Review: Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

I knew I had to read this as soon as I read the words “boarding school,” and then to find out that it’s also a mystery? I couldn’t get it fast enough. I’ve read a lot of books about rich kids in New York City’s private schools, which is where Anne starts out. They’re usually elitist and bored and obnoxious. Anne’s like that too — at first. Then she enters Wheatley School, where she’s not at the top of the food chain anymore. Her family has money, but the families of most of the other Wheatley students have something better: power — real power. Her rival’s father, for example, is a US Senator. Suddenly Anne finds out what it’s like to be on the outside. She turns out to have a lot more depth than I thought at the beginning of the book. She’s a genuinely likable character, not the Mean Girl I thought she was.

I was sad when Anne’s roommate Isabella was found dead. I had grown to like her so much. I haven’t read many YA mysteries, because there don’t seem to be that many of them, so I was a little skeptical about that aspect. I love mysteries, though, and this one held my interest all the way through the book. Like Anne, it’s a lot more complex than than it seems at the beginning. There are secrets at every turn and everyone at school seems to be hiding something.

There’s so much I want to say about the mystery that I can’t say because it will be a spoiler, but I will say that the mystery is solved by the end of the book. There’s no Pretty Little Liars let’s-drag-this-out-forever-and-get-unnecessarily-complicated-so-we-can-sell-more-books here. (There is another book coming, but it has its own mystery.)

And then it hits me; This is how it is. I’m not dealing with two awesome pairs of shoes here. I can’t have both of them. Even if I choose one, we’ll all be thinking about the other. No matter what I do or don’t do, everybody gets hurt.

At least Anne’s aware of that. I can’t say I liked the love triangle that much, but I do see the appeal in both of her love interests. I guess I was a little torn between them too. I don’t have particularly strong feelings for either one of them. If that doesn’t change with the next book, I’ll be fine with whoever she ends up with.


  1. Love boarding school books! I’ll have to add this one to my wishlist!

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