Monday, February 14, 2011


Alphas by Lisi Harrison

Alpha Academy is an exclusive boarding school founded by eccentric billionairess and prototypical alpha female Shira Brazille. Shira intends that the 100 girls she handpicks for the academy will become the next generation of alpha females. The girls are expected to grow up to be the very best in their fields and everything at the school is personalized to fit their unique needs (from classes to meals).

Alphas is the first in a series that builds at least in part upon Harrison's successful Clique franchise (19 books and counting; one of Alphas' main characters, Skye, is an import from the Clique books). I haven't read the Clique books, but they bring to mind rich, mean girls so they wouldn't be my first choice, but there was no wait for Alphas e-book, which is why I ended up checking it out.

I'm happy to report that Alphas was much less mean-girlsy than I expected it to be. One of the main characters (Charlie) is the daughter of the Shira's assistant (she's extremely gifted, but not full of herself like many of the other girls), another one (Allie) is pretending to be a famous and famously reclusive singer/songwriter/environmentalist who happens to share her name in order to attend the school.

There are certain things about the book that made little sense to me. For example, the Shira doesn't want the girls to be distracted by boys, but she keeps her five age-appropriate sons on campus (campus is actually a private island) and has them attend classes with the girls. Beyond the distraction factor, if the school is supposed to be all about girl-power why on earth keep the boys there when you could afford to send them any in the world (how good an environment could it possibly be for them?).

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