The Education of Hailey Kendrick
by Eileen Cook
Hailey has always been the perfect daughter, student, girlfriend, and friend. But one day, being perfect becomes too much and Hailey commits an act that makes everyone at her exclusive boarding school hate her. Can Hailey redeem herself for her one time lapse? Does she even want to? Or has the damage been done?
The teens seem to enjoy trying to guess what she did. They guessed everything from failing a test to killing someone. No matter what, do not tell them. I would just smile and say, “I guess you’ll have to read it!”
This novel has a great opening line. Some might find it shocking, but it attracted the attention of a lot of the female readers when the book was being passed around.
I found this on a publisher’s website for teens, in full text, for free. I was just looking around, came across it, decided to read a few pages and see how it was, and the next thing I knew, I was done. I used this incident to show how interesting the book was as well as how you can find great reads online.
I added details at it struck me. For example, Hailey’s boyfriend is the most important, richest, cutest, sweetest guy in school. She’s involved in student council (I think she’s the secretary or treasurer and her boyfriend is the president). She’s never broken a rule, she’s happy, etc.
What makes this book work so well is that Hailey and her friends are very complex and likable. The incident that changes everything is so believable and so understandable that you can see her point of view entirely. Her friends’ responses are more anger that she didn’t tell them the truth. And the author resists the urge to follow the obvious road.