Saturday, November 17, 2007

Manderley Prep-Carol Culver

Manderley Prep
Carol Culver
Berkley, Dec 2007
ISBN: 9780425217474

In the San Francisco Bay area teenager Cindy Ellis's wealthy dad married Irina Vanderhoffer. Thus she suddenly had two stepsisters Brie and Lauren who she quickly disliked as they were spoiled, slimy and sneaky. Not long after the families blend, her father dies. Irina refuses to allow her stepdaughter a chance to grieve the only person in the world she loved and who in turn cherished her. Instead Irina forces Cindy to work at her spa, while her own daughters are able to join the cheerleading squad and chase the athletes; making matters even more unbearable Brie and Lauren treat Cindy like a slave and their mother condones their behavior.

With no BF or BFF the lonely Cindy feels her only escape in the foreseeable future is a full scholarship so that she can leave the egotistical trio behind. At the exclusive Manderley Prep the lonely Cindy works hard at school and provides English tutoring. Foreign exchange student Marco Valenti, the star of the soccer team, is her current student that she tutors. . She is attracted to the Italian stallion, but assumes he would never go for a girl like her. As her stepsisters pull cruel stunts on her to keep her away from Marco, Cindy decides enough as revenge tastes sweet.

Mindful of Hilary Duff’s A Cinderella Story, high school readers will enjoy this entertaining modern day fairy tale. Cindy is a beleaguered lonely heroine with no one to call BFF; her goal is to escape preferably to an East Coast college where she hopes to make friends. The three female Vanderhoffers are right out of the original Cinderella, as they are wicked stepsisters and stepmother abusing her. Fans of the Duff movie will appreciate the first BFF teen tale.

Harriet Klausner

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