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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*The Diamonds* by Ted Michael- young adult book review  
The Diamonds
by Ted Michael
Grades 10+ 352 pages Delacorte April 2009 Paperback    

Marni is part of the Diamonds, the popular clique at a private school in Long Island. She loves being popular, but secretly she wants to be like Clarissa, the head of the group. She wants people to respect and fear her for who she is, not who sheís friends with.

When Clarissa decides the Diamonds should join the mock trial team and gets permission to mediate disputes between students, Marni realizes that her star is about to rise even higher and is happy to go along for the ride. But when she starts talking to Anderson, Clarissaís ex-boyfriend, the Diamonds turn on Marni, and she sees how horrible the receiving end of a Diamonds trial can be.

The Diamonds is an entertaining book about high school life. Marni is a great character who has what everyone thinks they want Ė popularity and the envy of other high school students. People want to be around her because sheís a Diamond; they want to be her.

She thinks she has everything she wants (except maybe to be a bit more like Clarissa), but then itís all taken away from her before she even has the chance to realize what is going on. Itís at that point she really starts thinking about whatís been happening and how Clarissa has manipulated the mock trial team to ensure the Diamondsí (unfair) rule over the school and really begins to develop as a character.

The addition of the mock trial team takes The Diamonds to an entirely new level. Itís a great opportunity for teens to learn about the Constitution and the American legal system in an entertaining way.

Admittedly, The Diamonds has its weak points. The mock trial is believable at the beginning, but as it gets more and more out of control, itís difficult to believe that the school administration would be that oblivious as to what was really happening, especially at a private school. Additionally, the book takes some time to get into. From the description, the reader is aware that the Diamonds turn on Marni at some point in the novel. However, that doesnít happen until the middle of the book. As a result, the reader is just waiting for that event, and the book seems to drag until it comes.

The Diamonds is a unique novel definitely worth reading, especially for teens. The author does a great job making these students excited about the mock trial team (even if it is only for their own personal gain) and injects useful information about the U.S. Constitution into the book. Itís creative and a fun novel to read.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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