I read this book a while ago, but since I just finished the series, I thought it would be nice to review the three books. So here we are with the first one, She' So Dead To Us.
When I first heard of the book, I thought it was paranormal YA about zombies or vampires, mainly because of the title and the cover, which isn't very telling. But it turned out to be contemporary YA, which is my favourite. The book description pitches it as "Desperate Housewives meets Gossip Girl". I'm not sure why, but then again, I've never watched Desperate Housewives, so I can't say whether it's appropriate.
Ally Ryan returns to Orchard Hill with her mother after almost two years of absence. They were a rich family, but then her father lost his clients all their money with some risky investments and then left his wife and daughter, forcing Ally and her mother to relocate. Now Ally's mother has received a good job offer in Orchard Hill, so they're back
Ally's former friends keep her at a distance. They're angry that her father practically bankrupted them, isolate her, and play pranks on her. Ally meets a new guy, Jake Graydon, who lives in what previously was her home. They're attracted to each other, but his friends (who used to be Ally's friends first) boycott the relationship and try to keep them apart. Their main issue seems to be that Jake's a "Crestie" (all the rich kids live on a "crest", thus the nickname), while Ally, formerly a Crestie, now lives with her mum in a small apartment in a lower-income neighbourhood and is now a "Norm" (how the working class kids are called).
The book is told from Ally's and Jake's alternating perspectives. It's YA chick-lit, so very light reading, but I guess it tries to make a point about social classes. I'm not sure why teenagers would be so concerned with social status as to exclude someone because she's not as rich as them or lives in a smaller house. Plus, it was not Ally who lost so much money from the Crestie families, but her father. Not that it seemed to make any difference in the mind of her ex friends.Cover attraction:
I found three different covers for this book. The first one has a broken pearl necklace on a baby blue background. It's pretty, and I guess hints at Ally being separated from her friends, but it's not very clear what the book is about. The second cover makes it more clear, and matches the covers for the following books. I'm not sure why there is a third cover, which looks similar to the second one, but more comic-book-like. Still, it seems the publisher is always the same, Simon and Schuster. I don't know if I like the first or the second cover best. The third one is not bad, but leaves me pretty indifferent.