Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wuthering High by Cara Lockwood

I recommend this book for:  grade 7 and up

In a twist on the "bratty girls at boarding school" genre, Mia is sent to Bard Academy after wrecking her father's car and treating herself to a shopping spree on her stepother's credit card.  Not only is the school depressing and strict, but strange things are happening.  Mia is convinced that her room (which she shares with a devil worshipper who has taken a vow of silence) is  haunted by the ghost of a girl who disappeared years earlier.  Also, it seems that the strange boy named Heathcliff is following her - a boy who claims to be from a place called Wuthering Heights.

I have to admit, this is not my kind of book.  I picked it up because I thought the premise of "all of my teachers are really famous dead authors" was cool, but the execution left a lot to be desired.  The writing is not great, and Mia's character is so shallow that I wasn't really interested in her at all.  I think it's a problem of audience - people like me who actually enjoy the Brontes will get really annoyed by the teen characters, and readers who are interested in the poor little rich girl aspect probably won't know or care who Virginia Woolf was.  I could be wrong, but that's how it seems to me.  

This title could be good as a clean alternative to the Gossip Girl books or similar series - no sex (there is mention of an attempted date rape in Mia's past, but she got away) and only minor cursing.  Otherwise, though, I'd recommend teens who think fictional characters running around in the real world sounds cool read Jasper Fforde's excellent Thursday Next books (The Eyre Affair is the first) and leave this one alone.  

No reviews on Amazon, but you can read part of the first chapter.  

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