One of the hidden secrets of Audible is the two Audible Originals you can download for free with your membership each month. They’re usually on the shorter end, you can’t get them anywhere else, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. The Mystery of Alice by Lee Bacon was one of my Originals picks back in May, I believe. It said something about a boarding school and I was like “sold.” But wow, when I finally listened to the book, offered up in sound from the protagonist’s video diary, I was kind of hooked.
Emily Poe is over the moon when she gets invited to interview for a Leopold Foundation Scholarship, which will give her an all-expenses-paid scholarship to an elite NYC prep school. But when she arrives, it’s not a normal scholarship interview. It’s a test, basically an escape room, and Emily gets out. But so does another girl Emily met at the interview–Alice. Jump ahead a few weeks, and Emily and Alice are both living a the Leopold resident and attending Audyn. But soon Emily and Alice’s friendship fizzles as Alice is taken in by the uber popular kids–known as The Nobility. But when Alice goes missing and the police start investigating, Emily’s going to learn a lot about her old friend and her new school, and the secret behind the Leopold Foundation and what they want from her.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The audiobook-ness of it worked well, and the ambient noise was actually relevant–unlocking doors, rain, human sounds, etc. The mystery unfolds in a fun way–there’s a diversion, pictures, a tracking app, all the stuff that makes it feel like something actually set in the modern day and dealing with kid things. There’s also the “rich prep school vibe” which brings back calls of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars and Truly Devious, but with middle school, so no one’s sleeping with professors. I do wish there had been a little more focus on the school itself, since I’m intrigued by prep schools, but obviously the focus is on Alice and solving that mystery.
I do think my biggest concern if that these are supposed to be middle schoolers. It felt much more like high school to me, but hey, maybe NYC middle schoolers are much more intense now than I was as a middle schooler in Kentucky.
Anyway, loved the book, thanks to Audible for making such content available, and onto my next read!