Jet Set by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman
HarperCollins, 256 pages
I’m Lucy Peterson, and let me tell you—I don’t fit in at my new boarding school in Switzerland at all. Caviar at every meal, white-tie affairs (because black-tie is so last season), trips to Geneva to pick up the latest couture, and real live royals lurking around every corner? None of that is really my speed. I’m just your average American teen, here on scholarship, ready to kick some academic and tennis butt so I can have my pick of Ivy League colleges. Only now I’m falling all over myself to impress my crush, who just happens to be a prince, I’ve gotten myself tangled up in a tabloid disaster—literally—and the “It” clique on campus has decided that I am worthy of their evil scorn. What have I gotten myself into?
Whenever I read more than one book at a time, I always make sure that one of the books is fluffier than the other one. I tried reading two fantasy novels at the same time and my brain almost felt like it wanted to explode from all the information that got muddled in my mind as I switch between two books. I seem to be reading a lot of dystopian novels nowadays, so something light and fluffy to read in between and cleanse the palate is always appreciated.
Such is Jet Set by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman. My friend Grace told me about this book and I thought it was just the right thing I needed to read while I go through The Hunger Games and Catching Fire to review for Pinoy Pop. Jet Set is the story of Lucy Peterson, who gets a scholarship to Van Pelt in Switzerland, the most exclusive and posh boarding school in Europe. Lucy’s dad is in the US Army, which means they get transferred a lot, so Lucy has never gained roots or made friends anywhere else. After scoring a tennis scholarship to the school, Lucy is ready to settle into her new life in one place for the rest of high school. However, being a scholar girl in a posh school is not easy, especially when Lucy is classmates with people who are royalty, and when the it crowd has it in for her, and her crush only thinks of her as a friend and the only person Lucy thinks she can trust has an even bigger secret than she does.
It’s a fluffy book alright, and it almost reminds me a bit of the Sweet Valley Twins books that I used to love, only with more Lila Fowlers. Van Pelt reminds me of Spencer Academy from Shelley Adina‘s It’s All About Us series, but with less of the academic rigor that the latter had. Strangely, even if there were a ton of name-dropping, and I can hardly believe that a school like that exists, Van Pelt didn’t feel fake or forced. The authors wrote it in such a way that I didn’t have a hard time accepting that there is a school like Van Pelt. I don’t think I’d survive in that setting, but I wanted Lucy to fit in and have a good time in that school, even if I thought the concerns of the other students were kind of ludicrous.
I liked the secondary cast in the story, though. It’s easy to fall into the trap of popular people being just mean and have no other depth in their characters, but the authors managed to veer away from those stereotypes nicely. It seemed a bit mature for all of them to act that way (come on, they were in high school), but it’s nice to read rich, “mean girl” characters who end up having a heart.
This isn’t a particularly deep read. In fact, the overall story is kind of shallow and typical, and you won’t learn any life lessons here that I don’t think people of my age already know. However, Jet Set is still a fun read, and it entertained me enough that it kept me grounded to the real world even while the other half of me is buried in all the dystopia. :)
2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 63 out of 100 for 2010
Cover and Blurb: Goodreads