Az’s CBR-III Review #3: High School Confidential by Jeremy Iversen
The premise of this book is simple: Then 24-year-old Jeremy Iverson posed as a high school senior at Mirador High in Southern California. He did everything a senior does; he even graduated. I keep reading that the book is an exposé but I don’t find anything shocking or controversial in it. Or anything I wasn’t aware of already. I don’t know if this is because I have actually taught high school myself or because fictional depictions of high school in movies and TV are so overly dramatic and scripted to shock, that a so-called every day account of the goings on in an actual high school is rendered insipid.
Another aspect of the book that was off-putting was the attitude of the author. He is very self-congratulatory and smug. I’m not surprised he fit in perfectly within the high school student body since he comes across as self-centered and immature. I also doubt his accuracy as I believe he took from his experience what he found to be most shocking or controversial. I get that. The man, after all, has a book to sell. But in doing so, I think he compromises what the book claims he set out to do: get an accurate portrayal of every day life in high.
The book fails on two levels: it is false advertising – this is not an every day high school experience. But it isn’t that shocking either. It’s a good read for what it is: I’ll give it that. (It’s telling that what I found most amusing was Mr. Iversen’s brief description of that dreadful Carpathian vampire series by Christine Feehan. Why do people recommend this series to me with high praise over and over? Yes, I like vampire smut but I couldn’t even get through the 1st book of this series. Sorry – I digress.) But in the end, this book wasn’t what I was looking for when I picked it up. I mean, I wasn’t expecting a morality tale like Go Ask Alice, a fantasy like Sweet Valley High or even an inspirational tale like Stand by Me. But neither was I expecting, say, The OC lite. I guess if I want a more insightful, realistic account of what goes on in high school, I should do what I’ve been doing so far: keeping the lines of communication open with my offspring. Maybe what they tell me isn’t entirely accurate, but it is engaging and interesting.