Ideal High bigThere’s no way I’m taking Blake’s place as president of the student body. As soon as the memorial for him and six of our friends is over, I’m resigning as VP. Really.

Except people say the fire was no accident. (I say it’s way too easy to blame someone who’s dead.)

When I read the writing on the wall, literally, the bathroom wall, I know what it means. To get to the truth I have to come out from under my paisley comforter.

But, seriously, what stage of grief says I have to be the one to fix what’s wrong at Ideal High? Maybe I’m the one who’s broken.

4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon!!!


A 5-Star Review posted on Amazon by Shrykespeare:

Absolutely Brilliant. A Must-Read for All Teens.

Any book that deals with the subject of bullying hits very close to home for me, so when I read the blurb for Ideal High, I knew I had to read it.

If you are reading this review and are trying to determine whether or not you should get this book … even if you read no further than this line … GET IT. READ IT. Get your kids to read it, especially if they are high school aged. This book will stay with them for a long, long time.

Taryn is starting her senior year after the worst summer in her life. The small Texas town of Ideal is reeling from an epic tragedy, a fire that claimed the lives of seven of Taryn’s classmates, including Blake, her BF/BFF and the student body president. Taryn is being asked to fulfill Blake’s role for the senior year, but after attending seven separate funerals, she’s not sure she’s up to it.

But wait – were there seven victims, or eight? When it comes to light that an eighth person, a bullied kid, might have been at the scene of the tragedy that night, Ideal High, indeed the entire town, becomes a powder keg. Accusations and rumors fly left and right, threatening to tear the town apart. And at the middle of it all is Taryn, who wants nothing more than to get her classmates to see reason so that history doesn’t repeat itself. With the noblest of intentions, many of her endeavors miss the mark entirely, because segregation based on everything from sartorial style to athletic ability is what makes high school high school.
At the center of this magnificently-crafted story is a mystery. Every other chapter, Taryn gets a clue about the true story behind the tragedy that leaves us readers scrambling to figure out “whodunit” until the very, very end.

For me, this book had no weaknesses. There was a hint of romance between Taryn and another character that wasn’t as fleshed out as I might have liked, but then, the core story wasn’t really about romance. It was about tragedy and how everyone deals with it. It was about learning from one’s mistakes. It was changing one’s little corner of the world in any way possible.

Bravo, Ms. Ipson. Keep writing amazing stories like this, and I’ll keep reading them.
Now, go buy/download/borrow this book. Read it today.

Editorial Reviews

“First-time author Ipson weaves a suspenseful mystery about the deaths of several students from a West Texas high school in a fire, an “after-party gone wrong.” Ipson deftly tackles universal themes of bullying, alienation, loss, and renewed hope as senior Taryn Young must decide if, as student body president and fire survivor, she can pick up where “good guy” Blake Montgomery left off and bring about positive change at the school. Smart, quick-witted, and open-minded, Taryn is an easy protagonist to root for…overall Ipson delivers a gripping story about self-discovery, growth, and overcoming tragedy.” Ages 12-up. – BookLife

“If Ipson set out to write a book with a lasting message and call to action, she succeeded tremendously. Ideal High is a well-written,well-intentioned read that can help spread a much-needed message in today’s society. – Suzanne Gattis, Pacific Coast Reviews

 “When you read IDEAL HIGH the characters and their problems feel authentic. You know you could walk on campus and recognize each of the students you meet in the book.” – The Beehive Newspaper 

Book Club Questions for IDEAL HIGH

  • What was unique about setting the book in West Texas and how did it enhance or take away from the story? Could this story have been set anywhere?
  • What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think she is trying to get across to the reader?
  • Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself and your personal high school experience or that of others? Do you have regrets about how you treated others while in your youth?
  • How does Taryn, change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes? Were there moments when you cheered for Taryn and the choices she made? Were there moments when you grieved with her for the hard things she faced?
  • Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
  • How did you feel about the characters? Whom did you like or not like and why? Did your feelings for a particular character change by the end of the book?
  • What did you think of the ending? Was the ending hopeful that issues such as bullying or tragedy can be overcome not just in fiction, but real life?
  • What moral/ethical choices did the characters make? What did you think of those choices? How would you have chosen?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this? What is her most important message?

2 Comments on Ideal High

  1. Sanne
    January 23, 2017 at 8:47 AM (2 years ago)

    What a joy to find soenome else who thinks this way.

  2. Karie
    April 5, 2017 at 11:01 PM (2 years ago)

    Loved this book!


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