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.Prep School Confidential releases on July 30th, but you do not have to wait until then for a glimpse inside its pages. This story centers around a girl solving her friend's murder, so it is natural that one of my favorite parts is when, after locking herself out of her dorm and spending the night in her friends' room, Anne returns to find her roomate missing. Her tale truly starts to get exciting at this point, which is why I chose it for my exerpt.
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.
When I wake up, I check to make sure April and Kelsey are still breathing. It's light-ish outside, so Isabella should be awake and getting ready for the Wetland Conservation Club outing that she's been talking about all week.
That's right. The Wheatly School has a Wetland Conservation Club.
I grab the furry blue bathrobe hanging from the back of Kelsey and April's door and slip it on as a precaution. I look like an overgrown Sesame Street character, but the last thing I need is to run into Alexis when I'm wearing the same clothes I had on last night.
“Isabella.” I knock loudly this time. “Isabella!”
The light is still off. I call her phone, but again, straight to voice mail. Isabella must have overslept: There's no way she would be able to get up without her phone alarm.
I can stand here pounding on the door and wake up the whole dorm, or I can tell Darlene I'm locked out. At least I can use the I went to the bathroom and forgot my key excuse now.
Isabella isn't in the bathroom, even though my gut knew before I checked that it would be useless. I knock on Darlene's door and gnaw the inside of my lip while I wait for her to open it.
“What's up, Anne?” There's a phone cradled between her neck and her shoulder, and her expression and voice say she really wants to get rid of me. What's she so anxious about this early in the morning?
“I'm locked out,” I say. “And Isabella won't wake up.”
“You're gonna have to wait a couple minutes,” she says. “I'm kind of dealing with something right now.”
She retreats into her room. It's a suite, like the guys have, and I notice there's someone sitting on Darlene's living room couch. It's Emma, the RA from downstairs. She's on the phone, too, gnawing at her nails.
And that's when I realize something must be wrong. I'm practically trembling with curiosity by the time Darlene comes back out, key in hand. I follow her in silence as she opens the door to my room.
But Isabella isn't there. Her bed is untouched.
“Where is she?' I ask aloud.
“Didn't you see her this morning?” Darlene asks.
Shit. “Um, not exactly. I stayed in April and Kelsey's room last night.”
Darlene pushes her superblunt bangs up her forehead. “It's okay. She probably went out for coffee or something.”
“Her wallet is on the nightstand, though,” I point out.
Darlene's face drains of color as she processes this. “Anne, when was the last time you saw Isabella?”
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