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When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.
Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?
This fun, sexy, recession-proof story is a bubbly summer read with surprising depth great for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-11-08
- Reviewer: Staff
Shannon's father has lost his job, which makes attending Wellesley impossible, unless she can earn ,400 for first year's tuition. Shannon is a math whiz so that calculation was easy, but earning the money as a cocktail waitress at the Collosio Casino is more challenging, especially since Shannon is only 17 and using a fake ID to work there. Enter Cole, leader of Aces Up, a clandestine ring of college-age gamblers, who recruits Shannon after reading about a math award she won. Shannon proves to be a poker star, and Cole pressures her into entering the big tournament. Realizing that she might be in trouble, Shannon relies on her sister, a friend, and her crush, Max, to figure out the right thing to do. Readers should be easily swept into Shannon's exhilaration when she first stays up all night playing poker ("I love the feeling of the cards beneath my fingers"), and will likely become invested in her ethical dilemma. A savvy story about how, even with pure intentions, you can still get in over your head. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)