Read all the way to the end for the contest rules!
By Jennifer Banash
IN TOO DEEP picks up not long after where THE ELITE ends. Casey McCloy and Drew Van Allen are an official item, and Madison Macallister is acting friendly(-ish) to her face but preparing to break them up. Sophie and Phoebe try to be friends to both, but they're busy with their own dramas. Even in the glittery world of the exclusive Bram building, they still have to deal with two things that plague every teenager: boys and family. (Well, some teenagers are plagued by girls and family.)
I love how much more grounded THE ELITE series seems than some of the other series of this type I've read. In so many there may be parents present, but they'll have no control over their children. IN TOO DEEP explores many of the characters' relationships with their families as well as the relationship drama.
Madison, like a true queen bee, chafes under the control of her mother. (I'm not saying her mother's the best, but she's far better than Madison makes out.) She feels she's more grown-up than she actually is and it gets her in over her head. She gets scouted for modelling and encounters people who don't care what her last name is. She flirts with a man too old for her without once considering his age.
Phoebe Reynaud also has problems with her mother, but more because she keeps forgetting to pick up her little sister because she's too busy with whoever her boyfriend is. Phoebe cuts her own support lines by getting involved with a boy she can't tell her friends about. He can make her happy when he's physically present, but most of the time he just makes her feel guilty at a time when she needs something to feel positive about.
Sophie St. John loves her mother and father, but she's angry at them for the secret they kept and eager to meet her birth mom. IN TOO DEEP definitely showcases Sophie more than THE ELITE. Her Sweet Sixteen is approaching - and it's going to be on camera, on an MTV-esque show. She finds she can speak to Casey before the cameras start rolling because she can be more objective than the friends who have known her forever. Of course, those friends will eventually find out Casey knew about the adoption first. Sophie sets herself up for all kinds of drama.
On the other hand, Drew adores his father and still gets along with him quite well. He doesn't like his relationship advice about Casey, but he's always felt a strong camadarie with his father since they're rather similar. However, he's about to find out about some of his father's mistakes, which makes him question himself as a person.
This only adds to his relationship drama with Casey. Liking each other isn't enough to sustain a relationship and the two have serious communication problems. Both want to make it work but their actions often convince the other of the opposite. They don't really understand how the other thinks, which makes it hard to know when they've sent the wrong signal. Of course, their problems aren't helped by Madison helping the misunderstandings along.
In the finale Jennifer Banash really ups the ante for SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. I can't wait to pick up the third book and see how some of the snarls come undone. Banash is fabulous at creating relatable characters in over-the-top situations. Her characters act like real teenagers and really captures that sense of being almost ready to be an adult but not quite and the out of control emotions.
IN TOO DEEP's release date is next Tuesday, January 6th. THE ELITE is currently available. You can read my review of THE ELITE here as well as Banash's Fashion Week guest blog. You can find out more at The Elite site or at Banash's MySpace.
But wait! Do you want a signed copy of IN TOO DEEP for yourself? Just enter my contest by commenting on this post. Earn extra entries too:
+1 for following the blog (+2 if you're already a follower)
+1 for commenting on my interview with Jennifer
+1 for posting about the contest and linking to your post in the comments
The contest will run for two weeks and I will announce the winner of January 16th.