Release date: September 6th 2016
Aspiring reporter Piper Baird decides to write a scathing exposé on the overprivileged students at an elite Washington, DC, school, only for her life to change when she begins to fall for the story’s main subject, in this new realistic contemporary romance from Brodi Ashton, the author of the Everneath trilogy.
Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity…it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.
Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.
Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.
The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?
I was really excited to pick this book up. I’ve enjoyed the other books I’ve read from Brodi Ashton(Everneath series plus the co-written My Lady Jane) and one about an ambitious teenage reporter wanting to expose the double standards between the regular kids at her school and the kids with diplomatic immunity seemed right up my alley.
I really liked Piper’s ambitious spirit and her focus on first getting into her dream school and then winning a prestigious award she’d wanted for years. It did make her a little blind toward the after-effects of her news stories and it made for a few times of wanting to shake her to make her think about what she was doing. She was very protective of her little brother and they had a sweet relationship. She could also be very judgmental toward those who were rich and privileged and while her judgments could be understandable since she would get frustrated, she could also be unfair.
Most of the plot centered on Piper and her drive to win the Bennington scholarship, something she would need to go to her dream school. The closer she got to Rafael, a bad boy who seemed to like her and was her in into the exclusive crowd, the more she questioned herself about her story. Writing it would hurt Rafael and his family but not writing it meant not getting the scholarship she needed. The romance between them was slow and I liked them discovering the things they had in common. Rafael could definitely be frustrating as he took advantage of the privileges offered to him but he was also a decent guy under it all.
The ending did seem a little abrupt. I was left with some questions but none of them burning questions that needed to have a definite answer in order to have enjoyed reading this book. Most just answers that would have been nice to have out of curiosity.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.