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Adam Hemlock rules the elite New Harbor Academy. With his mother in Paris, he throws hedonistic, alcohol- and drug-fueled parties for his equally rich, desperately bored classmates. How’s a guy who lives life to the extreme to stay entertained? Take on a challenge, of course, and hope the exhilaration of the play-by-play fallout chases away the indifference. At the big pre-senior-year bash, Adam’s offered a dare—seduce the new kid. Adam initially laughs off the idea but changes his mind when he sees Jared.
Jared Rawell has spent the past two years at a Texas military school, where his father sent him to “pray away the gay.” He sees the academy in more liberal Washington as a chance to start over and achieve the grades he needs to get into an Ivy League school. When a beautiful but terrifying girl offers Jared a deal—don’t sleep with Adam Hemlock and she’ll help Jared get through senior year—he sees no reason to say no. But nothing is as simple as it seems.
With layers of hidden agendas, backstabbing, lying, cheating, drugs, and entitled teenage egos, Jared and Adam must navigate a high school minefield while waiting for the inevitable explosion.
This book was freaking frackin’ good. Holy Heck. When I read the blurb my first thought was of the movie Dangerous Liaisons and how good this could be with boys in high school. It was beyond my control and I can tell you that it was done well.
Pardon me while I ramble…
The story begins with Adam Hemlock and his bet with Clare, the resident oh so mean girl, right as their senior year of high school begins. Clare’s bet with Adam? That he can’t sleep with the new boy, the new hot gay boy and Adam accepts the challenge. Let me take a moment to admit, I am a fan of the Gossip Girl books and the show… I am not comparing them to this, but having read them and being familiar with the privileged rich, spoiled and quite frankly messed up teenagers, I was more than ready to dig into this book. Can’t you see… all things pointed toward me loving this book. It’s like it was written for me? I mean it totes was, right?
Anyhoo… we start with Adam’s POV and then we get the POV of Jared, as previously mentioned – the hot new gay boy – as he enters a party and meets the brats, um folks that will soon become his peers. Hands down, the best of the best in his group of teenage malcontents is the notorious king himself, Biggie. I want to sit on the arm of any chair that 90’s gin and juice lovin’ boy is in. He is amazing in so many ways and really larger than life. Honestly, the boy hypnotizes me… pun intended.
Back to Adam and Jared and Clare… oh Clare. That girl is devious and her issues run deeper than any archeological dig could go but she plays the game and plays it well. Having bet, something, with Adam on him getting Jared and she tells Jared, she’ll get him through his senior year, if he doesn’t let Adam have him. Sounds simple if you think about it but these boys, they have insane chemistry and are so damn good together. I wanted them both to win the bet and yet fail.
“You asked who runs this place,” Clare said. “And it’s quite easy, really. Biggie might hold court, but Adam will want your ass.”
“I have no idea who Adam is, let alone any intention of giving him my ass.”
“You will,” Ryder said. “They all say that to start with. Then they all let him at it.”
Ack! I have so much I want to say about this but to say what I want to say would spoil the book and it was way too good to do that. This being my first from the author I am in love with the way she tells a story. If felt what these boys were going through. I was there with them even when I had no idea what would happen. I loved that I felt as if I were right with them whether they were holding court in the Cafeteria of New Harbor Academy, playing soccer, partying it up, playing games, hanging out, making out or doing whatever it is these crazy assed rich kids do. Ugh.
But I have to say, I fell hard and fast for Jared and Adam. These boys were adorable together and even after the first short conversation about who would and wouldn’t get what, *ahem* I just wanted them together. Adam broke my damn heart over and over again and Jared did as well. The small moments were the best though; do not get me started on college acceptance letters or I won’t shut up. Goodness, I am holding back saying anything because, it’s too good to spoil. Have I said that yet? I am such a tease aren’t I? Well, it’s beyond my control…
Sometimes the best-laid plans go awry, and it ends up being something you never considered that stokes your passion or interest.
I am having a terrible time putting in to words what I want to say, though I have talked to myself about this book for days now, I just can’t find those perfect words and I am rambling. Nothing new if you have read my reviews.
This book was great. Yes, they boys and their friends are rich but they are very real characters. I really liked how sex was approached and things teenage boys did, were talked about, even how they “researched” acts and wanted to try them out. Sex is sex but it’s so much more here and between Adam and Jared, it’s everything.
The only thing I didn’t get and what I really wanted with this was Adam’s POV again. I was hoping for it to be book ended and it wasn’t. I will pretend he told me a few things about the bet and Jared, in French, in the hot tub. Shh… I won’t tell anyone. *winks*
Okay, I will stop. If you like mature stories about high school boys (yes, I meant to say that) with a bit of mean girl back stabbing and twists that will clench your heart with emotion… I would suggest you read this.
RATING: 4.5 STARS