Hanaford Prep: The Complete Series by J Bree
New Adult/ Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Review by Jen
Takes a drink.
Where do I begin? Let’s start with the title. I read several books, 1-4 to be exact. BUT, to say it’s complete isn’t exactly true. There are several storylines you can follow in multiple other books. There are many characters with complex backstories and you could be busy for months if you choose to be. This series was highly recommended in one of my favorite Facebook groups and has amazing reviews overall. It’s Kindle Unlimited and I grabbed it and it sat on my TBR list FOREVER. I finally dug in.
Here’s my headline: I read this train wreck in record time, I laughed, I rolled my eyes, I tried to explain the plot to my teenage daughter (minus some of the dirty bits…) and I don’t regret it. However, there were some big WTF moments, and I kind of hate myself for getting sucked in. Here’s the gist of the series. Hannaford Prep is an elite school with students from very wealthy families. They occasionally take scholarship students. The parents of the rich kids are political titans, industry big wigs, old money, new money…money…money…money. But, as we all know, money does not buy happiness. Many of the students come from troubled, broken families and some are even violently abused. Our main characters are a sister named Avery and her twin brother Ash, and an older evil brother Joey. And, Avery and Ash’s good guy friends, Blaise (a rising rockstar), and cousin Harley are also in the crew. The scholarship student entering Hannaford Prep is Eclipse, nickname “Lips.”
Lips is from the bad part of town and grew up in a gang called The Twelve. Her gangster name is, The Wolf. She is led by The Jackal and has co-gangsters named, The Boar, The Bear, The Viper, The Crow, and so on… Lips’ mom died of an overdose when she was 9 years old. Lips found her dead and had to call 911. It’s very sad, and unfortunately, the 911 call is replayed later in the book OVER THE SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENTS by another character. The Jackal spotted a very young Lips and realized he could mold her into a gangster, too. He abused her (not sexually) to make her stronger. At the tender age of, I think 13, she won a competition by killing people and became The Wolf, and a member of The Twelve. I freely admit there are many details to track in this series; I might be off by a bit with my math and sequence of events.
Lips doesn’t want the gangster life and is able to get into Hannaford Prep. She is immediately targeted by the students mentioned above, led by ringleader bully, Avery. This detail does differentiate the series. The main bully is a young woman. Avery is the absolute worst, and on their own, the boys aren’t nearly that bad. The boys start to feel friendlier to Lips quicker than Avery does. Avery is the queen bee of the school. She has politicians on speed dial. She can make a grade go up with a flick of her wrist, she can end a student’s career with one carefully written note. She runs the school and everyone is afraid of her. This is a reverse harem, so you know what happens. :) Ash, Harley, and Blaise eventually fall for Lips and they all seem very happy, yet continually challenged by terrible parents and gangsters trying to kill them, teachers dragging them down or seducing them, and heads being sent to Lips. Yup, there are heads being delivered in boxes.
The main characters are SO young. I had to age them up in my head as I was reading. They started off at 15(!!!) and by book 4, they might have been 18. They all had some serious James Bond like spy skills, grown ass adults cowering in their presence, and an expert level mastery of sexy times. Totally unbelievable.
The books delivered non stop action, as in action adventure movie and quite a bit of passion action. There were some glaring grammar issues. I didn’t buy into the characters at all. They’re just too young for all of their skillz. But, it was still silly fun to read.
Grade B to C