Snakes and Ladders by Mary-Anne Scott
The subject of school balls and their after parties was going to be the subject of a young adult novel sooner or later and this first novel by Mary-Anne Scott is a good one.
Finn’s Grandparents decide his friends at Waimea are a bunch of dropkicks so they send him to a prestigious boarding school in Auckland to cough cough cough put him in contact with a better class of person.
Finn is carrying a secret that could ruin his status in the new school. His father has been charged with reckless driving causing death and is likely to go to prison. School bully Eddie threatens to expose Finn and his life turns to one of lying and deceit.
Finn meets and is dominated by the richest girl in school, Mia, and they go to the School Ball and after party. Finn is out of his depth and tragedy strikes at the ball changing lives forever.
Well written with an authentic teenage voice. The banter between the boys is a particular highlight and the issue and after effects of a school ball and after party that goes horribly wrong, will be of strong interest to teenagers.
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