The Private Series

Reviewed by Lauren, age 19, California
Sweet Advice Featured Columnist

Have you read Gossip Girl, or seen the show and fallen in love? Well, then I have a book series just for you. The series is called Private by Kate Brian.

The Private series is filled with drama and teen angst. Along with tons of drama there are many cliffhangers to keep you reading. There are tragic deaths, crazy elite upperclass parties, and tons of backstabbing in a fight for popularity and power.

The main character is Reed Brennan, experiencing a high school year out of her element. Reed wins a scholarship to Easton Academy, her ticket out of small town life and into the high end of society.

Once at Easton, Reed's sole desire is to become part of the Billings House, also known as the most confident, well dressed, intelligent, and powerful girls' house on campus. Reed will do anything to get her acceptance into this inner circle, leading her to a world of trouble, but also giving her power that she would never otherwise achieve.

Also, once in the Billings House, Reed will learn that everyone has their dirty little secrets, secrets that will leave many hurt and some even dead.

Currently Kate Brian's series stands at book 7, with book 8 to arrive in stores this coming September, and book 9 to hit shelves just a month later. So, if you are looking for a good summer read or just a new series to pick up, check out Private by Kate Brian.

I highly recommend the Private series to all high school teen girls. If you have read any of the Gossip Girl books or watched the show and highly enjoy them this is a series you cannot pass up. I personally wait each time for the latest book to come out and rush out to get it.

I did not give the series five stars though, even given how much I enjoy the series, for two good reasons. My first issue with the series is that, if you are someone just entering the series, do not start with any book besides book one, Private. Kate Brian is a writer who expects you to have read from her first book and then moved on. If you don't start from book one and move on you will miss major events that affect other issues in later books.

However, the books are shorter than most - good weekend reads - so reading from book one isn't an issue. Also, each book is just as good as the next, with just as many cliffhangers and surprises that you will not want to skip out on anyway.

My second issue is that if you are a younger girl, say 12 or 13, this is a series you may want to wait a couple years on. A few sexual situations do occur, along with drug references. The series is intended for more of a high school crowd. So although I find this series amazing I do not highly recommend it for our younger readers of Sweet Designs Magazine. But if you are in high school and looking for a series full of drama, check your local libraries or local bookstores for the Private series by Kate Brian.

4.5 stars (of a possible 5)

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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