When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do. Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian. But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.
Even in ParadiseFeatured
Charlotte takes on the role of emotional caretaker, which is just an expensive way of saying, "Babysitter" for not just Julia, but the entire Buchanan clan. When they needed to make sure Julia behaved, they expected Charlotte to handle it. When problems arose, it was up to Charlotte to take care of it. When things went horribly wrong, they wanted to blame Charlotte. The Buchanans needed to grow up, the whole lot of them. And then there was Sebastian. I liked him the most because he wasn't the stereotypical good-looking rich boy. He was quirky, cute and seemed legitimately taken with Charlotte, but even he needed to man up.
I usually don't enjoy books that are left open-ended, but this one leaves the reader with a sense of hope for fresh starts and new beginnings.
Fans of Gatsby and We Were Liars will enjoy this book.
"Even knowing, as I do now, that grace, power, and, yes, love can hide the darkest elements of the human heart, I would do it all again.”
I think that what didn't worked for me was the style of the story and I think this will be what most people will love about this one, let me explain. This book is kind of a retelling of "The Great Gatsby", it tell the story of the Great Buchanan's family from an outside point of view - Charlie - and the way this book was narrated reminded me a lot of the same vibe that the original book passed me, but I'm not a fan of "The Great Gatsby" I think the vibe, this atmosphere, whatever it's made me just an spectator of a story it didn't put me inside this story, it didn't made me feel it, it only distanced me from it - so I think that people that come in this book seeking for "The Great Gatsby" will end up loving this book but it wasn't my cup of tea.
But anyway in the end of the story I kind of liked Charlie - at least enough to care about her future and hate that opening end like seriously it had to be THAT open? The story itself wasn't also completely bland to me, it had it's emotional moments but I don't know, I was expecting more drama, more pain, I was expecting to feel sorry for this poor rich family that had everything except happiness but it just didn't worked for me.
This book is still the best retelling of "The Great Gatsby" and the american dream out there, it's a story that is constructed as a slow burn, starting slow and gradually growing emotionally, and it really capture the picture of The Buchanans.