- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; 1 edition (2 Jan 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1447241711
- ISBN-13: 978-1447241713
17-year-old Stella Hamilton is the star blazing at the heart of Temperley High. Leader of the maliciously exclusive elite, she is surrounded by adulation; envied and lusted after in equal measure. And she is in the final stage of a five-year campaign to achieve her destiny: love with her equally popular male equivalent, and triumph as Head Girl on election night.
By contrast, new girl Caitlin Clarke has until now lived a quietly conformist life in New York. With the collapse of her parents’ marriage she has been sent across the Atlantic for an English boarding school education, only to discover that at Temperley, the only important rules are the unwritten ones. It's a world of the beautiful and the dangerous, and acceptance means staying on the right side of Stella Hamilton, the most beautiful and dangerous of them all.
Not everyone is happy to be under the Hamilton rule. But fighting the system means treading the same dark path as Stella - and if Caitlin puts a foot wrong, it's a long way down . . .
Stella Hamilton is the star of Temperley High School. Literally. She is the leader of an elite group of Stars who rule the school and set the standard for all other girls and is in the final stage of her campaign of supreme reign: love with her male counterpart and win position of Head Girl.
Caitlin Clarke is the new girl at Temperley and has a lived a quiet life compared to Stella. After her parents separation, she travelled with her father from New York to England to attend school and had to say goodbye to the little brother she adores. Caitlin quickly learns that those in charge at Temperley aren’t necessarily the teachers and the most important rules are the ones no one tells you about.
When Stella takes Caitlin under wing, Caitlin blossoms. She sees what life is like on the beautiful side and she doesn’t ever want to go back. Life in the popular circle isn’t always sunshine and happiness. Some aren’t happy to be under Stella’s rule but going against the system means doing things like Stella would. And if you fall, it’s a long way to the bottom.
I absolutely loved this book. It is one of the rare books that has me switching allegiances gradually throughout. It is fraught with the perils of teenage politics and drips elegance of wealth and luxury. At times the story did go that stretch too far to be believable, but it’s largeness only made it more fascinating.
As the story progressed each girl grips furiously to what she has claimed at the school and neither will admit defeat, and even becomes a little unhinged in their mental state. There has been a lot of comparison with the Cecily von Ziegesar books, Mean Girls and Great Expectations and I can see why, but also, Stella stands up pretty well all on its own.
Read it and be glad you never went to this school.
Many thanks to My Kinda Book and Macmillan Children's Books for the review copy.