At Foxham Prep, the very ritzy private school for the children of Washington, DC’s elite, students are groomed to become the next generation of socialite elites and giants of industry. But they’re still students – partying, dating, fighting, and making up rumors about one another. But harmful rumors here could have such a lasting effect as to potentially alter career options. This all comes to the fore for some of the girls currently at Foxham.
Cora is the captain of the cheer squad. She’s the ‘it’ girl at Foxham. Bryn used to have it all. With Cora as her best friend and the perfect boyfriend and an all-but-guaranteed path into politics. But one mistake on Bryn’s part starts a scandal that spirals beyond her control.
The talk of the school, though, is Georgie. An overweight Geek a year ago, Georgie has had a complete makeover and now heads are turning when she’s around. Her popularity rises quickly and now even Cora’s popularity is in danger of being eclipsed by Georgie.
But the quickest way to take down a rising star is with rumors, fueled by students and fanned to flames by social media.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a strictly YA, not a fantasy novel, full of pathos and angst. I don’t remember what it was about this book that had me wanting to read it (it must have been some really well written advertising copy) because this is not the kind of book I’d ordinarily want to dig in to.
What I like about this book is how it addresses bullying and rumors and how nasty social media can be, without being overly didactic. That’s not an easy task.
While the characters here are the elite – children of the wealthiest families in D.C. – I think most readers (typically high school teens) can relate to the issues. Our characters are elite in order to (presumably) have more to lose, making the stakes higher, creating more drama. I’m not sure we need that, but I think readers will put themselves into these roles handily enough.
Bullying, rumors, and social media are common enough issues at any school around the country (around the world?) that this will be identifiable to most readers. There is an anti-rumor/bullying theme that runs through here, giving the characters (and readers) hope for different outcomes. But really, there are no easy solutions. And because of that, I find these books either unrealistic (if they pretend there are easy solutions) or incredibly depressing. I’m not sure I need either. But I recognize that there is a reading public that will gratefully devour a book like this. The writing is fine. The pace is quick, but the plot is a bit slow to develop.
Looking for a good book? The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra rushes head first into a high society private high school and takes on themes of bullying, rumors, and how quickly rumors spread on social media (and how they can’t be taken back). Teen readers who love the angsty feelings in books will enjoy this.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Rumor Game
authors: Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra
hardcover, 480 pages