In Excess - Quinn Anderson "His mahogany hair was mussed in a way that looked too perfect to be accidental: it screamed of sex and apathy."

That line came at around 5%, and then I knew I was hooked, beyond hooked, ensnared. It perfectly sums up this seriously delicious, indulgent book. Set at an exclusive, prep-school type university somewhere in the US, it chronicles a disruptive week in the lives of four ridiculously good-looking young men. In terms of style and content, it falls somewhere on the same spectrum as the movie Cruel Intentions and Curtis Sittenfield's Prep, with maybe a bit of Donna Tartt's Secret History and Mean Girls thrown in for flavour.

The protagonist, Nik, is a troubled transfer student who attracts the attentions of the elite university's royalty and becomes a pawn in their completely amoral machinations. The book is not without its flaws, and I'll enumerate them in a bit (as well subtract a theoretical half-star for the author's sins). Anyway, the build-up is delicious, I think the author did a great job of ratcheting up the sexual tension (except for where she used the word "sexual tension" to describe the situation - a bit obvious, no?). I really liked Nik, and got a lot of satisfaction out of hating Seth (the king) for the majority of the book. I spent a great deal of time yelling at Nik to resist, godammit, resist that vain, pompous, manipulative little shit! I had an outrageous amount of fun with it. And the setting was great, if under-utilized.

The issues that marred my enjoyment are petty, but they niggled at my mind and now I just have to mention them. Firstly, it gets a bit repetitious; how many times do I need to be told how gorgeous, beautiful, stunning, handsome, lovely and/or otherwise sexy. all the main characters are? Anderson ran out of adjectives in the first couple of chapters and then just sort of cycled through them at irregular intervals. The same is true of metaphors and similes, she kind of flogs a couple of them to death. Some of the book ended up being more tell that show, that is to say that instead of letting things happen and letting us figure it out, the author chose to explain them too closely. There are also a couple of small contradictions and inconsistencies that you probably won't notice unless you were paying very careful attention, and they mean nothing but I was just a bit annoyed. Also, the guys really were bloody pretentious, I know lots of pretentious people, but really, this is a level of douchebaggery with which I am as yet unfamiliar. The whole book, as I've mentioned, basically takes place over the span of a week and this seems a tad short for all the craziness that happens, it would have made more sense for it to be more spread out (and thus maybe have prolonged the read? I didn't want it to end). Then there was the fact that the book kind of teetered on the edge of predictability for a while and I thought this would be obviated by the great little curveball thrown towards the end, but no, it still tipped into 'I totally called that!' territory.

All of the above, though, are just minor technical squibbles compared to how ultimately awesome the book is. Though I can see why someone may not like it, it is a bit shallow and the relationships are not prototypical MM.

All that said, I really, really liked it. Maybe it's my fondness for preppy assholes. Who knows? The point is, I'm not even deleting this from my kindle because I just know that I'm going to read it again.