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Chelsea High

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  39 reviews
For all fans of Jenny Han, Holly Bourne and The Kissing Booth comes the must-have teen read from bestselling fiction author, Jenny Oliver!

Norah Whittaker has grown up on a houseboat, spending lazy days swimming in the river and helping on her mum’s vintage market stall. But when her chaotic dad’s latest get-rich-quick plan ends up getting him arrested, Norah’s life is tur
Published May 2020 by Egmont
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
For my full review, visit me at

This young adult read from Oliver really focuses on the importance of being yourself, not caving in to fit with everyone else’s expectations. It is a hard lesson for teenagers to learn and the significance of accepting who you are is really emphasised in this book.

For my full review, visit me at
Siobhan Mackie
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Norah Whittaker has lived on The Island for the entirety of her life, living in a houseboat with her parents and attending the same school as her best friend, Jess. After making a film set to make them millions, Norah's dad thinks they're all set... until it turns out the makers were fraudsters, and haven't got the money to pay back the investors of the film; the entirety of The Island's residents. Her father becomes involved in a court case, attempting to prove his innocence, but with the court ...more
Manon the Malicious
I was provided an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Chelsea High is Norah's story. Norah moves from a little island in England to London after her father is mixed up in an embezzlement case. She enrolls at Chelsea High, a private school for the rich and fabulous.

To me, this was just okay. The story didn't really grab my attention and I didn't love the characters. I liked the main one okay most of the time but all the bullying just made me so angry. And I also fe
anna ✩
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
3 stars!

As a coming of age story, I think this book fits the part. As a YA contemporary romance, not so much.

Chelsea High follows Norah Whittaker just as her whole entire life has changed. Having been caught in a "get rich quick" scheme, Norah's father is now on trial and the everyone back on the island Norah grew up in hates her family. Norah's mysteriously wealthy grandparents take over the family and enrolled Norah in Chelsea High, the exclusive, rich-filled school that Norah knows she won't
Rosie Amber
Chelsea High is a contemporary young adult story set in London. Nora Whittaker is about to start the new school year at a secondary school for the rich and famous. Forced to leave her home and the comfortable small run-down school she’s been used to, she is thrust into a world where she doesn’t belong.

As Nora struggles her way between the polo fields and the state-of-the-art facilities, her family life is falling apart. Her grandparents were behind her change of schools, wishing the best for a g
Lady Entropy
Aug 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book as an Uncorrected Proof Copy at YALC. Therefore, comments on contradictions\typos, etc. won't happen.

And let me tell you, you guys, this book is HEARTBREAKINGLY DISAPPOINTING.

It's okay.

It's just... okay.

It has some interesting moments, some nice female friendship, a good message about how sometimes, no matter how much you love someone you have to just let them take the consequences.

Other than that... it's nothing like the blurbs or promo material promises you.

I was close to sell
Petrina Binney
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story follows teenager Norah as she and her parents leave their island home under a cloud of confusion and disgrace. Having lost the savings of every friend and acquaintance the family had, Norah’s father attempts to prove his innocence while all his bills are paid for by his lordly parents, who live out the back of Harrods.

Starting at a new, fee-paying school, with utterly beautiful students, and her family’s reputation in tatters, finds Norah struggling to make friends and fit in, while ve
Karen Barber
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The first thing I have to do is apologise for starting this in the expectation that I was going to get a fluffy cute read that would entertain me for a while and that I would probably then forget about. The cover and blurb had me begin it thinking one thing, when what we got was more than that.
The basic story is straightforward. Our main character has a somewhat bohemian lifestyle living with her parents on a houseboat and living in a very close-knit community. She helps her mum run a vintage cl
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Egmont Publishing for providing me with a copy of Chelsea High in exchange for an honest review.

Chelsea High was a really cute read, but also had a lot more substance to it than I first thought it would. Norah is such a character! She has many sides and a lot of growth and I really enjoyed that about her. She is stronger than she would like to think, especially given the circumstances and the complete flip as her whole life is turned upside down.

