What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The School for Dangerous Girls by Eliot Schrefer

I was surprised to find out how many authors were on this year's ATBF list that I hadn't read anything by before. So naturally I started adding some books to my list to read from some of these authors. Eliot Schrefer's The School for Dangerous Girls isn't his newest book, but the paperback intrigued me, so I eagerly jumped into it.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Angela's parents think she's on the road to ruin because she's dating a "bad boy." After her behavior gets too much for them, they ship her off to Hidden Oak. Isolated and isolating, Hidden Oak promises to rehabilitate "dangerous girls." But as Angela gets drawn in further and further, she discovers that recovery is only on the agenda for the "better" girls. The other girls -- designated as "the purple thread" -- will instead be manipulated to become more and more dangerous . . . and more and more reliant on Hidden Oak's care.

What I Liked: 1) First off, I loved the setting. I love books set in boarding schools. There is one central location where everything is happening, but there are always new things to discover. And that has never been more the case than in TSFDG, because with every new chapter, another part of the school was being opened up to the reader. 2) Survival of the fittest. You may think that in a school setting, no matter what the teachers are doing to teach, the kids are somewhat safe. Not the case here at Hidden Oak. Talk about old school teachings here, there is a Lord of the Flies feel, particularly among the "purple thread" girls. The girls who were deemed as "unfixable" by the teachers were cast aside to basically fend for themselves until the last one was left standing. It was pretty scary the things these girls had to do just to survive. 3) The Mystery. From the very beginning, Angela knows there are more secrets about this school than the ordinary. And Schrefer has a very compelling way of revealing just enough to keep the reader devouring each page late into the evening. I love it when a book has a great sense of timing like this one, it makes it so easy to stay wrapped up in an interesting story. 4) The School. I talk alot about character development when I read and review books, because 99% of the time, the characters are what keep me involved in a story. Well, I was impressed by the way the school was developed as a character in this book. It was the most compelling part of the story, as if it was taking on the personalities of the teachers and students who were inhabiting the different part of the building.

What I Didn't Like: Well, while the school itself was developed to an awesome degree, I was missing a little from the characters. I got into Angela's story pretty easily, and her search for her cousin was emotional. But as far as the supporting characters go, I could have used some more details because I wanted to care more about them.

Overall Thoughts: The School for Dangerous Girls is one of those psychological thrillers that will leave you chilled to the bone. The plot was easy to understand and get involved in. The characters left a little to be desired, but the plot lines and the awesome sense of timing make up for it. If you are looking for something to mix up your dystopians or paranormals, take some time to check out Eliot Schrefer's The School for Dangerous Girls - it will mess with your head but end in a satisfying way.

My Rating: 3.5 shots

6 comments:

  1. This one sounds cool. To bad the characters weren't quite up to snuff!

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    1. Everything else was there, I just wanted more from them, you know what I mean?

      Courtney

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  2. I love psychological thrillers and this one sounds really interesting. Mess with my head but end in a satisfying way? Sold. :) Great review!

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    1. Definitely check this one out! It's been out for a while, so it should be easy to find in paperback!

      Courtney

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  3. I haven't heard of this one before, but it definitely sounds interesting. Thanks for the great review.

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    1. It came to my attention because Eliot was at Austin Teen Book Festival, and he was really funny so I decided to read it.

      Courtney

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