Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Elite ~ Jennifer Banash

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: June 2008
Age Range: Young Adult


From the top, you can see everything . . . except yourself.When Casey McCloy steps into the elegant Bramford building, she's overwhelmed. Fresh from the Midwest, she's moved to New York's Upper East Side to live with her grandmother and attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy. Here all that matters is who you know. The girl to know is Madison Macallister: popular, pretty, platinum blond. She's not just Casey's new classmate and neighbor; she's an icon. So Casey aims to get in with Madison and her gorgeous gal-pals from the start. As the reigning queen of coolness, Madison is capable of destroying reputations with one well timed whisper. Better to be on her good side.But after a city-haute makeover from her new frenemy Madison, Casey is wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and meeting the right people-including Drew, the boy-about-town who Madison thinks belongs to her and her alone.

Hmmm... Another series about a Midwestern beauty moving to NYC. Another series featuring more rich, beautiful, bratty teens.

Excuse me, haven't we done this before? Yes! Unfortunately, many times over! Excessively!

Enter Jennifer Banash. JB has skills. Ms. Banash extinguishes the competition w/ her Manolo's then struts down to Bergdorf's to pick up a pair of
Corset Bootie 's (Dior), a Stella McCartney Piercing Tote & a Kooba Blake Leather Shoulder Bag (love)! Banash is clearly a rock star & the others pale in comparison screeching karaoke.

Like movie theater popcorn w/ extra butta, a foot massage, a sundae w/ caramel, marshmallow & cherries ;P; a shopping spree @ Christian Louboutin, Victoria Secret & Sephora. Jennifer Banash has a sure fire hit w/ her fabulous Elite series.

Banash's characters are authentic, unique & interesting. Every player has a tale to tell & it is not just filler... it's substance. Banash was brilliant crafting the chapters in alternating points of view. It brings all the characters front & center. No kibbles & bits for the secondary characters...

Banash illuminates every cast member w/ a glow of their own. The Elite isn't just about "poor" Casey & snotty Madison doesn't overshadow the novel w/ her grandstanding & diva tantrums...

Jennifer deftly displays every character's voice & allows them to be genuine characters not high society caricatures! Applause!

Sophie & Phoebe aren't Madison's accessories they are three dimensional young adults w/ intriguing lives w/ secrets to confront, endure & disclose.

Now, I'm not going to leave out the tidbit that the begining of The Elite was a bit slow going but once Banash sets the members up...away we go!

Some may grouse @ the designer brands dripping off the pages, but it is a way of life in the world of big bucks! Eventually, Banash eases up on the labels & gives us the true grit.

Drama, check! Scandal, of course! Fashionista's, come hither... The Elite is a must to toss into your tote!

Kudos to Banash, she didn't wave a La Perla garment & make Casey uber pop. Nah, just wouldn't be believable. Double kudos to Banash for the way she piloted Drew ~ spot on!

Jennifer's characters are extremely well developed. Madison is one of the nastiest something ~ somethings, but Banash writes w/ such emotion, you can't help but feel empathy for the bratty prima donna!

Madison tells it like it is & remains true to form. Casey seems to lose herself once stepping foot in NYC. She is too easily manipulated & I wondered @ times if she left her smarts back home.

Grrr.... I hate when a intelligent female loses sight of herself for a guy or a clique. Weak! Casey needs to toughen up if she's going to make it in the big A. Casey has the backbone to make it... she is just finding her way in Gotham city.

Banash has a hit on her hands & a mean pair of stilettos on her feet!

Check out Jennifer @ or on MySpace.

Hurry, grab a copy of The Elite @


Barnes and Noble


  1. Ths review made my night, and really, my whole week! Can I hire you to write the back cover blurbs for my future books???? :) :) This was fantastically written, and I am in awe of YOUR skills!

    If you'd like to review a copy of In Too Deep, or the upcoming Simply Irresistible, just drop me an email.

    Jennifer Banash

  2. Thank you so much, Jennifer! I am truly flattered. Please blurb me away!