Berkley, Jun 2008, $9.99
With her mom traveling in Europe, Casey McCloy left Normal, Illinois to attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy in New York. She will live with her Nanna in the affluent Bramford Building in the Carnegie Hill section of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Her first impression of her new abode is shock at is elegance starting with the doorman.
Although the sophistication level is stratospherically hirer than Illinois, Casey quickly grasps the basic rule of teenage survival in New York is not that different from Normal; who you knows pay dividends in the social bank account. The it girl is extremely popular Madison Macallister; Casey met her in the lobby of the Bramford before she even made it to Nanna's apartment the first time. Madison can destroy any other student with just a look. Casey soon meets Madison's posse Sophie and Phoebe; and soon afterward Drew, who may be the ruler’s boyfriend. Casey spends time with the Madison trio who seem to have adopted the rube until Madison sees her talking with Drew. The welcoming committee turn into the queen of mean and her court as Madison wants Drew back anyway she can.
The cast makes this a strong high school character study as Jennifer Banash hones in deeply at the social caste system. Interestingly, the support players like Madison’s retinue seem fully developed while the lead triangle is each strong individuals though the battling females are somewhat stereotyped like professional wrestlers. Fans will enjoy the tug of war with Drew as the rope between the mean queen of THE ELITE and the sweet not quite country bumpkin.