Saturday, May 1, 2010

She's So Dead to Us

Release date: 5.25.10

From Good Reads:

Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.
Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.
But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan.

Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?

My thoughts:

     Oh, the woes of this book. It filled me with happiness and anger at the same time. The cover intriged me but many times I was frustrated, not so much with the plot as with the choices made.    Old  friends Faith, Hannah, Shannon, and Chloe are still angry with Ally's family-not just with her dad for making bad investment choices and they take it out on Ally and her mom.  Ally used to be part of this group and now she has to learn what it's like to be on the outside.  Lucky for Ally, two kids from the regular group of students (Annie and David) hitch up with her and become good friends.  Life would be fine if she weren't so in love with Jake-her crush on him circles her too close to her old gang of Cresties and these old friends make it impossible for her and Jake to get together.  

     Each chapter changes perspective so we get to understand both Ally and Jake's point-of-view. I liked this back and forth perspective-it makes it interesting to hear Jake's take on certain situations.  Jake is adorable but has a hard time finding his own true feelings.  He takes part in several pranks against Ally, which makes it surprising that she chooses him over sweet guy, David,  who (of course) has a crush on her. This book offers  strange twists that  happen at many high schools and gave me the sense of being in a John Hughes movie. 

     I loved most of the characters, even the mean ones, except for Hammond.  Hammond was okay but I feel negative vibes from him.  I especially appreciated Ally and her ability to see herself in real time-Ally now with no money and Ally before
who perhaps could have pulled some of these mean stunts herself.  She had honest growth and depth, prodded sometimes by her new sidekick, Annie. 

     Three terms used in the book  bugged me a lot:  Cresties (rich kids)  and Norms (regular all-around normal)-they actually use these ridiculous names to talk about each other. I did live in one small town in Minnesota where the economic divide was a hill so it was said in normal conversation "oh, you live on the hill" and that implied that you had some money.  We did not call each other "hillies" though.   The other term the book uses was backslappers, a cheerleading- type group that decorates lockers and rubs the back of their assigned player.  Isn't that the same thing as a cheerleader or a pep squad-I just couldn't figure out why a new name had to be invented for this high school group.  Backslappers does not roll off the tongue nor does it conjure a fun image (for me). Does anyone know of a high school that uses this term??    It's odd the weird things that bother me when reading.  Small details in an otherwise entertaining read.

I've heard this is the first of a trilogy.  I will be anxious to see what's in the future for Ally and Jake!
I think the author has a very cool name-Kieran

This book is an advanced reader copy sent to me by Lucille at Simon and Schuster.  
This didn't in any way influence my enjoyment of the book.
3.5/5 peaceful stars
Recommended for YA

Other reviews:

Just Your Typical Book Blog reviews it here.

Corinne at The Book Nest reviews it here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing about this book. It looks like something I would like. I like the cover as well. Putting it on my wishlist!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very entertaining read. :)I'll have to bump it up on my list.

Jana said...

Sounds do good!!

Ms. Yingling said...

I love Scott (who writes also as Kate Brian), but this doesn't sound quite as good as her other ones. And really, I never see any of our students be as mean to each other as some books would indicate!