The Compulsive Reader: The Elite by Jennifer Banash

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Elite by Jennifer Banash

When Illinois girl Casey McCloy's mother gets a temporary job in London, she finds herself standing in front of The Bramford, one of New York City's exclusive apartment buildings, ready to move in with her grandmother. It's here that she meets Madison, Phoebe, and Sophie, who are all filthy rich, and take pity on Casey and befriend her. Well, some of them anyway. Madison hates everything about Casey...from her less expensive wardrobe to the fact that Madison's long time friend and sort-of boyfriend Drew is drawn to Casey, and she’s not going to let some small town hick take away what’s hers. Things are about to get ugly.

Before you start thinking that The Elite is just another novel of its genre, Banash surprises the reader by giving the seemingly perfect rich girls problems and flaws that aren't unfamiliar to Midwestern girls like Casey. It's a hard task to get readers to feel an ounce of empathy for mean girls like Madison, but Banash does it.

When Madison is determined to humiliate Casey, rather than beat her at her own game, Casey admirably stands her ground, making her a real role model. But this novel isn't all about nasty remarks and stunning makeovers: it also explores the meaning of family, and the angst that comes with relationships that have run their course. Finally, a novel that isn't all about the materialistic things in life. This absorbing read will fly by quickly.

The Elite will be released from Berkley JAM June 3rd, 2008!


Melissa Walker said...

I read an early copy of this one, too, and really enjoyed the unexpected character depth! Nice review.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for a great review! I look forward to sending you IN TOO DEEP!

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