Ally Ryan’s life was turned upside down when her family had to flee Orchard Hill in disgrace after her father, a wealthy and successful hedge fund manager, lost most of the money of the town’s richest families in a financial scheme gone awry. Her father further devastates the family by abandoning them shortly after they leave Orchard Hill.
Two years later, Allie’s mother has worked her way back to the town and is happy to be back even though their circumstances and means are drastically reduced. She gets a position as a teacher in the high school, starts dating and reaches out to old friends, but the same cannot be said for Ally. Her path isn’t easy – old friends seem to hold her personally responsible for the privations that they have suffered. The only bright spot in her life is Jake Graydon, the new guy who now lives in her old house and has become a part of her former inner circle. The two have chemistry, but it remains to be seen whether her old friends or even Jake will allow their relationship to develop into something more.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kieran Scott’s She’s So Dead To Us. Ally has been dealt some rough circumstances, but is a plucky character and she knows that her mother is doing the best that she can to hold it together – therefore she has to do the same thing. I felt for her that she had to step in and pretend she is having an easy time of it in order to support her mom. Ally makes the best of her situation in order to find a new place for herself in the school and face up to just how much she and her friends were snobs and held themselves apart from the rest of the students. In her reduced circumstances, she has to fight with her former friends to win back a semblance of a social life and meets wonderful new friends along the way. It’s not a simple thing to face down the people whose livelihood your father has destroyed and Ally does this with as much grace and wit as she can muster.
I really liked the way that parents were present and included in the story. Ally’s mom checked in with her daughter and each was aware when the other was in a sticky situation. At the times when it was appropriate, other parents were present in the story as well. Ally is a great character and I loved how she struggled with the realizations of the way that she lived her former life and the coming to grips with the full effects of what her father’s mistakes had done to the lives of her family and families of her friends.
Scott has written a thoroughly engaging novel exploring the ins and out of the in crowd and what happens when you and your family no longer belong. I was anxious to see what would happen at the end, and boy was I surprised to find out that this is the first of three – so as you can imagine some thing were resolved but others exploded into the open. Can’t wait for the next one!