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Zara and Ella were both two weeks late for the start of the school year. Ever since then they've been best friends. They're always fooling around finding out the star signs of boys they fancy, reading out their horoscopes and playing games to discover the initial of the boy they're going to marry - just things to pass the time and take their minds off exams and tests. Ella's never really taken it all very seriously, but then Zara starts to act a bit differently - dressing like a Goth and experimenting with her new-found spiritual side and psychic powers in order to get them noticed by the popular crowd in their class and earn them both a bit of kudos. But little does Ella know how far Zara is really prepared to go - even betraying their friendship - to get the attention she clearly seeks.

Mary Hooper writes with haunting accuracy about the manipulative mind games and power struggles that go on within groups of friends at school. Zara is a brilliantly observed account of school life for teenage girls as well as being a book that one simply burns through - pacy, juicy and lively writing about issues that horrify and fascinate and resonate all at once.

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