Sunday, May 23, 2010

She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott

Title: She's So Dead to Us (Book 1)
Author: Kieran Scott
Pages: 256

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: May 25, 2010

When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all?

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?

Ally Ryan is back. That's what everyone is talking about. Why? Because she's coming back after two years. She's coming back after her dad bankrupted half of the town. Now everybody hates her. Secrets, lies, and diminished friendships haunt her every move. Insults become a normal thing for the once-popular, once-loved Ally Ryan. Will she get through it all? Will she even snag one of the most swoon-worthy guys? Or will she fall?

She's So Dead to Us is a pleasurable read with an intricately and elaborately woven web of lies, lust, and secrets. Friendship and family relationships are made more complicated with an enhanced high-society background with the über wealthy. The rich families' bad attitudes are evident based on how they treat Ally and her mom. Of course, their feelings can be empathized with, but even so, they still stoop very low and treat Ally's family harshly though her and her mom don't have anything to do with the scandal. Grudges are strong, but new bonds are formed.

Ally's powerful stance and character is very promising as she deals with insults, pranks, and judgments. She is an extremely strong protagonist, who, in the midst of everything, will make the best out of what she has. A big theme in this novel is acceptance; here, Ally accepts her financial status and comes to terms with what her father has done. Jake, on the other hand, eventually starts accepting her as well. Characters in She's So Dead to Us, such as Jake, are shallow at first, but progress into somewhat more understanding and more empathizing characters. His deeper perception of Ally is what brings them together, but his shallowness also comes in the way at times, making him look pig-headed and immature.

The characters surrounding Ally are not neglected and well-developed. Each has a unique personality and outlook on Ally's situation. Most of the characters' attitudes towards Ally is thoroughly established through their immense bullying and insulting; all of which are well-put and realistically portrayed by Scott. The divide between wealthy and the middle class is truly visible in She's So Dead to Us due to the treatment and the behavior of each group. Kieran Scott delivers this through undiluted discrimination between the two classes.

There is a large contrast here between shallowness and depth. Ally's narration is mature and full of depth while she lives in a typical, shallow background filled with the very rich. Stereotypes here are profoundly scrutinized at a more perceptive level, but the stereotypes themselves are shallow. Ally's relationship with her mom is one that is genuine and real amongst the façade of 'adept' relationships put up by her other friends.

She's So Dead to Us is surprisingly an in-depth book in the midst of shallow books similar to its premise. Scott's novel will stand out and will pull readers in with its riveting world of high-society life, secrets, drama, and a blooming romance. Readers will encounter scandals, deceit, and will truly find out how imperfect and complicated rich people's lives can be.

The Bottom Line: Fresh, fun, gritty, and utterly real.

---Field Report---
Originality: 6/10
Ending: 8/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 9/10
Imagery: 9/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Total Score: 92/100 (A)

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Robby May 23, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

I can't wait to read this! :D

Bethany May 23, 2010 at 10:02 PM  

I better pt it on my TBR list. It sounds awesome!!!

Amber Skye May 23, 2010 at 10:45 PM  

Ooh this one looks good! It was already on my wish list, but now I'm even more excited for it. Great review.

Natalie W May 24, 2010 at 12:11 AM  

Sounds like a great read. I'll have to add it to my list.
Natalie :0)

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies May 24, 2010 at 6:46 PM  

This one has just been added to my wishlist, thanks for the great review.

Also, I much prefer this American cover to the UK one!

Carol May 25, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

I LOVE this cover so much :)

Alice May 26, 2010 at 2:37 PM  

Great review, Reggie!

P.S. you got an award at my blog (:

Mrs. DeRaps June 14, 2010 at 11:05 PM  

Well-written review. I love the cover, and it sounds like the plot definitely relates. I love a good character-driven plot, and it sounds like this novel is full of it!

Thanks for the awesome review! You've won me over and I'm now following!

j June 14, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

You have convinced me on this one! Well-developed characters are a must for me. Thanks for the review!

Christina T June 14, 2010 at 11:27 PM  

This is on my TBR list and I'm glad to hear that it is more than the average "mean girls" high society story. It would be horrible to be in Ally's shoes. I enjoyed your review and how detailed it is.

Maria June 15, 2010 at 12:03 AM  

This is just another book I've misjudged because of the cover, but now that I really took the time to read what it's about, something your wonderful review strengthened, I've realised my mistake. You're so good at making a book look great, Reggie! Btw, I'm your "Secret Santa" in the Comment Exchange Program, lol.

Blueicegal ♥ June 15, 2010 at 1:37 AM  

very detailed review love it! and the cover is lovely :)

Natalie (Id So Rather Be Reading) June 15, 2010 at 8:53 AM  

The cover had me with the Pearls! I hadn't heard of this one and I really enjoyed the author interview too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

**Found Review through the CEP**

Unknown June 15, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

Ally sounds like a very strong heroine. The kind of character I like to root for.

Here from the Comment Exchange Program.

Sara June 15, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

This sounds super good! I love Kate Brian (which I just recently found out was also Kieran Scott). I'm definitely going to read this one, thanks to your awesome review! (:

Btw here from the CEP :D

Malbebe June 17, 2010 at 12:26 AM  

Wow this is an amazing review. I can definitely tell you put a TON of time into this. Kieran Scott is a great author, I love all her books (well the ones I've read that is) and this book is one I want to read the most.

Here from CEP! Also thanks for your comment that you gave my review. :)

Anonymous,  June 20, 2010 at 4:52 AM  

Awesome review ! This book seems pretty good :D

Bookworm June 22, 2010 at 7:10 AM  

This sounds super intriguing (very PRETTY LITTLE LIARS). Plus, I love that cover--the colors and the pearls are so eyecatching!

Tina June 22, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

I've been eying this novel in the bookstore for a while, but I'm afraid of doing an impulse buy. Looks like a good read from your review, must pick this one up by payday. :)

elioravespera June 28, 2010 at 6:14 AM  

I read this because of you!! :D Love it!!

Babi Dewet July 6, 2010 at 7:20 AM  

Im reeeally excited to read this book!
I LOOVE the cover!
Loved your review!

Monica July 14, 2010 at 2:56 AM  

I also read this book and LOVED it! Happy to see that you liked it too! I like how you do your rating!

Shelbie, Amanda and Jenni July 15, 2010 at 6:40 AM  

I really want to read this! It looks very good!

Anonymous,  July 16, 2010 at 4:48 AM  

This book sounds juicy; although I always have a hard time relating to people with money.

Julianna Steffens July 27, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

This is a book i really want to read. I am trying to find a Brazilian store to import! Dreaming of living in the United States for not having trouble to buying them ^~

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