Summary (from Goodreads):
“Siena, older sister to Stella, battles to fulfill her mother’s vicarious ambitions and to retain her place at Temperley High’s social epicentre.
Worshipped, envied, desired, and feared by all, Siena Hamilton reigns over Temperley High, the embodiment of the Hamilton legacy. She and the Starlets may still be healing from the unfortunate and horrible events of that night, at the end of last year, but nothing can shake her place as the head of Temperley’s elite any longer. The Starlets are nothing if not adept at dealing with traitors, and Siena is her mother’s daughter: she knows how to be perfect, and she will not disappoint. There is only one person who could possibly get in her way…
Romy, former Starlet, is back—back from a mutually-agreed-upon term away, in France—and no one is happy about it, least of all herself. She’s changed now, though. She’s trying harder to be normal, to dress appropriately, to blend in, to keep her head down and keep the secret of what really happened that night safe and hidden. But when your former best friends are untouchable, and you’ve betrayed them, you don’t just get to come back—even if you’re beginning to think they might not have been your friends in the first place.
In this prequel to Helen Eve’s first novel Stella, revenge runs deep, old wounds break open, and the past can never, never be outrun.”
This was an incredibly fun book. Also, even though it’s a prequel to her first novel, Stella, you don’t need to have read that book to enjoy this one. (Although I want to track it down to see what happens next.)
A blurb on the back of the book compares it to Gossip Girl, and that is an incredibly apt comparison. Siena is incredibly Blair Waldorf and Romy is very similar to Serena. There are differences, of course, but this book was campy fun (until the end).
I loved Siena the most. She’s very determined to be perfect (or, if she can’t BE perfect, at least to APPEAR perfect) and fortunately she has a crew of friends (read: minions) who are happy to help achieve this goal. (Of the friends, Libby is my favorite; she is sort of the vice president and actually runs Siena’s calendar, including finding people to serve detention for her or to reschedule said detention, as needed.)
This book is just crazy fun—until, as I said, it isn’t anymore. Because the problem with trying to appear perfect is that once that facade crumbles…well, nothing good can come of it.
I definitely want to read Stella now, and I’m excited to see what Helen Eve does next.