Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Review: Night School

Author: Christi Daugherty
Release Date: January 5th 2012, preorder a copy!
Publisher: Atom UK/AU
Add it: Goodreads
Sometimes school is 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. Its rules are strangely archaic. 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.
Allie's screwed up for the last time. Her parents are tired of her being expelled from school or arrested by the police. Ever since her brother went missing, she's fallen into a downward spiral. So when her parents ship her off to Cimmeria Academy, a boarding school where only legacy or the best of the best attend, Allie isn't expecting to life to get better. To her surprise, she quickly settles in and makes a few friends. But she soon learns that a darkness lurks in the heart of Cimmeria as secrets, murder and twisting danger erupt. What exactly is the mysterious Night School and what do its members get up to in the dead of the night?

Allie is the kind of heroine you will easily warm to. She's fun, stubborn and pretty level-headed... which given the arrests I mentioned above, you might find hard to believe, but once she settles in to Cimmeria, I really felt like she handled things well. Which is helpful, considering she's about to get tangled up in some heavy stuff. And oh, Carter! I loved him! While at first he was mysterious and standoffish, I so enjoyed seeing his sweet personality shine through more. He compelled me, despite being frustratingly vague with Allie at times. I was desperate to learn more about him and for any scene in which he interacted with her. There was clear sexual tension developing between those two and I loved their arguments, their bickering and banter.  I especially loved that even as they sank knee-deep in the danger and tangled web of clues, they could still laugh and have fun. They just bounced off one another so well and I cannot wait to see their romance deepen further!

The secondary characters are all just as gripping. From the smooth, suave Sylvain - who despite his charming first impressions, felt rather sly to me from the beginning - to the bubbly, energetic Jo who's hiding troubling secrets of her own. And I adored Rachel and Lucas! The best thing about them all was no matter how endearing or horrible they may seem, none are black and white. They are all flawed and layered and you have no idea who to really trust, because you're almost certain to get it wrong. Some whose early acts prove they're complete jerks, turn out to have a shred of humanity in them after all. Or else those you think you CAN trust.... well, you see my point? It's so realistic because as humans we're all trustworthy to a point, but sometimes we break that trust or do things that make us seem like jerks. No one person is ALL good or bad and I felt Christi pulled that off brilliantly with her characters.

What I loved most about this book was how unpredictable it was. I had no idea whether there was something paranormal going on or else was it.... SOMETHING?!  Not until around 3/4 of the way through did I start unraveling the mystery and even then, I wasn't entirely certain. There's this uneasy feeling you get throughout the whole novel. Much like when you can sense a predator lurking behind you on a dark street, but you can't see them. You've no idea if someone is really there or if it's just your imagination. Night School was exactly like that, your instincts are on high alert, but you can't pinpoint the cause of it.

Christi has weaved together such a compelling novel that will have you guessing the entire way, with characters who will spin you in so many different directions, you'll be breathless and dizzy by the time you finish. In the dark and eerie quiet of the woods, who is friend and who is predator? Follow your instincts, because that's the only help you'll find. Night School is a thrilling start to a series I am so eager to discover more of!

 5/5 Golden Apples

Want to win a copy of this brilliant novel? Be sure to check out my interview and giveaway with Christi HERE! 

18 comments:

  1. Sounds great! Is it available in the US, though? I really want to buy it! I love the fact that Allie and Carter have one of those back and forth relationships with the banter. To me, that's always the best part to read. :)

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  2. I have no idea if/when it will be available in the US, sorry! I really hope it is, because it's such a fantastic novel. Oh.. wait! I just found a link on the US Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Night-School-Christi-Daugherty/9781907411212

    Other than that... fingers crossed a publisher will pick it up soon! Thanks for your comment :)

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  3. I love unpredictable! I have to admit that, at first look, I thought this book would be something rife with stereotypes and nothing new. Guess this proves you really can't judge a book by its cover, right? Glad you enjoyed it so much, Brodie! Now to go off and add yet another book to my to-read list...

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  4. I loved this one! Definitely agree that it was unpredictable - I had no clue who was behind it all (or what Night School was up to)! And I really liked Ally's character, she was brillsome :P. Carter was amazing too! Great review, so glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. I've heard nothing but good things about this book. The boys sound yummy. haha. Anyway great review as always!

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  6. *Claps* I love books that take place in boarding schools! There's always some mysterious stuff going on behind those walls. Ive had my eye on this for quite some time and I love that you loved it! And the feeling of uncertainty..awesome! I can't wait to see what this 'something' is :D
    Thanks Brodie!

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  7. Great review! Cannot wait to meet these amazing characters you speak of <3

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  8. I've only recently heard about this book, it sounds amazing!! You're review has me itching to get a copy, I think I'll have to go hunt one down now!

    Great review!
    -Kate
    Nomalicious Reads

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  9. Wow, this sounds like a great read! The main character especially sounds awesome. You're review has made me super curious, so I must check out this book! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. This sounds fantastic! I'm definitely going to have to pick this up. Thank you for sharing - I also love the cover! New follower!

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  11. Aaaah! I'm so excited to read this one! I've had it on pre-order for a while and I'm checking my mailbox daily (or you know... five times daily, even when I know the post has already come, or it's a public holiday. Positive thinking. Yup), but no luck so far.

    Layered characters! (it's one of the things I'm loving about VA) and mysterious MYSTERY! SQUEE! Dammit... now I wanna know if it *IS* paranormal or not! I'd just assumed it was. Pfft, I'd ask, but you know... you being you ;P

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  12. *snickers* You got that right, Sarah. I have absolutely no intention of giving you the slightest hint toward the mystery :D But I'm so excited that you're excited for it, IT WILL BE IN THE MAIL THIS WEEK! *works my postage magic*

    Thank you all for your lovely comments <3 I cannot wait for you guys to read this!!

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  13. I really loved this too. Great review!! We have similar views....mystery..mystery...I am really looking forward to the next book because of the mystery..mystery...

    Michelle

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  14. BRROOOODDDIIIE! It arrived in the post last! SQUEE! After Anna and Lola :)

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  15. MUST.GET.THIS.NOW!!! Brodie, why,why, WHY do you ALWAYS write these fantastic reviews!?!?! I'm already BROKE after buying a whole stack of books the other day, AND NOW I CAN'T RESIST BUT BUY THIS AS WELL!!If one day I don't have enough money to ensure my survival, guess who I'll be seeking :D
    Anyway, I LOVE unpredictable books with amazing characters!!! Definitely can't wait to read this<3 Great review!!

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  16. The summary gives me a Variant by Robison Wells type vibe and, while that book didn't quite have IT for me, this sounds like it could. I love the sound of it being unpredictable! Bummer that it doesn't have a US publisher but I will have to look into getting my hands on it anyway.

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  17. I'm so happy I just ordered this one! I read another great review of the book just before visiting here, Brodie. Now I'm sure I'll love Night School. YAAAY :D

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  18. Your review has made me want to read this soooo bad. I am sad it does not have a publisher here yet, but I am sure I can get it from Book Depository or something.

    I love how you described being on edge, and not really knowing what is going on. Sounds like a read that messes with you, which is always fun.

    Great review!

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