Book Review: "Privilege" by Kate Brian
*Although the books I review on my blog are almost always Christian fiction, there will be a few spotlighted regular fiction titles I will review from time to time.*
SOME WOULD EVEN KILL FOR IT.
Ariana Osgood ruled exclusive Easton Academy -- until she was arrested for murdering Thomas Pearson. She's spent the past two years at the Brenda T. Trumbull Correctional Facility for Women plotting her escape and is determined to get a second chance at the glamorous life she left behind. And Ariana will do anything to get her way....From the author of the bestselling Private novels comes a new series about the dark world of wealth, secrets, and Privilege.
I have not read the Private series but I did read the prequel, Last Christmas, which was a tie in to this book. It's lucky that I did because otherwise I would be completely lost by this story. This book is the first book in the spin off series from the original Private series. Spin off series seem to be the newest trend in YA fiction these days. The reader finds Ariana, now living in a women's correctional facility because of the crime she had committed while living at Easton. She is plotting all she can to get out because she doesn't think she belongs in there.
Ok seriously am I supposed to feel sorry for Ariana? Because unfortunately I don't. I actually do want to see her locked up and I think that she needs to be. I mean she's still a teenager and she's already murdered two people before the book even begins. I was actually glad to see her feel extreme pain after the "suicide" incident. The story actually rather disgusts me in that in this fictional scenario depicts that as long as you are pretty and rich, you can get anyway with anything. Ariana has absolutely no moral conflict, no regrets, no remorse. It's almost too much to believe all this happens and no one seems to care or notice. Is it the lack of parental guidance to blame? Yes there are times where she "chokes" or wishes she was in a different situation. And sure there were times when the treatment in the facility was a little harsh and the doctor went a bit overboard. However she actually thinks that it's not her fault and she should be out free in the world. There's a part of me that wishes for once in books, people who deserve to be locked up and punished actually do. I honestly do not really see the appeal in this book. Do we really want teens to read this and think that they can get away with anything if they have money and looks?
The other characters in this book did not feel like they were fleshed out enough. They seemed to be introduced only to further Ariana's own story. The whole Kaitlynn/Briana Leigh plot seemed like something from Wild Things or some other B-grade movie. Nothing but rich kids plotting to get more money. Oh and was it just me or was the name Briana Leigh chosen because it's very close in spelling to Ariana? If there's any character I feel sorry for at all in this book it's Hudson because he'll eventually find out everything he's learned about Ariana is a lie.
Perhaps I'm overreacting a little but this is one series I will not be eager to get my hands onto. The only thing that would entice me to continue reading would be to see how long Ariana will be able to keep up with what she has started from this book. However, there's too much drama going on in the real world to be concerned with the escapades of a psychopath socialite.
For the readers of this blog I cannot recommend this book. If you like boarding school stories try The Carter House Girls series by Melody Carlson or the It's All About Us series by Shelley Adina.
Privilege by Kate Brian is published by Simon and Schuster Children (2008)