Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity…it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.
Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.
Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.
The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?
When Piper begins school at Chiswick, she quickly realizes there’s a great divide between the scholarship students like herself and the rich kids- the sons and daughters of diplomats. On her first day at the elite school, she meets Rafael. Not long after, they kindle a friendship that slowly turns into something more as they spend time together.
But Piper doesn’t want a relationship, she wants to win the Bennington- a big-time scholarship for aspiring journalists such as she. After spending time in Rafael’s dazzling world and learning his deepest secrets, Piper decides that writing a scathing article about his life and privileged family is her ticket to winning the Bennington. She’s faced with the dilemma: Although she might like Rafael despite their complicated friendship, is the article worth it?
Diplomatic Immunity is a funny and lighthearted (at least for the most part) contemporary novel about the lengths we will go to reach our goals versus how it might affect the people we care about. I enjoyed the read, even though I thought too many unrealistic situations occurred between the characters for the sake of pushing the story and romance forward. For all the engineered plotting, I thought the novel’s falling action transpired much too quickly; it barely delved into the problems that were to be solved.
The romance was endearing, I’ll have to admit. There were times I laughed aloud at Piper’s quick journalistic wit and internal monologue. Despite my criticism, I totally recommend Ashton’s Diplomatic Immunity to anyone who’s looking for a fun and fast paced read!
I was also pleasantly surprised that there were two characters on the autism spectrum, a type of diversity that’s really not explored much in YA literature.
Until next time!