Review: Prep School Confidential

July 16, 2013 book review 4 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from St. Martin's Griffin in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Prep School ConfidentialPrep School Confidential by Kara Taylor, Kara Thomas
Series: Prep School Confidential #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 30th 2013
Pages: 310
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley


In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn't care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

What didn’t I love about PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL? That is the question still on my mind. Mystery, death, rebellion, shady characters, you get it all in this fantastic novel by Kara Taylor. You’ll enjoy reading every second of it, I promise!

I’ve had quite the hard time figuring out what exactly to say about PSC. After everything that happened in the story, I was stumped for words on how to convey how great of a novel it was. Still am, quite frankly. Taylor immediately throws you into the mist of an afternoon that is about to go terribly wrong for the popular, rebellious Anne. After burning down part of her private school–a bit of an over exaggeration Anne would say–she is shipped off to Boston to attend the Wheatley School. Filled with students from very powerful and wealthy families, it’s pretty obvious how much of an outsider Anne is. She makes a jealous enemy almost immediately. A week after being there, her roommate mysteriously is murdered and the school is keeping everyone mum about it. Even though she only knew Isabella for a short amount of time, Anne is determined to get to the bottom of it, despite possibly ending up in the same situation herself.

I wasn’t too fond of Anne at the beginning. She seemed way too self-absorbed in the first chapter. After her reality check, I loved her as the main character! She’s got a witty and snippy attitude, the perfect personification of someone who is being sent away from home against their will. Taylor created a great, spunky character who you’re going to love exploring the Wheatley School with. I admired her determination, despite barely knowing Isabella. She makes some very choice decisions, making me quite nervous, but she wanted justice where clearly it wasn’t coming. If I had been poor Isabella, I would’ve loved to have Anne as my roommate to figure out what had happened to me and why.

I feel like I should mention that Taylor killed off one of my favorite characters, and quickly too! We really didn’t get to know Isabella for very long but she sounded like an awesome person to be friends with. She loved movies (bonus point), wasn’t afraid to sing along to songs in said movies (bonus point), shared her gummy worms (bonus point), and was compassionate towards her new roomie (bonus point). I was so sad to see her gone! During Anne’s sleuthing around the school to figure who killed her and why, some of Isabella’s skeletons in the closet were revealed. Even though she was no longer around, I loved that we got to continue learning more about Isabella and her past.

Some of the other characters in the book were the perfect example of people who you never knew whether to fully trust or not. One moment you think they are the good guys, the next: not so much. I thoroughly enjoyed the detective work Anne, Isabella’s brother, and Brent conducted and was never fully sure what to conclude about the whole murder mystery. Taylor throws in loop hole after loop hole, making you question everything until the very end. One of my favorite parts about the entire novel was that Taylor pieced each scene, discovery, revelation, and mystery so carefully that the reader was never bored and never knew where everything was going. Each secondary character had a distinct purpose in the story and had something to hide. Also, in the way that Taylor did write this story, it’s perfectly set up for the next novel in the series. While the mystery of Isabella’s death is finally solved, a mystery that was revealed during Anne’s sleuthing is still completely wide open: a cold case. Anne discovers some critical information about it towards the end, letting the reader know that Anne is not done figuring out the mysteries surrounding the Wheatley School.

I’d recommend PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL to anyone who loves a juicy murder mystery filled to the brim with questions, shady behavior, cover-ups, plot twists, and a group of characters you’ll love finding more about. Not able to set this book down, Kara Taylor has created the definition of a page-turner, never letting the reader know everything that is going on until the very end. You’ll be surprised at just how much people have to hide! I’m dying to know what Anne discovers next!

I received an ebook ARC from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

5 Thought Clouds!



4 Responses to “Review: Prep School Confidential”

  1. Lea (YA Book Queen)

    “I’d recommend PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL to anyone who loves a juicy murder mystery filled to the brim with questions, shady behavior, cover-ups, plot twists, and a group of characters you’ll love finding more about.” – I’m very curious about this novel now! Sounds like a book with all the things I love in a story 🙂

    Fantastic review!

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