Wednesday 8 February 2012

NIGHT SCHOOL by C.J. Daugherty

When everyone is lying, who can you trust? 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 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.

I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect when I first started reading this book. I knew it was about a troubled girl. I also knew her parents had enough and sent her off to a boarding school. But I didn't know it would hook me in right from the start...

Allie Sheridan is a tomboy, and keeps getting into trouble. Actually, she's been arrested several times already and her parents just don't know what to do with her. So, when they send her off to a boarding school, she doesn't know what to expect. And she pretty much hates her parents for shipping her off, away from her friends.

However, as soon as Allie settles into Cimmeria Academy, she realises things are very different in this school. The building is historic but spooky, technology is not allowed, most of the other students seem to attend because someone in their family did before them, and then there's the elusive Night School. None of this makes any sense to Allie, but she does her best to fit in and soon has a group of friends. As well as a boy after her, and another who seems to hate her.

The night of the Summer Ball, everything changes. There's a fire, a murder, and the lingering secrets she suspected slowly start to rise to the surface. Soon, she doesn't know who she can trust. The people she thought were her friends turn on her. The guy she thought liked her turns out to be a jerk. And the one she was positive hated her might be the only person she can trust to help her sort through everything.

Night School is an atmospheric thriller that grips you instantly and doesn't let you go until the end. I really enjoyed seeing Allie for what she really is--a troubled girl, not a troublemaker. She evolves a lot in this book, letting the reader right into her deepest secrets and fears about the mysterious loss of her brother, until you can't wait for her to find out the truth about everything. And wow, there are some shocking truths.

Oh, and I also loved the ongoing tension. Besides, I'm a sucker for stories with looming secrets! And this one is filled with them.

I can't wait to find out more about Allie's family and Cimmeria.  

Night School , February 2012, ISBN 9781907411212, Atom

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