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young adult book reviews & more

The Diamonds by Ted Michael

The DiamondsEvery girl and even some boys at the private Bennington School on Long Island wishes to be a Diamond, but unfortunately for these wishers, there are only four Diamonds: ringleaders and model of perfection Clarissa, hilarious boy magnet Priya, übersmart Lili, and Marni. Marni doesn’t really know how she ended up among the ranks of the most powerful and popular girls at her school, but she wouldn’t trade being a Diamond for anything, because popularity makes everything easier. Unfortunately, it also makes life a lot harder when Marni becomes involved with Clarissa’s ex-boyfriend Anderson: when Clarissa finds out, she uses her Diamond authority to make Marni the most unpopular girl at Bennington overnight. When the remaining Diamonds transform Bennington’s mock trial club into the Diamond Court, a pseudo-justice system the Diamonds use to exact revenge on those who displease them, Marni finally has enough. She gathers an unruly, mismatched army to spark a revolution against the Diamonds’ reign of terror, but the odds are stacked against Marni because there’s only one way to cut a diamond—with another.

The Diamonds is not another guilty pleasure about spoiled rich private school girls in NYC like Gossip Girl or The Elite. I was afraid it would be and was not looking forward to another one of those series. This novel may start out something like that, with wealthy popular girls living the life, but the story quickly becomes more twisted. The Diamonds does have the necessary ingredients of a guilty pleasure, with power struggles and backstabbing galore, but the crucial inclusion of a democratic system elevates this novel above Gossip Girl and the like. Democracy is cleverly juxtaposed with the Diamonds’ perverted sense of justice and increasingly monarchial rule. It’s interesting to see how this high school scene plays out like a political battlefield. This made the story so thrilling and even a bit educational to read. Marni’s character was also enjoyable to read about as her struggles are quite realistic, but I was somewhat disappointed that the other Diamonds were so cold and cruel that they were no longer believable. This novel touches on many themes, such as social equality, love, and friendship, and although I felt some of these could’ve been expanded upon, The Diamonds was overall a very satisfying read and impressive debut.

This novel will appeal to both fans of guilty pleasures and those interested in democracy and justice, as well as those that enjoyed Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from publisher Random House

5 munch(es) :

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

This book sounds so great!

-Briana

a flight of minds said...

Great review! I like that the book shows how high school is so political. Because really, everything of high school is politics.

- Alex

Juju said...

Cover note: Love her hair. Makes me think of that new product the bumpit. I so want one.

The Book Brat said...

oooo this book is on my need to read list

Kelsey said...

I actually bought this book yesterday, I thought it looked really good.

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