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Jinx Slater is delighted to have reached the giddy heights of the lower sixth at Stagmount, England’s most exclusive school for girls. Her ground floor window affords her an excellent view of Brighton’s bright lights, and Jinx is a girl with escape on her mind and a miniature screw driver kit in her tuckbox.
Liberty Latiffe, Jinx’s best friend and all round perfect partner in crime, is not at all worried about being caught out by her very strict father. Nor are the rest of the girls.
Until, that is, Stella Fox – Stagmount’s newest new girl – arrives on the scene, determined to make her mark.
HIGH JINX INTRODUCES US TO AN UNFORGETTABLE HEROINE WHO LINKS THE WHOLESOME TOMBOYS OF THE PAST WITH THE GIRL-POWER POP-TARTS OF THE PRESENT. CROSS MRS PANKHURST WITH A BRATZ DOLL, AND YOU HAVE JINX SLATER.
I'm sure the present staff of Roedean will read High Jinx in the way it is intended: as an affectionate, if naughty tribute. The girls will think it's a blast.
There's nothing like a little inside knowledge to give a debut a lick of literary veracity, and the five years that Sara Lawrence spent at Roedean have enabled her to add a fresh coat of paint to the boarding school novel. The familiar tenets of cloistered teen life are all here - friendship, feuds and overdue homework - but Lawrence's fast and furious delivery brings the dated genre bang up-to-date ... Enjoyably raucous.
Although the book contains strong language and heroines who consume cocktails of vodka and Ecstasy tablets, chain smoke and can tell a Chloe T-shirt at 20 paces, it is also comfortingly old-fashioned, as retro in its moralising (don't look down on the working class; you mustn't be on your own with a boy you don't know) as a pair of Fiorucci jeans ... I love the humour in the writing, and I'm sure the film rights have already been snapped up, such is the buzz about the big-screen version of St Trinian's. But most of all I loved that this book is about young women who are - beneath Girls Aloud outfits - just children, and jolly nice ones at that.
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