The creator of the Gossip Girls and the It Girl series

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Cum Laude (2010)

Meet Shipley, Eliza, Tom and Nick, four college students starting their freshman year at Dexter college. All four are completely different but bound together by one drug-fuelled night at freshman orientation. Shipley is one of those good girls who never does anything wrong and wants to break free during college; Eliza is a rebel who is jealous that her beautiful roommate Shipley is attracting all of the male attention; Tom is your average jock complete with the I'm-better-than-you persona and Nick is a bona fide hippie who wants to build a yurt on the campus and smokes way too much pot. During their freshman year on the small New England campus, each of them finds college life difficult yet filled with new wonders that only freedom from high school can evoke. Leaving behind their pasts for a somewhat brighter (and higher) future and stumbling quite a few times along the way, this novel is filled with all of the cliches you'd expect a book about college freshmen to include. There's lots of drugs, keg parties, debauchery and jealousy but there is a little bit of depth to each character which just might be the saving grace for this otherwise average novel. (AS)

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