Natasha Chowdory
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
A lot of fun! Nice to read a story set in a London private school with all the British-ness that that entails. Strong tones of Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl too. Will be reading the sequel for sure!
Megan (bookstorebinge)
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2019-read-shelf
3.5 stars. ARC received though a lucky dip draw at YALC.

This was not necessarily the book I expected it to be - I pictured something a little more 'duck out of water' at a fancy private school, with much more focus on the day to day life of school. Whilst there were definitely elements of that (and the slightly cliched tropes that come with it), this definitely felt like more of a family drama at the true heart of it. Ironically, I found myself enjoying those sections more despite not anticipati
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Chelsea High reminded me of a mix of Gilmore Girls and The Princess Diaries but with a much more realistically flawed heroine and darker storyline.
The first thing that got my attention when Electric Monkey kindly asked me to be part of their blog tour was the cute, cartoonish cover that made me think "Oh, a light-hearted YA romance! I really need one of those." And then hit me on the head with a hammer and threw me off a bridge. And after realizing what had happened, I want another go.
I was real
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a5, electric-monkey, a2, 2020
Norah knows she doesn't belong at Chelsea High. This is a school for the uber rich; she grew up on a houseboat in perpetual dock. But once her father clears up this whole misunderstanding of a law suit, they can go back home, where she fits in.

Chelsea High is a beautiful book. I thought this was going to be a standard 'girl tries to fit in by changing herself, girl realises she's fine just the way she is' and on the surface, that is what this story is about. Underneath, though, there's a lot of
The Bookish Faerie
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is Norah's new school, her new journey, her story. After her father was involved in an embezzlement scheme, the entire family moved from their little island where community is tighter than your old pants to London. Big city, big changes. Norah studies at the exclusive Chelsea High where the entitled children of the rich and glam attends. As an average country girl, she finds herself taken by the luxury and new set of standard set by her peers from a higher social class. She couldn't help bu ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, from-websites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publishers, Electric Monkey, in exchange for my honest review.

This is the first book in a series and follows Nora, who having grown up on a houseboat and used to the community on the island that surrounds her is suddenly thrust into the world of the rich and privileged when her dad is arrested for being part of a fraudulent investment scheme that sees most of their friends and neighbours losing all their money. Suddenly finding herself at Chels
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I started reading this book, I wasn’t entirely sure; the stereotypical private school setting normally annoys me, but it was Norah’s backstory that drew me in. She wants everything to go back to the way it was, when she was happy, before her Dad conned a lot of money out of their friends. When she arrives as Chelsea High, she doesn’t fit in... especially with the likes of Regina George-esque Coco Summers, the influencer brat, and her mean girl acolytes. I was ready to dismiss Ezra as just s ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it
After her father gets arrested for being part of a get-rich-quick scheme, Norah is forced to move away from her normal life and to attend Chelsea High, a school full of posh, rich teenagers. Norah meets Coco Summers, an Instagram sensation and the most popular girl in school, and Ezra Montgomery, the mysterious, cute boy she sits next to. She has to learn to adapt to her new life at Chelsea High, where everyone knows about her father’s crimes, whilst also getting to know her grandparents who she ...more
Zara Ahmed
*extract kindly given for review via Netgalley

Chelsea High is an interesting concept following Norah joining and elite private school after her father is involved in a fraudulent scheme that sees the family ousted from their small town, close knit community. I enjoyed the feel of the school and the contrast to Norah's old life and I also seeing Norah's point of view as she ventured into this new world. The extract fell a little flat for me when it came to the other school children in the book -
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by Chelsea High, it was a cute little book and was an enjoyable read, if a bit OTT and pretty silly at times. In particular the most silly notion is of a cute little island 20 minutes outside London with affordable living...

Norah was likeable enough, and she had a charming little life on her houseboat with two parents that she clearly adored. I know if I'd read this one as a teen I would have really enjoyed it, and there are some great messages to discover along the wa
My Yorkshire Litmosphere
Urgh I absolutely loved the concept of this one!

