Thursday, November 20, 2008

Book Review and Giveaway: Schooled by Anisha Lakhani

One of my favorite reasons to read fiction is to get an inside look at experiences I will probably never have myself – such as teaching at an exclusive Manhattan private school and tutoring the children of the super rich. The protagonist of schooled, Anna Taggart is fresh out of college and ready to make a difference in her 7th graders lives with her amazing lesson plans. Soon enough she discovers that the ever present mothers are happier (and send high priced gifts) the less engaged her students are. She is also shocked to find out that most of her student’s work is not actually done by her students, but by high priced tutors like her stylish colleague Randi. And soon enough, she too is lured into the tutoring world…

I enjoyed reading about Anna’s outrageous experiences at school and with the students she taught and tutored – and after seeing episodes of shows like “My sweet 16” I can believe that stuff like kids having Kanye West perform at their “faux mitzvah” really does happen. What struck me while reading was Anna’s singular focus. She does have a couple of friends and her family, but she doesn’t have a boyfriend and never mentions a romantic interest in anyone throughout the whole book – teaching is really her whole life.

The only thing that detracted from this fun novel for me was the way Manhattan tutoring was depicted as all or nothing. Characters were all in and blissfully non-caring about helping students cheat or they were totally against it and despised those who did it. What’s wrong with actually tutoring those who are doing their own work and just want an extra edge? And if you get $250 an hour for it to augment your sad teacher paycheck, all the better.

Schooled is out now in hardcover. I’m giving away my copy (ARC) as part of my November Book Blowout. So if you want it, tell me why you’d like to read it in the comments before November 25th at 9 pm CST. Open internationally.

44 comments:

sena said...

I've read good reviews on this book and would love to read it. Thanks!

sena.sagani[at]gmail[dot]com

Alessandra said...

i'd love to read this. The plot sounds intriguing. Please enter me! And thank you for making this giveaway open internationally.

bermudaonion said...

I'd like to read this because it's description reminds me of The Nanny Diaries, which I loved. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Alyce said...

I would like to read this book because I have read good reviews for it, and it sounds like something I would enjoy.
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Alea said...

I really liked this book! (So this is me not entering because i already have it!)

I liked that the book didn't have romance, it seems these days most books have to have that or it isn't complete, this book proved that that isn't true. Not like I don't like a little romance in books but it's nice to see it work without it!

Jeane said...

My husband tutored a kid from a private school for a brief time once. The stories he told me! I'd be curious to read this book to learn more about what goes on among those wealthy kids and their manipulation of the learning experience...

Sara said...

Yey! International!!
It sounds like a really good read, quite different from what I usually read. It would be fun to try it out! ;)

Lenore said...

Alea - I totally agree. It's nice to have a break from characters whining about not having a man - ha!

Amber said...

This book looks super interesting to me - would love to be entered please!

xtraliciousssx or stephanie :) said...

I would love to read this bok because i've heard soo much about it AND it looks like an amazing book ;]

stephanie

carolsnotebook said...

I would love to read this book after hearing so many good things.

djecse at yahoo dot bom

mari said...

You know, I just haven't found a good fun book with a teacher as the central character. I am a teacher so I always think it would be fun to read about one. I would love to read this. Thanks.

TruBlu93 said...

This sounds like a good one. Great review.

=)
TruBlu

Shalonda said...

I would love to read this! I am a 7th grade teacher, but my students are far from wealthy public school students. I've heard this is a good book and would be super excited to find out for myself!

Becca said...

Please enter me. I have heard a lot of good things about this book and it sounds very interesting. I like to read books that are unlike anything I've read before and this would be new territory for me. Thanks
rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

Sarahbear9789 said...

I would love to read this book.

Wrighty - said...

This book sounds really good! I thought of My Sweet 16 too as soon as I started your review. I used to teach elementary and middle school kids and reality took me by surprise when I first started as well. We didn't have the problem of super rich families though. This book would be a nice contrast. Thanks for your offer!

