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Last Christmas: The Private Prequel [Hardcover]

Kate Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Oct 2008 Private
Before Reed Brennan came to Easton Academy ...Before Thomas Pearson was murdered ...Before Noelle Lange ruled Billings House and Ariana Osgood became Easton's most notorious student, Ariana was just another girl at boarding school. But then one cold snowy night on campus, Ariana fell for someone she shouldn't - and that changed everything. Because someone was watching. And now they're intent on turning Ariana's holiday weekend into a nightmare...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; First Printing edition (7 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416913696
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416913696
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 15.7 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,026,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate previously worked for 17th Street Productions in New York, and has written several young adult novels under a different name. She lives outside of New York City.

Product Description

About the Author

Kate previously worked for 17th Street Productions in New York, and has written several young adult novels under a different name. She lives outside of New York City. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Happened Last Christmas... 30 Jan 2009
This such a brilliant book. It'll make you feel glad you are at home reading it and not at Easton over Christmas!

Ariana Osgood has always been Easton Academy's good girl. She gets straight-As, is a Billings Girl and her boyfriend is Daniel Ryan, a senior. But when she is stuck at Easton in a blizzard over the Christmas break, she falls in love with Thomas Pearson. They talked and told each other their darkest secrets.

But someone wants to make sure Ariana and Thomas's Christmas holiday turn into a nightmare.So it looks like Ariana will have to fight back.

This book was a little scary at parts, but it was brilliant. It revealed a whole load of unexpected surprises about Ariana's life, and also what really happened the night Thomas Pearson was murdered.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 19 Oct 2008
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
****SPOILER ALERT**** For readers who haven't read beyond CONFESSIONS in the PRIVATE series, this book is best left unread. Details in LAST CHRISTMAS will ruin much of the suspense in the first four books of the series.

LAST CHRISTMAS is a great addition to the series by Kate Brian. The story gives much needed background insight into Ariana Osgood, the Billings girl arrested for the murder of Thomas Pearson.

The story begins near Christmas break of Ariana's junior year. When we meet Ariana in the first book of the series, PRIVATE, she is one of the privileged senior girls at Easton Academy. But in LAST CHRISTMAS, she is the nave, innocent roommate to Noelle Lange. Ariana is the good girl that does what is expected of her. She gets top grades, lives in the most respected dormitory, and has the perfect boyfriend, Daniel Ryan. Her mother couldn't be prouder of her.

Daniel isn't 100% perfect though. He's incredibly jealous and protective of Ariana. At the Winter Ball, he torments Sergei, a Latvian exchange student, because he caught Sergei taking photos of Ariana throughout the dance. Ariana is to spend the two weeks of Christmas break at a ski resort with Daniel and his family. And Daniel is expecting her to have sex with him while they are there. They are both (supposedly) virgins, and Ariana didn't want their first time to be in a dorm bed.

It's the final day before the school break, and Ariana has yet to finish an English paper. If she doesn't turn it in before 6pm, she will fail the assignment. So she has Daniel and his twin sister, Paige, head out without her. She promises to take a later train.

But she gets sidetracked by Thomas Pearson. He has been showing up in unexpected places over the last few days.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas in October! 9 Oct 2008
By CoffeeGurl - Published on
The Private series centers on Reed Brennan, a scholarship student, and the chains of events that unfold when she enters the Easton Academy and moves to the Billing House -- the most exclusive and sought-after girls dormitory in campus. Those who have read the series knows that she falls victim to Ariana Osgood after she starts dating seventeen-year-old resident hottie and rogue Thomas Pearson. Now we finally get Ariana's side of the story -- the things that occur before Reed sets foot at Easton. Ariana Osgood has always been a good girl. A constant overachiever, she gets the best grades in school, is a Billings girl, has a boyfriend who is a big Easton legacy, and has her eyes set on Princeton. But no one -- not even her best friend Noelle -- knows that she does it all to make her mother, who suffers from a mental illness, happy. She's never done what she wants. In fact, she doesn't know what she wants. That is until Thomas Pearson, the school's drug dealer, begins to seduce her. They end up stuck at Easton during a big blizzard on Christmas vacation. They are not supposed to be there, and they have to hide from the staff as well as from people who might rat their flirtation out to her boyfriend. Falling for Thomas changes Ariana in ways she had never imagined. But she doesn't want to upset her mother, which means she has to continue to live a lie. She is torn between living a lie and living her dream of being Thomas's girlfriend. Not to worry, because they will be together soon, won't have to hide any longer. Thomas loves her, after all -- doesn't he?

