by Elisa Ludwig
Katherine Tegen Books
March 13th, 2012
Willa and her mother have never set down roots before, so with her mother's money from the sale of her paintings they finally get a piece of the good life. Willa isn't used to it nor is she used to friends. So she's not aware that the Glitterati she's in with is not as nice as they appear. They take her shopping, help her reputation, and finally she makes a friend for the first time in her school life. Maybe even a boyfriend.
But the truth about the Glitterati, the ugly, sordid truth comes out and Willa is outraged. Nikki and Kellie are the Glitterati and only allow a certain few into their pack. So when they start blogging about the scholarship students saying not just mean things, but damaging things, Willa sees them for the bullies they are. Taking the passive aggressive route she decides to be a modern day Robin Hood, thinking that if she evens the playing field by giving the scholarship girls new clothes, that will take care of things.
Willa, in the beginning, is extremely naive. I'll give her a pass on that since she's never spent more than a year in one school and it was always public school. The school she goes to is ultra rich. It has it's own woodfire pizza oven in the cafeteria. It has over 200 acres. That is one very rich school. And most of the students that attend it are extremely rich. All designer clothes and cars. But Willa, she rides her "tricked out" Schwin bike to school with a velvet seat, a night light, and chrome fenders. It reminds me of something close to what I rode in my childhood without the velvet seat. This is her pride and joy. She wears altered vintage clothing and isn't ashamed of it. She likes who she is and is comfortable with herself. But a few weeks with the Glitterati and she's a changed girl. Actually, the first day, she's participating in their games. I thought she was smarter than that from the beginning, but she immediately falls for their games. She does not stick to her principles and her ideals even when she sees the evidence in front of her. Then all of a sudden Willa gets almost vengeful, not that I minded. Nikki and Kellie were pampered princesses who deserved nothing, deserved more than what they got.
Then there is Willa and her mom. They have an incredibly close relationship as her mother is young and sorta cool. She's an artist and a kind of go where the muse takes me kind of person. But as said before, she decides to settle down there in Arizona. But they are hardly moved in before her mother starts acting strange, losing weight, looking tired, crying, sleeping late, staying out all night and soon, Willa and her mother no longer trust each other. Willa's mother with good reason, but Willa isn't sure what is going on.
As for romance, the boy Willa spends the most time with is not the one she is interested in. Aidan is the one that leaves her speechless or feeling dizzy, but we know nothing of him except for that hair in his eyes, frayed shirts and his apparent interest in Willa. We don't know why he's interested in her, it's as secret as her mother's life. And we don't know why Willa likes him, he's only spoken to her a handful of times. And she's rebuffed him each time he asked her out. We don't really know why.
I was a little thrown off by this novel. The first part was like Mean Girls. But then the end threw me for a loop. It was like a completely different novel. It was very serious with Willa having to face her actions and then dangerous and bizarre. Of course, it ended on a very high note in my opinion, but the first three quarters and the last quarter just seemed like two different novels. I had no idea this was going to be a series and if it weren't for the Epilogue, I would have been left totally bewildered at the ending.
It was an enjoyable read and I will read on as the last quarter of the book was more tantalizing than the first.