Author: Brodi Ashton
Publication: Balzer + Bray (September 6, 2016)
Description: Anna and the French Kiss meets The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks in a romantic and hilarious new novel from Brodi Ashton, the author of the Everneath trilogy.
Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity . . . it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.
Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—which would ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.
Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school—and realizes that access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.
The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish Ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s big chance to get the full scoop. Except Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it will destroy the boy she just might love?
My Thoughts: Piper has had a life-long goal of going to Columbia and becoming a journalist. When she wins a scholarship to Chiswick - an exclusive D.C. prep school, she knows that she is closer to winning the Bennington Scholarship and making her dreams come true. But she needs a story...
She isn't at the school 15 minutes before she witnesses the first instance of the privileges students with diplomatic immunity receive. When she slips and falls into a bush and tears her jeans, it is Rafael Amado, the son of the Spanish Ambassador, who rescues her and takes her to an off-limit bathroom to fix herself up. She is given detention and he skates free.
She quickly notices the gap in her school between scholarship students like herself and the DI kids like Rafael and decides that an exposé will be her ticket to journalism school. She never expects to find that Rafael, behind his apparent life of privilege, has his own problems. Once she gets to know the real Raf - smart, kind, funny, and loyal, she doesn't know what to do.
While she is hesitating, her best friend and fellow journalist at her former high school passes on the story that Piper wrote to her cousin who works for People. I saw her friend's actions coming and had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I was reading. I couldn't think of any way that this story could have a happy ending.
Piper was an interesting character who made some poor choices. Her single-minded focus on getting a scholarship to Columbia gave her tunnel vision. She forgot to consider what effect her actions would have on people she knew and liked.
Fans of contemporary YA will enjoy meeting Piper and will probably think about how far a person should go to achieve their goals.
At breakfast, the eggs tasted like clouds and the milk tasted like heaven and the crunch of the toast reminded me of the scruff on Rafael's face and the bacon ... well, bacon just reminded me of bacon because bacon is good.I got this eARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.