• Empire High Untouchables

  • By: Ivy Smoak
  • Narrated by: Laurie West
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (185 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Untouchables. That's what everyone calls them. At least, it's my best friend's nickname for them. And since she's the only one that talks to me at my new school, I'll take her word for it.

The nickname probably comes from the fact that they're exorbitantly wealthy. Old wealth. The kind that isn't flaunted around. But you can tell by the way they carry themselves. Or maybe the name just refers to the fact that they're so beautiful it's almost hard to look at them.

No matter the reason for their nickname, it's an ironic one. I've only been going to this school for a week, and I already want to touch.

©2020 Ivy Smoak (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

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Sort of a prequel to The Hunted series

This book takes place when some of Ivy’s characters from her other books are in high school, Professor James Hunter, his younger brother Rob, their best friends Mason & Matthew Caldwell, and James’ ex Isabella Pruitt. Matt, Mason, Rob, and Janes are known as the Untouchables. I love how Ivy weaves her characters through other books.

The main characters of this book, Brooklyn, comes to NYC to live with her uncle under heartbreaking circumstances and is thrust into a prominent elitist NYC high school. Brooklyn has befriend her neighbor, Kennedy, who attends Empire High on scholarship. Brooklyn’s uncle works as a janitor at Empire High and that allows Brooklyn to attend school there for free, but everyone assumes she’s a scholarship student. Brooklyn falls for one of the most popular and richest boys, Matt Caldwell, but feels she isn’t good enough for him. To make matters worse the queen bee, Isabella, seems to have figured this out and for some reason begins to bully Brooklyn. She even has her minions bully her when she’s not around. As the new girl, Brooklyn has caught the interest of another boy, Felix. Felix comes from new money so he is looked down on by some of their classmates and doesn’t care about keeping friendships and romantic relationships within some archaic class system. So we’ve got a love triangle (or two), a bully, and tons of secrets. Ivy always keeps us entertained guessing.

There are 2 more books to this series but the third won’t be released until Jan 2021 so if you need to have a resolution you might want to wait.

3 people found this helpful

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DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!!

I'm not sure about the other reviews, but I must have been listening to an entirely different book. DO NOT be fooled by the other reviews unless you're interested in a book that reads like an overly dramatic middle school drama!

2 people found this helpful

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Orphaned Brooklyn Settles Into Empire High!

Orphaned Brooklyn Attempts To Navigate Her Way Through The First Weeks Of School, Learning Who To Trust At NYC’s Finest Posh High School.


Download a free bonus short story from Matthew Caldwell’s POV, Matthew Caldwell – The Untouchable, by following the link at the front of the book to sign up for the newsletter!

Empire High Untouchables is the first book in the Empire High series, but fans might recognize familiar characters that intersect various other series. A glimpse of a teenage James Hunter from The Hunted series shows his dark early days. From the Men of Manhattan series, playboy Mason from City of Sin appears, as does jokester Rob Hunter in Third Chances. New characters are introduced as well – watch for future spin-offs.

Empire High is the best private high school in New York City and an institution dominated by the elite. Even within its privilaged walls, cliques are alive and well. At the top of the chain is the old money crowd, most of which have legacy preference. Students from new money rank next, their longevity amongst the elite not yet proven. These students may feel like they aren’t fully accepted, but the difference is negligible in comparison to the next group on the list. Scholarship kids face unique obstacles and challenges. Those students are invisible. Money talks, even when it comes to the faculty. Finally, a very small number of students qualify as the bottom feeders. As the family of employees, they qualify for legacy preference. Scholarship students get in based upon achievement, so they outrank these lowly students.

There is one group, however, that stands above them all: the untouchables. The Hunter and Caldwell brothers exude wealth. Old money. James, Robert, Mason, and Matthew are the untouchables of Empire High. They are all beautiful at first glance., but upon closer scrutiny there is evidence of the cracks in their façade.

Brooklyn Sanders, sixteen, is numb after the death of her mother a few weeks ago. It had been a long battle with cancer. She had never known who her father was, so after the funeral she left her Delaware home and went to stay with her uncle Jim – her only remaining relative. He is a quiet and kind man, but she had only ever met him a few times previously. He lives in New York and works as a janitor at Empire High, where he has enrolled Brooklyn for classes. By the end of the first week of school she has made one friend, Kennedy Alcaraz, who is on a scholarship and is friendless herself. Kennedy also happens to live down the hall, so the two easily become good friends.

Although appreciative of her uncle’s generosity and her friend’s acceptance, Brooklyn still feels like she is drowning without her mother. There is one thing, though, that makes her forget about all she lost. Matthew Caldwell. An Untouchable. She loses herself in his presence, and her insecurities are replaced by a feeling of peace. She doesn’t know why, but seeing him keeps her going. Unfortunately, when mean girl extraordinaire Isabella Pruitt catches her looking at Matthew, she sets her target on Brooklyn.

