Author: Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 8, 2008
When 16-year-old Scarlett Wakefield transfers from St. Tabby’s to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, she is relieved that no one knows her dark, haunting secret. A few months ago, Scarlett was invited to an elite party with a guest list full of the hottest names in British society, including Dan McAndrew. Before the party, Scarlett had only imagined what it would be like to have her first kiss with Dan, but on the penthouse terrace, Dan leaned in close and she no longer had to wonder. Their kiss was beautiful and perfect and magical, and then . . . Dan McAndrew took his last breath as she held him in her arms. No one knows how or why Dan died, and everyone at St. Tabby’s believes Scarlett had something to do with it. But now that she’s safely hidden away at Wakefield Hall, Scarlett would rather forget that it ever happened. Only she can’t. Especially when she receives an anonymous note that will set her on the path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to the first and last boy she kissed.
This is the first book in the Scarlett Wakefield series, and I have to say, I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next two books in the series! Scarlett is an athlete at St. Tabby’s and doesn’t fit in with the “in” crowd – that is, until she is invited to a party that the popular crowd is attending, including her crush, Dan McAndrew. After showing off a few gymnastics moves to Dan, they share a kiss (Scarlett’s first) and Dan dies in her arms. Talk about a buzz kill… The rest of the book follows Scarlett to Wakefield Hall, the school ran by her grandmother that she is forced to attend after St. Tabby’s tires of the press and publicity of Dan’s tragic death.
I think most readers can identify with Scarlett at least at some part in his/her life – feeling out of place, awkward, and not cool enough to be part of the in crowd. I was really impressed with the transition the author made from Scarlett at St. Tabby’s to Scarlett at Wakefield Hall. It could have been choppy and hard to follow, but the author did a great job making sure the reader could follow along.
I was in suspense the entire book and couldn’t put it down until I finished (luckily it was a rainy day and I had nothing else to do). The ending does leave the reader hanging, so I’m happy that the second and third books are already out and I can read them very soon.
All in all, this book was a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in YA mixed with mystery and suspense.
Thanks for reading!