Welcome back! Today, we’re going to high school at an HBBS — Historically Black Boarding School! this book has major SpelHouse (Spelman + Morehouse) vibes and it’s sure to be a hit for you too.
Potentially triggering topics include: an abusive relationship, “boys will be boys”, bullying, online bullying. Please consider yourself first, Beloved.
I think I’ll tackle this story in Acts, similar to a play. That’s the way my brain saw it unfold.
Avielle is nervous but excited to start her freshman year of high school at Briarcliff Preparatory School for Girls with her sister Belle (a senior). They have a set of twin brothers across the field who attend Preston Academy for Boys. [If you got major SpellHouse vibes from that, you’re not alone.] Avi has been dreaming of this day for years and she has such bright eyes heading off to BP….but, of course, nothing’s ever that easy.
Avi discovers that high school comes with loads of homework and mean girls who have a very serious superiority complex. Nevertheless, she persists and eventually gets into the swing of things and makes friends along the way. And then there’s this super cute TA in one of her classes….
It’s now mid-fall semester and Avi is getting the hang of things! She’s starting to see her sister (and her sister’s boyfriend) around campus more, and becoming more confident in herself and her abilities. But then she sees something she wasn’t meant to: an altercation between her sister, Belle, and Belle’s boyfriend, Logan. She confronts them both separately and both give the same answer: “You don’t understand. You’re too young. It was a misunderstanding. Relationships have arguments.” Sure Jan.
Avi let’s it go trusting her sister and learns that (ooooh la la) the cute TA from her class has had his eye on her too! They begin dating, albeit secretly because umm…she’s his best friends’ baby sister. This complicates things.
Things between Belle and her boyfriend come to an ugly head like a pimple and it’s not good. Avi catches heat from her siblings for waiting so long to take action and (in my opinion), I don’t think anyone is being fair to her.
Avi lashes out at her boyfriend, effectively ending the relationship. Avi’s friends notice a change in her too and try to help but she’s resistant and won’t let anyone in.
Things do wrap quite nicely, and everyone gets what the deserve in the end (even that a-hole Logan).
Thank you so much to Brianna herself for sending me an eARC to read and to Rockstar tours for my finished copy..! Briarcliff Prep is available wherever you buy books as of November 15th!
Brianna A. Peppins was born in D.C. and raised in Upper Marlboro, Maryland by her parents. She has four siblings and has loved books for as long as she can remember. As a teen, when Brianna wasn’t obsessing over dystopian series’ like The Hunger Games or sobbing over stand-alones like The Fault in Our Stars, she could be found writing herself into B5 (an Atlanta-based R&B boy band) romance fanfiction.
Brianna attended primary and secondary school in Prince George’s County, MD and went on to attend Spelman College, in Atlanta, Ga. She graduated with a BA in Psychology (mental health concentration) in 2017 and shortly after began writing her debut novel, Briarcliff Prep.
When not writing, Brianna takes special interest in spending time with her loved ones, social justice issues (i.e. Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Injustice, Mental health), yoga, baking, embroidery, and is a self-proclaimed movie aficionado.