I was pleasantly surprised by this novel; it was a lot better than I expected it to be. From the summary on the back, it seems like another Gossip Girl or The Elite, but in fact it was a lot different. It was less about rich, popular girls, and more about a corrupt court system at a private school. The set-up was actually pretty interesting. Bennington has a mock trial team, like a lot of schools do, and the Diamonds decide to use it as a forum to resolve disputes between classmates. So people who have gotten in fights or cheated on their boyfriends come and the Diamonds decide who's guilty and deliver a punishment. The faculty is so impressed that they allow the Diamonds to give out detentions and suspensions, which is something a regular school would never allow. But Clarissa, the corrupt politician that she is, bribes the jury and bribes students to testify against each other, so she can put her "frenemies" in their place. The faculty and club advisor are oblivious to everything that's going on, so we have four girls who are practically running the school. A plotline not often seen in literature, so Michael has the originality factor on his side. What was also cool was all the references to the Constitution and other legal documents in US history. It seemed like the author really did his research. From my summary, I'm sure you can guess the ending, but there were some twists and turns that were unexpected. I really liked this book and think that anyone with an interest in law or history will especially enjoy this informative, and at times comedic, novel.
8 out of 10.
Release Date: April 14, 2009