Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Ashley project by Melissa de la Cruz

The three Ashley's rule their school - Ashley "A.A" Alioto, Ashley "Lili" Li, and ultimate queen bee of them all Ashley Spencer.  For years they have been at the top of their game and everyone with half a brain wants in their inner circle, or at least permission to hang around the edges and bask in their combined glory.  For years Lauren Page was their victim, one of the many girls who received special attention from the triumvirate of Ashley's, victim of behaviour that is not becoming of a young lady from Miss Gamble's Preparatory School for Girls.

But something has changed over the summer, Lauren is no longer a social zero - since her family became rich the game has changed.  Suddenly money is no problem and Lauren can buy anything she wants, and with plenty of money comes some interesting new friends.  After years of being the outsider Lauren finally has a chance to be someone, but the price she has to pay may be more than she is prepared to pay.  Breaking into the inner circle is just the start of her plan, a chance to bring down the Ashley's from the inside - but that will be a lot harder than she thinks.  Lauren is about to discover that there is money and then there is old money, and that sometimes you have to play dirty to get the upper hand.

I am not a huge fan of really girly books because they always seem to come across as really fake, and with a brilliantly and unashamedly PINK cover like the one on this book just shouted cheesy read to me (which is why I picked it up, figuring it would give me some bubblegum story line to laugh about).  I got way more than I bargained for, discovering a read that is surprisingly deep for a story that seems aimed at really girly girly 'tweens.  Let me be clear here, I am not putting down girly reads or chick lit, it is just not my normal cup of tea.  I was engaged with The Ashley project right from the start, mostly because the rapidly changing viewpoints kept you involved with the action from start to finish, never giving you time to drift away from the story because you were bored or losing track of what was happening.

The Ashley project is a surprisingly deep read with lots of little secrets revealed along the way - secrets about Lauren and about the Ashley's, secrets that make the story that much more real and genuine.  I enjoyed the story in the same way I enjoyed the movie Mean girls, not so much because of the mean streak that runs through the book, but rather because of the OTT cliches of the mean girls, and the shameless name dropping of designers and places.  This is a very American book, both in terms of setting and the story, but it was a fun little read that has me waiting for the next book in the series to see what happens next.  The series has been published before and the books are being released with new titles, so double check before buying to make sure you don't already own a copy.

If you like this book then try:
  • Social order by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Birthday vicious by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Popularity takeoever by Melissa de la Cruz

Reviewed by Brilla

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