5wrights1@verizon.net

violetcrush said...

squel* I have been wanting to read this book ever since i have seen the reviews around.

First of all i know all the reviews for this book haven't been positive. Even your review is kind of mixed. But i really like the premise of the book. Please do enter me. I love the cover, i think it's a good enough reason :)

Bunny B said...

Sounds like a great read! I've love to win this. Thank you for the chance!

bunnybx at gmail . com

Kaye said...

I too have read ambivalent reviews but yours makes it sound interesting, especially seeing how "the other half" lives. Enter me in the contest please

florida982002@yahoo dot com

Kaye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
.Books by TJ Baff said...

I would love to read this. I find that our society has an unhealthy obsession with the wealthy and privileged and I am just as guilty!
LOL
Tamara
ptbaff@cogeco.ca

Shooting Stars Mag said...

OH enter me!! I've heard great things about this...and it's been on my wish list for awhile now. I think it has a different and interesting premise and I'd love to read it at some point.

-Lauren

Callista said...

I like reading books about school. Please enter me.

callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca

Belladonna1975 said...

I tried 15 different ways to get an ARC of this book. I would love to read it!

Thanks!

Belladonna1975 said...

I tried 15 different ways to get an ARC of this book. I would love to read it!

Thanks!

Meredith said...

This sounds like a great book, and I think that the teachers that I work with (I am a crossing guard at an elementary school) would be interested in reading it after I am done with it. They would probably get a kick out of it. If I were to win!

~Meredith
rosesaremyfavorite at hotmail dot com

rb said...

Wheeee! International! That's fabulous. I loved the reviews and cant wait to read it. I will probably buy a copy when it is out here if I don't win :D

darbyscloset said...

Oh this is a fun whimsical book, I'd love to read!!!
Thanks for your write up!
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Stephanie said...

This sounds great! Thanks for the opportunity!

daq_17 at hotmail dot com

Liviania said...

I'd like to read it because I've seen a number of reviews that make it sound like a fun and intheresting book.

Janel said...

I would love to read this. It's a world far, far away from my kids' school!

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

AmandaSue said...

I'd like to read this book because its nothing like my life! I live a pretty simple life so its fun to be able to read books that are the total opposite! Thanks for entering me.
unforgetable_dreamer_always AT hotmail DOT com

ambear said...

Thing like this happen in my country too (sad hey? i know) so I wanna find out how it's portrayed in a novel. I think I'm gonna have a laugh and lots of thoughts because of this book. Hopefully I'll be one of the winners =D

lil_boo293(at)hotmail(dot)com

Gabbi said...

I'd like to read this because it's my secret ambition to become a teacher or tutor to the young, rich, and famous.

And even as my mom is scouting medical schools, I can't seem to give up that dream!

Andi said...

I won this one in a recent bloggy giveaway and can't wait to read it!!

Book Spot said...

I've seen this book around some blogs and it looks like a fun book... I'd really loke a chance to read it :)

Icedream said...

I would love to read this book because I of the great reviews and the subject matter is interesting to me. I was an Ed. major (before I switched) but I still have a special interest in books about teachers.

Paradox said...

I want to read this because now I'm hooked and I want to find out what Anna does!!!

donnas said...

Please enter me.

I have heard many good things about this book and would like to read it. It sounds interesting and not something I would normally experience in RL so enjoyable to read.

Donna
bacchus76(at)myself(dot)com

rimasbookjournal said...

I'd love to read this! I've read good reviews about this book. Also the plot sounds interesting too. And I like the cover of the book. (: Yeah, sometimes I pick books by the cover.

pyaari_rima_13@yahoo.com

bamabelle said...

This book has intrigued me since I read some early reviews. The plot sounds captivating. Thanks for the chance to win it!

zarache AT aol DOT com

The Book Muncher said...

sounds interesting, and i love the cover. great review!

Wanda said...

Oooooo how can I get my hands on this? I would love to read it.

I'm a teacher.....so...this would tickle my fancy!