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Literature: Private

The Private series is a young adult set of novels (currently standing at 13 as of May 2011) written by Kate Brian. Set in the glitzy, ultra-rich world of Easton Academy, the books follow the life of Reed Brennan, a Scholarship Student to the academy. In the first novel, she is a typical Fish out of Water character, but as the series progresses, we see her climb her way to the top of the social ladder.

What makes Private really stand out from other similar chick-lit novels is the revelation in each book of a psycho, murderer or general Rich Bitch character who tries to make Reed's life hell. Think of Gossip Girl meets The Clique with even more obnoxious characters. All in all, an excellent example of a Guilty Pleasure. Now has its own Character Sheet under construction.

A WebSeries based on the first four books premiered in May 2009 lasting twenty episodes. The series was produced by Alloy Entertainment and a promotional trailer can be seen here.

Tropes include:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: This was the reason for Reed's initial attraction to Thomas.
  • Alpha Bitch: Again, Cheyenne. Noelle used to be this until she turned into a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • Arc Words: "Everything happens for a reason"
    first said by Noelle to Reed.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Everyone in Billings House.
  • Big Woman on Campus: Noelle is the queen of Billings House but Cheyenne wants to take her spot.
  • Black Best Friend: Natasha, Tiffany and Sabine could count, though (with the exception of Sabine), neither of them are that close to Reed.
  • Blondes are Evil: Several characters.
  • Brainy Brunette: Reed, Noelle, Ivy etc.
  • Brutal Honesty: Both Noelle and Kiran are known for this. With Kiran however it is the result of her drinking.
  • Costume Porn: Every paragraph is punctuated with detailed descriptions of the colour, make and designer of the clothes the characters are wearing. Justified since the setting is that of an ultra-rich academy.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Privilege SpinOffSeries. And that's saying something.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Noelle.
  • Distressed Damsel: Reed Brennan is an example par-excellence. She's been the target of stalking, attempted murder, attempted expulsion, false accusations and the like throughout the series. She would be The Woobie if she wasn't so much of a Jerk Ass at times.
  • Driven to Suicide: What Cheyenne's death appears to be, but in Revelation it turns out she was murdered.
  • Dumb Blonde: Both used straight and subverted. Though to be fair, there is also mention of two ditzy brunette girls nicknamed The Twin Cities.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Practically every guy mentioned in the novels.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Kiran and Noelle have this effect on the students at Easton. Natasha however is a literal example.
  • Evil Counterpart: Ariana for Reed. If Reed had not come from a (fairly) stable family background or been raised lower middle class she might have ended up the same way.
  • Fiery Redhead: Kiran Hayes is a subversion whereas originally Taylor Bell is a geekier, auburn shaded version of the trope.
  • French Jerks: Seems like Kate Brian loves this trope.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: More like Hair Of Silver, but Ariana is described as being ethereal with wavy pale blonde hair. She has Hidden Depths though.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Web episode viewers may recognize Josh Hollis as Chord Overstreet and Thomas Pearson as Brant Daugherty.
  • The Ingenue: Ariana Osgood. But not really.
  • Jerk Ass: Several characters have shades of this but Cheyenne takes the cake.
  • Karma Houdini
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Natasha.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Of course! Wouldn't be as entertaining without it!
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Why Ariana kills Thomas; he makes fun of her and tells her he prefers Reed, whom he dumped Ariana for.
  • Love Makes You Evil: See above.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Noelle Lange's grandmother really stands out as this in Book 13 Ominous. The same can also be said for some other minor characters.
  • People of Hair Color: Every character has good/bad personality traits according to their hair colors.
  • Power Trio: Originally Noelle, Ariana and Kiran. When Reed joins them they eventually form a quartet.
  • Psycho Supporter: Sabine
  • The Reveal: Several throughout the series, but especially Ariana being the real killer of Thomas Pearson and Sabine being Reed's stalker.
  • Rich Bitch: Cheyenne. Also equal parts the Alpha Bitch.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Upton, Josh, Dash...
  • Scholarship Student: Reed most obviously, but also other minor characters.
  • School Girl Lesbians: Natasha and her room mate.
  • Secret Legacy
  • Series Continuity Error: People have criticised the series for not being consistent with character descriptions. For example Thomas Pearson starts out as having Icy Blue Eyes but then in the middle of the series Reed describes him as having warm brown eyes. Reed starts out with green / hazel eyes in the first books then by book thirteen has blue eyes. She was originally a dark blonde but now has brown hair.
  • School with a Dark Secret: Several.
  • Smug Snake: Missy Thurber
  • Spin Off Series: The Privilege novels follow Ariana after she leaves the correctional facility she went to after being convicted for Thomas's murder and starts a new life in a new school.
  • UnclePennyBags: Most of the Billings Girls.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: And how!
  • Villain Protagonist: Arguably with the Privilege spin off.
  • With Friends Like These...: Cheyenne and Ivy Slade used to be best friends. However during a hazing ceremony, Cheyenne and the other Billings girls (Noelle, Ariana, Kiran, Taylor etc) sneak into Ivy's house to steal an heirloom but accidentally disturb Ivy's grandmother by triggering the burglar alarm. This causes her to have a heart attack. Cheyenne and her friends run away from the scene leaving Ivy with her grandmother to be arrested. Since then Ivy has been hostile towards the Billings girls, especially regarding Cheyenne.

Priscilla HutchinsLiterature of the 2000sA Promise of Roses
The Princess DiariesYoung Adult LiteratureThe Program

alternative title(s): Private
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