Review + Giveaway: Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

Rating: 4 / 5
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Release date: July 30, ’13 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Number of pages: 304
Source: ARC from Netgalley
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In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.


This book surprised me a lot. I can’t believe how I thoroughly enjoyed this. I’m a little cautious of films, series, or books that are set in a school for rich kids, because, you know, Gossip Girl (which I didn’t like very much), but wow! This was a lot of fun.

Prep School Confidential is your usual murder mystery book, except this time you’re dealing with really powerful people, and in an environment where everybody has something to hide and where no one’s absolutely innocent. Everywhere you go, there are shifty eyes, there are hidden agendas, there are backstories that can blow your mind. I loved how it kept me second-guessing everyone, from thinking “oh, this guy’s totally innocent” to “holy shit, I know it’s him!” and ultimately to “what the flying fuck is going on?!” And that’s not a bad thing, by the way. Bottomline is: this book has a lot of twists, a lot of juicy, sizzling secrets, and a lot of intrigue. It initially looks fun (don’t be fooled by that cover!) but it gets darker later on. DON’T TRUST ANYONE.

Even though it was a little predictable, I still thought it managed to hold itself to make it interesting and engaging. I attribute it to its easy writing and voice. It’s set in 1st person POV and our narrator is Anne, a young girl from New York who accidentally set her school auditorium on fire and was eventually sent to a rich boarding school in Boston. She’s wild, young, and reckless, but when the moment calls for it, she can be so kick-ass. I loved her humor, her wit, her overall personality – she totally carried this novel. Sure, she wasn’t that likeable at first… she appeared to be shallow and selfish, but she changes later — from being someone superficial to smart and righteous, willing to stand up and find the truth when everybody else doesn’t.

My only complaint is her being wishy-washy. You see, there’s a love triangle here, and while I normally don’t mind love triangles, it bothered me to no end how she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) decide which one she likes more. She’d think of Guy A, then wonders about Guy B. She’d blush at Guy A, then feels nauseous with Guy B. I was flabbergasted each time she’d think of these guys in the middle of a murder investigation, how she kept on thinking how cute they were, how attracted she was to both of them, how she felt something for BOTH of them… That really turned me off. Hopefully this will end in the next book and she finally decides who’s really for her.

The plot is linear as it’s a traditional whodunit book. I just love that there are so many secrets, how the whole thing is a tangled web of lies, deceit, and scandal, that we still have a lot of room for more detective work in the future sequels. It doesn’t even end in a cliffhanger! How cool is that?

Overall, I totally recommend this book to those who want to read a fun and dark whodunit mystery in a rich-family setting. The level of intrigue is exponential. I can’t wait for Anne to expose everybody’s bullshit! Imagine RevengeGossip Girl. Something that awesome. With a spunky lead. If that doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will!

Final Verdict: 4 / 5 stars


Kara has a BA in English/Secondary Education from Stony Brook University. She loves New Girl, sushi, and puppets that say rude things. It’s her dream to own a bakery someday.
Kara was inspired to start writing in part by her grandmother giving her Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and in part by her father’s bizarre antics, such as blow-drying his car. Her father looked like Borat in the 80′s.
Kara lives on Long Island with a Chihuahua named Izzy and a kitten named Felix. Her favorite authors are Gillian Flynn, Maureen Johnson, and Nelson Demille. She writes full-time, both on the PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL series and on an untitled television pilot for Warner Brothers Studios. |


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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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  1. says

    YES YES YES I loved this book too!! The mystery is the best part of the book! I thought this book wasn’t going to be that dark and complicated but holy cow, I was really enjoying how Anne managed to uncover the secrets and the real murderer. Meh, the love triangle was decent and perhaps this book would be better off without one but it didn’t bother me as much as you…

    Awesome review ;)

    • FayeFaye says

      Thanks, dear! I’m really glad I’m not the only one who thinks so :D

      I agree, I think the book would’ve been better without the love triangle, but we’ll see how it goes from here…

  2. Michelle Hofacker says

    I love to follow all the great reviews here. Can’t wait to read this book! It sounds really good!
    Thanks so much for sharing and for the giveaway opportunity 8)

  3. Atalia M. says

    Thanks for your review! Can’t wait to get my hands on this book now. I love boarding school books with some mystery and crime to it and this one seems like a great one!