Saturday, May 22, 2010

Review: She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott

Tags: YA, suburbia, friendship, money, drama


Nearly two years ago, Ally Ryan’s family slunk out of town one night after her father lost lots of his and his friends’ money in a poor investment. Now, Ally is back in her old, moneyed town of Orchard Hill, but things are very different. Her father has disappeared, her old friends still hate her for what her father did, and she’s no longer accepted by the Cresties, the people who live in the rich part of town.

Ally is determined not to let them walk all over her, however. She befriends a couple of nice “Norms”—unmoneyed kids at their school—but also continues to cross paths with the Cresties, including Jake, the hottie who lives in her old house and is friends with her old friends. As assumptions clash and attitudes fly between the two of them, can these friends, enemies, and lovers of Orchard Hill set aside their financial differences and get along? Or will drama and vengeance ultimately prevail?


SHE’S SO DEAD TO US is a perfect addition to the YA subgenre that consists of friendship drama, red-hot romance, and money troubles. Kieran Scott (who writes the Private series under her pen name) has introduced to us a new set of characters whom you’ll want to know every sordid detail about.

For a book in a genre with the potential for characters to fall unconvincingly flat and stereotypical, SHE’S SO DEAD TO US is, like Kieran’s other books, remarkable with its character development. Ally is rightfully the star of the show: she’s an appealing protagonist who refuses to let others walk over her. Whereas many MCs in other books like to brood endlessly about wrongs done to them, Ally will simply confront the person and let them know what she thinks. This kind of assertiveness is HOT, and it’s easy to see why the other characters either can’t help liking her or love to hate her.

SHE’S SO DEAD TO US is presented in Ally and Jake’s alternating first-person POVs. Normally male POVs written by female authors leave me unconvinced, but I found myself actually very much liking Jake here. Yes, he can be an arrogant hottie, but as we follow him and see how he gets to know Ally, we perfectly comprehend his mindset.

Plot-wise, the novel feels as though it’s been done before, but what makes this worth reading is how effortlessly we get sucked into these privileged suburban teens’ shenanigans. The book ends in such a way that I most definitely am going to pick up the next in the series. This is a must-read if you love these types of books, and for the rest of us, it’s also a easy and delicious read, perfect for those mindless days where we want to sink ourselves into other people’s petty problems.

Similar Authors
Melissa de la Cruz
Simone Elkeles
Zoey Dean

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Cover discussion: 1 out of 5 - I was EXTREMELY turned off by this cover. The broken pearls on a bland light blue background just don't do it for me. This book is actually really good for its type, and I think the cover should've better reflected the dark, addictive, and subversive underpinnings of this novel.

Simon & Schuster / May 25, 2010 / Hardcover / 288pp. / $16.99

ARC received from publisher.


  1. Really interesting review, Steph. for some reason I hadn't really paid much attention to this one before and from the title I vaguely thought it was to do with zombies. Having read your review, I quite like the sound of it. I wouldn't always go for this type of book, but I like to have a few 'unusual for me' choices on hand when I need something different.

  2. I was pleasantly surprised by I Was a Non Blonde Cheerleader and I'm glad to see that the characterization was just as good in her new novel! Excellent review.

  3. Wow really awesome review! I agree with Lauren- based on the cover I thought it had to do with something way different. I can't believe I didn't know Kieran Scott was Kate Brian! That makes me want to read this one even more :D

  4. I haven't read anything by Kieran before. I've wanted to read the Private novels for a long time, but I haven't gotten around to it. This book sounded really good, and now I'm even more convinced I need to read it. Thank you for your review. :]

  5. Hm, interesting! I don't normally go for this type of book, but whenever I'm looking for something light to read I'll keep this in mind.

  6. Whaatt? I love that cover! lol Anyhoo, great review! I really, really enjoyed this book, and normally I hate stories like these. That cliffhanger was excellent (and slightly evil.)

  7. I'm with you on the cover - I prefer the UK one. Really looking forward to reading this!

  8. I thought this was okay,. I think a 3 is about what I would give it

  9. I'm quite the sucker for suburban teen dramas, that's for sure, and where there's an unexpected twist? All the better. Sounds interesting!

    I have to admit, too, that I like the cover... though I can totally see where you're coming from regarding the image not matching/complementing the darker content.

  10. Oh, I love privileged suburban teens stories! All the drama, it's hard to resist. I'll keep it in mind for when I need a fun, easy read. I had no idea Scott was the author of the Private series (which I haven't read though).


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