Private series titles in order:
2. Invitation Only
5. Inner Circle
I would not recommend this book for preteens. I found the content inappropriate for a middle school student. Premarital sex, drugs and alcohol - all just "normal" parts of life in this book. I'd prefer for my child to read about positive characters, not back-stabbing and cheating.
Reed Brennan is nervous as she begins her sophomore year as a transfer student at prestigious Easton Academy. All of the other students are richer than she could ever believe, and she immediately finds that she's in way over her head academically. She determines that she'll do anything to keep from flunking out and going back to her dreary home. Reed aspires to be just like the beautiful and brilliant girls who live in the luxurious Billings dorm, but she has little hope of ever being accepted into that elite crowd. Somehow, though, she edges in and barely notices their cruelty because she's so grateful to be tossed the crumbs of their kindness. Although her experiences could have resulted in nine months of insight, the teen doesn't seem to make much progress in understanding herself or the larger world around her. The story has major gaps in plot development and background. Too many elements are left hanging or unexplained, such as why Reed can't empathize at all with her mother's pain-killer addiction following a long-ago accident, her lack of a relationship with her brother, her oddly unemotional loss of virginity, and any sort of character development in the Billings girls.
A new series emerges out of a world already full of Gossip Girls, A-lists, and Cliques. Sophomore Reed Brennan has been accepted into the prestigious Easton Academy on scholarship. Getting out of her depressing hometown and her emotionally abusive mother's grasp is liberating for Reed, but it is not too long before she once again feels like retreating into her usual antisocial loner shell. The only bright spot in her life is the bad boy Thomas Pearsonâtotally wrong but dangerously attractive and attentive to her.
Then she meets the Billings girls. They are beautiful, brilliant, and the bestâ¦and there are only four of them who really matter: Noelle, Ariana, Kiran, and Taylor. Reed thinks that she'll be set if she can only become one of them, and so takes every opportunity to suck up to them. Sure, some of the things they make her do, such as stealing a test, make her think twice, but Reed knows that without the Billings girls, she'd simply be another sophomore nobody at Easton.
However, the Billings girls and Thomas don't get along. In the meantime, Thomas has secrets of his own, too, and Reed fluctuates from desperately wanting to be part of the Billings girls to hating them for having a sickening power over everyone. Can Reed love Thomas, please the Billings girls, AND stay true to herself all at once? That seems like an impossible mountain to climb.
There is really nothing that has already been written in Private. Thomas is the stereotypical guy we hate to love, and Noelle is your average two-faced perfect villainess. There will certainly be room in this world for Private and its fans, though.
I REALLY like this series, but personally like the second book better than the first...