropriate for teens as young as 15. Teens may have trouble relating to the privileged teenagers, and because of this, they seem more like one-dimensional, talking stereotypes than actual people. The novel continues the story of Anna Percy as she moves through her daily life of drama, gossip, and boys at Beverly Hills High School. Anna has just moved to Beverly Hills from New York to live with her dad and keep an eye on her rebellious, alcoholic sister, Susan. The novel mainly deals with Anna's daily struggles: keeping her sister clean and sober, getting over the handsome Ben Birbaum, and avoiding the wrath of Cammie Sheppard, the rich girl still in love with Ben. The book is full of characters that create conflict for Annaespecially her new friend Sam, who is struggling with the crush she has on Anna. 2004, 17th Street Productions, Ages 15 up.
Zoey Dean has her finger on the pulse of pop culture in this second installment of the A-List series, following The A-List. Fans of Gossip Girl will adore Dean's series. The characters live in posh Beverly Hills and are all young, beautiful, and ridiculously privileged. They mingle with celebrities, name-drop the most current and hottest actors and musicians, and despite being high school-aged, spend very little time theresurely it's too banal for this fun-loving book. The book is not driven by plot, but rather by characters readers will love to hate. The thin plot revolves around the relationships of Anna Percy, a transplant from New York. Her sister is fresh out of rehab, her father is ineffective and peripheral, and of course she has to choose between the two boys who have fallen for her. This is definitely a book for older teens: curse words litter the pages and there are plenty of references to sex, drugs, and drinking. Dean appears to have literary aspirations, setting up early on a comparison with the themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby ("old wealth versus new wealth, individualism and self-discovery versus easy money and group-think"). The themes may be similar, but that's about as literary as this book gets. The characters admit much of what they say is clichéd or sounds like lines in a bad soap opera. That said, this is still a fun, juicy read that is sure to rope in lots of teenage girls. (An A-List Novel). KLIATT Codes: SRecommended for senior high school students. 2004, Little, Brown, 252p., Ages 15 to 18.
Gr 9 Up-The sequel to the The A-List (Little, Brown, 2003) is a combination of Sex and the City and The Women, complete with backbiting, sabotage, gossip, and scheming set in La La land where overprivileged, poor-little-rich-girls endlessly indulge themselves. Though the issues and scenes are current, the book reads like fantasy as this much intrigue would wear out even the most devious, superficial girl-on-the-go. The one stable figure in this milieu is Anna Percy, an East-Coast transplant who ventures to California to change her good-girl image, but who finds that she doesn't have the stomach for the escapades of her peers. Trying to get over her powerful crush on Ben Birnbaum, a guy she views as all wrong for her, and attempting to settle with Adam, the good guy who just doesn't light her fire, Anna is caught between her heart, body, and mind. Dean's dialogue is flip and slick, and all of the characters have a rapid-fire wit that makes for page-turning, guilty pleasure. Girls on Film is a fast-clipped, juicy read that picks up where The A-List left off, and those who haven't read the first installment are quickly brought up to speed. Irresistible mind candy that teens will devour.-Tracy Karbel, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
In Dean's second label-laden soap opera and shopping go-round, Anna Cabot Percy, the patrician, beautiful WASP transplant from New York, again crosses swords with Beverly Hills's A-List girls, the exceedingly wealthy but troubled daughters of Hollywood's elite show-business moguls, agents, and actors. This time, her deeply loved alcohol- and drug-addicted older sister Susan, recently kicked out of rehab, joins the mix, helping to illuminate Anna's softer, more vulnerable side. Although she rejected him at the end of the first story, Anna is still deeply attracted to Princeton heartthrob Ben Birnbaum, and her ambivalent feelings toward him, coupled with some student movie-making, drive the rudimentary plot. Straight series pop fiction, this guilty pleasure of a read again offers girls the fun of peeking through a chink in the gated walls of the rich, the beautiful, and the mean. (Fiction. YA)