I like what Brian has done with this prequel. It is consistent to the things that go on in the Private series and manages to put on a few surprises as well. As usual in this unpredictable series, there are some twists and turns that will leave you gaping and wanting more. Ariana is humanized in this book, so much so that I felt sorry for her. The characterization is excellent. She has psychotic and obsessive tendencies long before everything unfolds. They are subtle, and Brian shows this rather than tell it, which makes it all the more brilliant. Speaking of great characters, Thomas is wonderful. He has his flaws, of course, but he is a far more interesting male character than Gage, Dash, and even Josh. If only Brian hadn't killed him so soon in the series. The disappointing thing in this book is that Noelle seldom appears in this book. However, it is nice to see her in a position where she isn't as powerful or as influential as she becomes later on. Also, Taylor and Kiran are MIA in this book, which kind of confused me. When did they join Billings? Other than that, I loved Last Christmas. It was like getting an early Christmas present. I so look forward to reading Privilege and Paradise Lost.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome look into how it all began, with Ariana at Easton 23 Oct 2008
By Gen of North Coast Gardening - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Loved this book - it sets the stage perfectly for the new Privilege series starring Ariana Osgood, and gives us some answers to go with Revelation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting 18 Oct 2008
By Geneva - Published on
I was extremely excited when I finally saw "last christmas" when I was at the bookstore, because I knew that Kate Brian would eventually write a prequel to the "Private" series, and while I was definitely satisifed with how it turned out (no matter how dramatic and somewhat ridiculous some of the plotlines can get, the author always manages to keep you on the edge of your seat!) I was a bit disappointed to realize that the book was basically all about Ariana, and her downward spiral. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but I was looking forward to reading about the rest of the all-powerful Billings Girls, especially Noelle, who is only briefly in the book. And like someone else mentioned, taylor and Kiran weren't mentioned at all in the book. What's up with that?

But dont get me wrong, like I said, I was satisfied with the book and read it in a few hours because I couldn't put it down (all the books in this series tend to have that affect on me)

"Last Christmas" is based on Ariana and tells of her downward spiral and explains how she came to be a bit...well psychotic as I'm sure you may know if you've read the other books in the private series. The story takes place Christmas time during Arianas junior year, before Reed Brennan ever stepped foot at Easton Academy. Ariana is a seemingly good girl, with the "perfect" boyfriend and a member of Billings, the most exclusive house on the campus of her boarding school. So it may seem that Ariana is the perfect girl, with the perfect life, but she's really hiding a dark past, and when she falls for campus bad boy Thomas Pearson, her life begins to unravel, thus leading to her downward spiral.

And ill also mention that even though I was upset that Noelle wasn't really in the book, the parts that she was in were interesting to read because its kind of a relief to know that she wasn't always so powerful and seemingly perfect as she is in the rest of the series!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Story for the Intended Audience 8 May 2009
By Frederick S. Goethel - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Since so many other reviewers have covered the plot, I will steer away from any detail on that. The plot was creative and well done. It had enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested and was fairly creative.

This series does need to be read in sequence in order to keep plots straight. I did get a little lost at times, but only because I had read the later book first.

This will be well received by the intended audience of younger high school age students. I doubt strongly academic readers would have much interest, as the reading is not particularly challenging, although it might prove a good release for upper level students.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay read 10 Dec 2008
By JujubeMBA - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I read the synopsis of this book, I didn't realize that it was meant for such a juvenile audience. I wasn't sure at first if the characters were in high school or college. I then realized that it was high school.

The story was okay, but I imagine people would get more out of it if they had read other books in the series. I wondered why the lead character seemed so off-balance and apparently it was because she was mentally deranged.

Overall it is an okay book, and it's a fast read. I wonder if it's a bit racy for the target audience.
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