The tale told in Private is a familiar one: a girl gets to go to an exclusive private school on scholarship and has trouble fitting in. In this case, Reed actually had trouble fitting in at her previous school due to her embarrassment about her mother’s pill addiction. At least at her old school, Reed excelled academically; here, she’s behind in the curriculum. So Reed decides to become friends with the older, popular girls of Billings House. As always seems to be the case with this type of story, the popular girls have fun hazing Reed. By the end of the book, however, Reed appears to be well on her way to being accepted.
Although it’s been done many times with slightly different angles, this series looks like it’ll have some interesting twists. While I do wish this first book had developed the four characters (Reed, Noelle, Ariana, and Thomas) I believe will have the biggest parts, the characterizations that are there rang true for me. I appreciated that although many of the books packaged by Alloy Entertainment excessively name-drop designer labels, this book, which is told from Reed’s perspective, did not. It would’ve been inappropriate since Reed shouldn’t be able to recognize them. The scene with Reed trying on clothes with the Billings Girls was well done in this regard. There were enough pluses with this book to make me want to know more, which is important for a successful series. I look forward to finding out if the Billings Girls are scamming Reed or have accepted her.