Review Detail

4.2 10
Young Adult Fiction 1492
Big city adventure & drama!
Overall rating
Writing Style
Reader reviewed by Dominique

Casey McCloy jumped at the chance to see the Big Apple when her mother announced that she was going overseas to do some research for her book. The next thing Casey knows, she is moving in with her grandmother into the luxurious Bramford apartments of Manhatten’s Upper East Side. But can a girl from an all but unheard of town in Illinois fit into the big city and the prestigious Meadowlark Academy, where fashion divas and trendsetters like Madison Macallister rule the scene? I mean, when she first set foot in the Bram and bumped into Madison and her posse, she was instantly labeled a walking fashion violation—apparently Abercrombie isn’t high enough on the fashion food chain to warrant anything but distain from It Girl Madison! So does Casey stand a chance in Meadowlark and NYC?

Although Madison and her ladies seem imposing in their high fashion and expensive heels, Casey thinks she stands a chance to befriend the queen of style and sets out to do just that. Casey is taken out to do some shopping for a make over, but the sky high prices on all the designer brands that are a must for the stars of Meadowlark are completely out of Casey’s range! Luckily, with some unexpectedly generous assistance from Madison, Casey is now ready for her first day at the elite academy! But will a new outfit completely prepare Casey for what she’s about to face? And what is she to do with the hottie, Drew, also known as Madison’s on and off boyfriend, who keeps catching her eye?

Who can Casey trust? Can she really fit into this high-priced society? Can Casey keep up with Madison and her girls, or are they out of her league and only letting her in out of pity?

The Elite is a great start to a new series by Jennifer Banash! It was a bit heavy on the fashion brands and the language is a bit strong (but that’s how it is for many teens nowadays in the US) but the characters all had some very interesting stories to tell. I loved how the point of view switched between the characters so that we could get a bigger picture of their lives. Most of them deal with issues that plenty of teens have and it was nice to get to know more about the others, besides Casey—it definitely helped develop the characters more, and readers will find it easier to understand these dynamic teens! They all had realistic, believable feelings and actions that were wonderfully expressed throughout the novel! It was also great to see down-to-earth Casey shine and show that you don’t need to be rolling in gold to be happy with yourself. There’s more to even the rich and popular kids than all that glitz and glamour they live with! And it would seem that Casey has it easy with just her frizzy-hair problems, after seeing what some of those oh-so-perfect teens have to deal with, behind their sophisticated and happy façade…wealth may not necessarily guarantee happiness…
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