A Wannabe Ivey Leaguer

Published 9:51 am Monday, January 24, 2022

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I don’t know about you, but this colder weather has had me cuddled up early in my bed most nights, relaxing, while reading my new favorite subgenre of books: prep school mysteries.

I finished my last book of 2021 the day after Christmas and wanted to share it with you all. I feel it is a must-read for anyone else with an affinity for prep school dramas.

Titled The Ivies, author Alexa Donne follows five girls who attend Claflin Academy with only one goal in mind: to attend the Ivy Leagues by any means necessary.

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The girls have been known to inhibit their classmates’ success by spreading lies, making accusations of cheating or purposely causing mayhem the night before a big test, all in assurance they can be at the top of the class rank.

Although wrong, things seem to be going the girls’ way, until the head of the girls’ group, Avery, doesn’t get into Harvard on early decision day.

Each girl in the group was assigned one specific Ivy League school to apply early decision for. This way, they would not compete against each other, upping their chances of acceptance.

However, on early decision day, it is revealed, Avery’s best friend, Emma went behind her back and was, in fact, accepted to Harvard.

To put it mildly, Avery is mad.

After a blowout fight, Emma walks away. To everyone’s shock, though, she never returns and the next morning the girls find her dead.

Everyone suspects Avery is the killer, but would someone really kill their best friend over a college acceptance?

Not only that, but who is to say that Emma is the only one in the friend group that went behind Avery’s back to apply to Harvard?

That’s where the story really begins to turn.

How did Emma get into Harvard when her grades weren’t as good, and why did her boyfriend, nor her roommate know where she went after the blowout fight?

One of the five, Olivia, who works on the school newspaper begins to investigate her best friend’s death, after she believes the police aren’t taking it seriously.

That’s when she uncovers motives that even I, despite this being my third prep school mystery in a row, couldn’t have seen coming.

During Olivia’s sleuthing, I couldn’t put the book down. Everything she was finding had me flipping through the pages as fast as I could. I had to know who was responsible.

The Young Adult novel does quite a few things right in the accused department.

There are so many realms of possibility.

It could be other students who were mad Emma had been purposely hurting their grades, it could be her best friend, it could be the boyfriend, maybe even the creepy security guard, who did know where she went after the fight.

I can honestly say the ending was very unexpected and unlike previous prep school mysteries I recently read.

If you’re a fan of Darcy Bell’s A Simple Favor, I feel like you’re going to love this book, no matter your age.