Brooklyn begins her school year with the belief that she is invisible, but she soon becomes entwined in lies and deceit that put her in the hot seat. Matthew Caldwell is a would-be knight in shining armor that comes to her rescue only to ignore her the next moment. His apparent mood changes have her spinning, and his excuses begin to dry up. Isabella seems to own him at times. Rob Hunter is the jokester of the Untouchables, but his humor might mask hidden pain. James Hunter, the older brother, is dark and troubled but Brooklyn doesn’t know why. Isabella sometimes hangs onto him, but he has a girlfriend, Rachel, that attends public school. Matthew’s devotion to his lifelong friends illustrates his sense of loyalty, but Brooklyn is left on the outside looking in.

Felix Green, sixteen, quietly sneaks into Brooklyn’s life, giving her a second friend. His interest in her is obvious and doesn’t waver, but Kennedy warns Brooklyn against him. Felix is easy-going and kind at a time when Brooklyn needs friends, but he is also a dealer according to Kennedy. He is from new money and claims that he is an outsider, but he is invited to all the parties and has a connection with the Untouchables.

In this book, Brooklyn attempts to navigate the her way through the first weeks of school, learning who to trust and who to doubt in New York’s finest posh high school. Everyone in her life has kept secrets from her. Her mother, her uncle, and even Kennedy keeps things back. Matthew is unreliable. Felix is a mix of contradictions. He comes across as reasonable and steady, but his actions don’t always match his words. Word of warning. Midway through the book Brooklyn veers toward unlikable. She is either blind or insensitive, but she feels out of character. Moreover, there are some things that she accepts without question when caution should prevail. Teens will be teens, but some pause is in order given her sheltered past. In spite of this, Brooklyn comes around and her flaws are forgotten by the end. The story ends in a cliffhanger.

Brooklyn finds herself torn between the untouchable Matthew who makes her smile and the charming Felix who has many redeeming qualities in spite of his dealing in this angsty and suspense-filled story. Be prepared for a roller coaster ride of emotions. The book is sharply written. The plot is complex. Some of the mystery is revealed, but many secrets remain to be told. The story is written in first person in Brooklyn’s POV. The free short story is Matthew’s POV on the night they meet. I rate this book 4.5 stars.

I received an advance copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

As for the audio: it is very well-performed and consistent with the book.

1 person found this helpful

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fabulous

love this story!!! can't wait to continue this story and this is great characters

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WOOOOOOOWWWW

when I tell you this story had me on the edge of my seat and my heart and my hand I was in tears this is a good story I'm about to listen to the full series so much suspense ivy smock you are a brilliant writer

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Stellar

The narrator was fantastic. The story grabbed my attention the longer I listened as I waited for Brooklyn's character to develop.

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idontknowwhattoputhere

The narrator was great. The story was alright even though it is slow. Hopefully it will pick up in the next one since it ended on a cliffhanger

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Good Story

This is my first book by this author, I found the story to be okay, it started out a bit slow for me but the further into the story the subject matter became more serious and the more I became interested in it. I didn't expect there to be a cliffhanger at the end.

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Couldn't turn it off

This audiobook has been super addicting. I can't wait to move on to the others in the series. It's definitely giving me some Paper Princess vibes and I absolutely love it.

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Surprisingly great read!

This was not my normal genre, but what a surprise! Great story line with an intriguing cast of characters. Great read, give us more soon!!

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  • Violet
  • 07-24-20

Not for me

Good female voice narration, horrible male narration interpretation; by female narrator. Absolutely ridiculous story and not catchy or intriguing. I was irritated with storyline most of the time. Sorry, not for me.

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  • Claire Bowen
  • 07-18-20

Wow

So I've read EHU and decided listen too it as well and what a great choice that was. I've listened too other audible books of Ivy's but nothing comes as close as listening too EHU. The narrator was brilliant and captured every emotion, happy, sad, angry, upset. Just brilliant and I love how she managed too put on the Spanish accent as well. I was tearing up when reading the book but listening too it I was full on crying. I can't wait for the others too come out now. Brilliant job as always xx

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  • rebecca randall
  • 07-14-20

Even better than reading the book

Not usually a big fan of audible but not being able to get the story out of my head I thought I would give the audio book again.. and WOW loved it.

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  • Busymumof4
  • 07-14-20

Loved this book

Really loved this story, and the voice was great for the girls, not so sure about the men. But apart from that can't fault it, had me glued and totally addicted as usual another no1 for Ivy.