29 December 2011
REVIEW: NIGHT SCHOOL
Author: C.J. Daugherty
Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Atom
UK Release date: 5th January 2012
Genre: YA, Mystery
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
Sometimes school can be murder. . . Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested. Again. This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers. But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch. When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.
Review: I have to admit I'm a sucker for old schools with a big library and rich history (only because I wanted to go to one myself). So when I started reading Night School with its old school buildings, vast grounds, secrets, incredibly smart yet mysterious boarding students and games of night croquet (yes seriously!) I was overjoyed. C.J. Daugherty really manages to make the school feel real with all its gossipmongers, snarky girls and flirty boys, but it adds in a big dollop of the unknown. I was so curious I just had to read on.
As we follow Allie, we see how she has become the troublemaker that schools don't want to deal with, following her brother's run away from home. Subsequently she ends up in Cimmeria Academy where nothing is at it seems. I really liked Allie, who has a perfect blend of confidence, kindness and uncertainty of her new situation. I do have to say that all of the secondary characters were very typical teenagers, well somewhat spoilt teenagers, that made the story come together and feel real and true to life. In particular the strange and aloof Carter is one of my faves, simply because I like the mysterious, sexy and yet honest guy.
Even though by the end of the book, the overarching plot hadn't moved on significantly and there were still huge questions unanswered, I didn't feel dissatisfied at all. There was so much mystery and intrigue, so many little twists and secrets, fast paced action thriller scenes, and encounters with the enigmatic but enchanting Carter, I was enthralled for all 450 pages.
Night School does an amazing job of tying in huge mysteries, a creepy old school, and a whole lot of mistrust. It feels like a paranormal story, without actually being one. Can't wait to read what happens next.
Check out C.J. Daugherty's website here.