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Title: Georgetown Academy Book One
Authors: Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz
May Contain Spoilers
It’s the beginning of a new political administration. That might not mean much at most high schools, but at Georgetown Academy, Washington D.C.’s most elite prep school, January 20th means new alliances, new flings, and new places to party.
While freshmen—nicknamed “interns” for their willingness to jump into bed with anyone higher on the D.C. totem pole—navigate the not-so-friendly halls of GA searching for Algebra and Bio classes, the school’s lifers have other things on their minds.
For self-proclaimed D.C. royalty Brinley Madison (of those Madisons), the first day of school is all about establishing the social hierarchy and playing the part of perfect political wife to her boyfriend, the outgoing Vice President’s son. Too bad he has a wandering eye that puts Bill Clinton’s to shame. Can she keep him, and her own secret vice, in check?
Ellie Walker, Brinley’s best friend, floats through the halls on the arm of golden boy Hunter McKnight (the JFK of GA). But when her ex-boyfriend, Gabe, returns to town and her Senator mother’s political nemesis is reelected, Ellie’s life starts to snowball out of control.
Shy, quiet Evan Hartnett is more into books than beer, and her closet is full of t-shirts and jeans instead of Jason Wu and Jimmy Choo. No one’s ever really noticed her—but she’s been noticing them. When her star rises as an intern at D.C.’s most-watched political news show, she soon finds the two worlds colliding in ways that make her question what’s secret and what’s fair game.
New girl Taryn Reyes is all laid-back, California cool; with a father who’s in line to be the first Hispanic president, she’s ready to dive into the D.C. scene with an open mind. But when her fellow students turn out to be more interested in spreading rumors than making friends, she realizes that forging a drama-free path might be a lot harder than she thinks.
With so many new friends and former flames in the mix, things are bound to get a little heated. And while diplomatic immunity might keep the cops away, there’s not much it can do about the press.
In a town where one teenage misstep can turn into a national scandal, the students at Georgetown Academy will have to be on their best behavior—or, at least, they’ll have to make the world believe that they are.
Because there’s only one rule: whatever you do, don’t get caught.
When I was approached to review Georgetown Academy, I was excited to dive into the book. Coliloquy, the publisher, is defining itself as a cutting edge digital publisher, and they are actively attempting to engage more reader interaction. From their website:
“Coliloquy is a next-generation digital publisher, leveraging advances in technology to enable groundbreaking new types of books, new revenue models, and new forms of author-reader engagement.”
Now, I love the idea of this, but after reading the first installment of the Georgetown Academy series, I wasn’t impressed with the reader interaction. There is one point in the story where the reader can choose one of the characters and follow her POV for a short sequence of events. I found this more tedious than ground-breaking because I had to reread the same scene four times to get all of the girls’ perspectives. This just slowed the pace of the story for me. What would I like to see in future releases? Maps of key places, including the school, illustrated character bios, even emails and text messages sent by the protagonists. How about adding some audio, too, and including voice mails, etc? That would be so cool, and to me, that would more fully engage my attention.
Despite my quibble with the interactive features, I did enjoy this introduction to the Georgetown Academy series. I had a good sense of how each of the characters ticked, and felt that I was able to get into their heads as they each dealt with all of the drama tossed their way. And each of them is drowning in drama! If you like books with lots of angst, lots of social pressure, and intense interpersonal relationships, this is the series for you. Once I settled into the story, I was very engaged in the lives and trials of Evan, Taryn, Ellie, and Brinley. Better yet, I liked some more than others, and found that they each had a unique personality. Dealing with their parents’ successes and setbacks, boyfriend troubles, and the press kept each of them on the edge. These teens are in a larger than life setting, and not all of them are as well equipped to deal with the stress.
Because Georgetown Academy Book One is so short, I found the initial character introductions the slowest aspect of the story. Just when I felt that I had a handle on the protagonists, the story shuddered to an abrupt ending. Was I invested in the story? You bet! I immediately wanted to start reading Book Two! So be aware that the beginning of the book drags a bit, but then, as the mishaps and gossip start piling up, GA is difficult to put down.
Grade: Wavering between a B and a B-
Review copy provided by publisher