Wow, I absolutely loved this book! It reminded me so much of my own high school experience, which says a lot about my life. Thankfully neither of my parents were as bloodthirsty as these characters.
Girls With Bright Futures tells the story of three women, all with daughters in an elite high school in which most of the students are Ivy League-bound. We have Alicia, the CEO of a giant tech company who throws money at all her problems, Maren, her long-suffering personal assistant who stays employed as it’s the only way to make ends meet, and Kelly, an obsessive mother who stalks social media constantly in order to get a step ahead of the other children applying for Stanford.
Of course, it’s the parents who care about going to Standford and not the children (for the most part). Maren’s daughter is the smartest in class and dreams of Standford, Alicia’s daughter Brooke is more interested in rebelling against her mother, and Kelly’s daughter is slowly having a breakdown because of all the pressure. None of the adults in the book (bar Maren) seem to ever talk or try to get to know their kids and what their desires are, only how the school they choose could reflect upon them. As you read, you hate to imagine these people could possibly be real, but as the Lori Loughlin scandal has shown, they absolutely are. Winnie, Maren’s daughter, is the victim of a hit and run one night and it comes to the surface that she is being targeted in the hopes that she drops her Stanford application and applies somewhere else.
This book has so much appeal to readers it’s almost ridiculous. It has relationship and family drama, thriller elements, a bit of mystery, and some excellent wit. I found myself compelled to finish the book all in one day because I just had to know who was the ultimate garbage human among a sea of truly terrible people. If you like books about terrible people getting what they deserve and bitchy, back-stabbers, then this is the book for you. I personally love family and relationship drama like this (it’s High School Real Housewives) so for me, it was an absolute win.
I will say there are some triggering things in this book, so if you are someone who cannot read about rape or sexual assault, I would steer clear of this one. There is a pretty descriptive rape scene where a character reveals a rape in her past and discusses it, so that may hurt some potential readers. Be advised. Otherwise, I thought it was compelling and a fascinating look into the unfair elite structure of our education system.
Title: Girls With Bright Futures
Author: Tracy Dobmeier
Three Descriptors: Fast-Paced, Suspenseful, Thriller
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