Mark's Reviews > The A-List

The A-List by Zoey Dean
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's review
Apr 03, 2008

Read in February, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Reference information:
Title: “The A-list”
Author: Zoey Dean
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company Year: 2003
# of pages: 243 Genre: YA Fiction
Reading level: Interest level: Ages 15-up
Potential hot lava: The book should only be read by mature older teenagers due to its nature of sexual content.

General response/reaction:
I’m not one whom is into “romantic” type books. The only reason I read this particular book was because I read reviews saying that it was very cheesy, which in fact it was. But I could see why high school girls would like it. It was very ‘dramatic’ in the sense that it was not the edge of your seat dramatic but “High School called and it wants its drama back” dramatic. Girls will be girls, is basically what I will say. Very back stabbing and dim-witted what they will do to get what they want for a guy.

Subjects, Themes, and Big Ideas:
- Neglect
- Relationships
- Sexual Harassment

Anna (pronounced Aaaanah) - main character, senior in high school, moves from New York to California
Ben- guy Anna meets on the plane on her way to her dads in California, her love interest, goes to Princeton
Cammie- Ben’s ex-girlfriend and fellow classmate of Anna’s at Beverly Hill High School

Plot summary:
The book starts off with Anna the main character getting on a plane to her Dad’s mansion in California. Her parents are divorced and she currently lives with her Mom in Manhattan, New York. But when her Mom up and takes a trip to Europe with a friend, Anna is forced to go move in with her Dad all the way in California for the remaining of her senior year. It may seem that she has the perfect life but what no one knows is that her sister is in re-hab. On the plane to her Dad’s, Anna drinks too much champagne and gets hit on by a record producer named Rick Resnick. Having seen what was going on, Princeton student Ben Birnbaum came to save the day. After making out for a really long time on the plane, Ben asks Anna to accompany him to a wedding he is on his way to of famous actor Jackson Sharpe. Anna really starts to have a liking towards Ben. However, Anna’s father did not pick her up from the airport so she was then inclined to go to the wedding. Ben’s ex-girlfriend Cammie was also in attendance at the wedding. Being new to the Beverly Hills scene, Anna did not have a clue who she was dealing with. Cammie was one of the most popular girls at Beverly Hills High School. She could and did make Anna’s life a living hell for going after what she thought belonged to her (meaning Ben). The rest of Ben’s friends were not nice at all, they had the rich “I’m better than you” mentality. After the wedding, Cammie conned Anna into being friends with her, just to make her life even more antagonizing by making it a living hell. In the end, Anna and Ben end up together and show his friends that Anna is the real winner of his heart.

Strengths (including reviews and awards):
This book’s only strengths were that it was a modern day book that teenage girls would want to read. Some of them could probably relate to or maybe they saw on an episode of “Gossip Girl” that this book is also set off of.

Drawbacks or other cautions:
If you hate girl drama, and are not fond of high school stories this book is not for you. It also has a lot of sexual references especially when the main characters are on the airplane going to California.

Teaching ideas:
I would never have my students read this book, but if I did, here are some ideas:
Before Reading
- Predicting what the students think may happen in the story
- Critical thinking on issues they will find in the book
During Reading
- Have students make a theme web
- Response Journals after each reading assigned
- Discussion –Lit Circles
- Forecasting the end of the novel
After Reading
- Role Play the characters by taking an excerpt from the book
- Make a movie trailer with certain scenes the students think would make the book into a movie
- Analysis of literary style (metaphors or repetition)

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