Chelsea High follows Norah, a young girl living on a houseboat, leading a fun simple life with her parents. But after one of her dads get-rich-quick schemes goes wrong and he is arrested, Norah is sent to Chelsea High by her rich grandparents to get her away from all the drama.

Sounds pretty good right?! Throw in a Grease school play and we might just have a winner don’t you think?

I think that maybe this is too young a story for me, I feel like thi
Sara Oxton
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chelsea High by Jenny Oliver a fine five-star read. This is one of those stories that is very high school but tells a tale of life as old as time. Its well done and has some great characters, but it also has some that will push all of your buttons to the point I had to put this down before I threw it. Norah is a good character and she will surprise you with how mature she is, I don’t want to write the story as I won’t do I justice, this was a great story and even though I wanted to throw it a fe ...more
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, arc-books
Norah finds herself at Chelsea High after her family moved away due to her father's embezzlement court case.

I really enjoyed the story, I felt so bad for Norah, one with her family, and two with the mean kids at school. It threw me straight back to being in high school, wanting to fit in while struggling to figure out life itself.

There's a lot more to the story so I don't want to spoil any more, but I would reccomend it to people looking for a quick read, that's serious in themes but has a feelg
Claire Murfitt
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really did like this book despite the somewhat cliched characters and I’m looking forward to reading more about Norah in the future - BUT the one thing that really grated on me was the Americanism... they had “grilled cheese,” Norah talked about putting on “blush” and one character wore “lounge pants.” NO, just NO! It’s my pet hate in a British novel - if it’s set in Britain, then be British! Otherwise it just sounds as if you’ve read far too many American teen novels and emulated them. Would ...more
Laura (Bookie_mama_bear)
Chelsea High is a fun light hearted read that’s perfect for the lower end of the YA scale.
Norah is a typical teen, her parents are a bit out there though. And her world is soon turned upside down when her dad gets himself arrested.
Queue the rich grandparents! They step in and send Norah to Chelsea High. Add into the mix typical high school relationships & even a school production of Grease & you have a really fun read on your hands!

Thank you to @netgalley & @electricmonkeybooks for my copy in re
Leigh Burns
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read a sample of this from NetGalley and I have to say I quiet enjoyed it. It's very Gilmore Girls meets Gossip Girl but set within the UK. The character of Norah isnt one I can necessarily relate to but ahes a character I instantly liked.
The group of mean girls is a little cliche and stereotypical, but can easily be overlooked. I'm excited to see where the rest of the book goes. I have my hunches, and I look forward to seeing if they're correct.
Sasha Brown
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I loved this book! I loved the characters - even though they were slightly cliché. I thought the story was really interesting and I loved seeing how Norah adapted to Chelsea High and how she fit in and how the book showed the difference in status and power between those who have money and those who don't. I thought it was really heart-warming and I loved the inclusion of the school musical. Would definitely recommend! ...more
I Read, Therefore I Blog
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jenny Oliver’s YA romance set in the privileged world of the rich and powerful uses its fish-out-of-water main character to make some smart observations about the downsides of wealth while also playing with some of the typical YA romance tropes. It’s not without some cliches though and as the first in a series there’s a lot of set up but if you’re looking for YA romance that’s not just privilege porn, then this is definitely worth a look.
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chelsea High is the kind of story I would have loved when I was 15. Reading it now, I felt a little old for it, as it was very predictable and the writing style felt very 'young'. The story was a bit far-fetched, but in the end I did enjoy it, and it proved to be a quick, light read. ...more
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Jenny Oliver is the bestselling author of The Summerhouse by the Sea - the PERFECT book for your summer reading! Out May 18th.
Her book The Sunshine and Biscotti Club, set in sunny Tuscany, was nominated for the Best Contemporary Romantic Novel at the RONA awards.
Jenny wrote her first book on holiday when she was ten years old. Illustrated with cut-out supermodels from her sister's Vogue, it was

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