A debut YA thriller about how far teenagers are willing to go to maintain high academic standards
by Alexa Donne
Crown/PRH, Summer 2021
At Claflin Academy, college admissions are killer… Even at a famed boarding school, only a select few are accepted into each Ivy League college. Olivia, Avery, Emma, Sierra, and Margot are the five girls at Claflin Academy destined to attend the top Ivy Leagues. Bound together by more than just perfect test scores, they’ve also assured their entry into the Ivy of their choice by destroying anyone who gets in their way. But what’s a little backstabbing among friends?
Harvard has always been Avery’s chosen university, but that doesn’t stop Emma from secretly applying. When she gets in, a showdown seems inevitable. So when Emma turns up dead, Olivia immediately suspects Avery is behind the murder. But the cops have their sights set on Olivia — the scholarship kid, the only Ivy who isn’t rich or powerful. To prove her innocence, Olivia will need to figure out who killed Emma before it’s too late. Because Olivia’s got a secret too: she also got into Harvard. And if Avery’s the killer, then Olivia’s next…
Alexa Donne is the author of BRIGHTLY BURNING and its forthcoming sequel, THE STARS WE STEAL (HMH Teen/Feb 2020). She lives in Los Angeles, where she wears many hats, including fan convention organizing, teen mentoring, college admissions essay consulting, YouTube-ing and podcast.