January 5th 2012
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.
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.
When I first saw this book, I knew that I wanted to read it. But I was also under a pretty wrong impression of it because the cover looks really paranormal. And do not get me wrong, I love the cover (I think it's the font. I just love the typography...) and I think it does sum up the book well, but I was fully prepared for it to be all supernatural and stuff. Instead I got an exciting mystery which had me thrown, and I really loved it! Also, boarding school. Major bonus.
At first, I was a little bit worried that Allie would grate on me, because as much as I love bad-ass rebellious heroines, they sometimes really get on my nerves. I was worried that she was going to be the kind of heroines who tromps about thinking that she has all these problems when really she has a pretty good life and not that much to be pissed off about, but she was really well fleshed out. I liked seeing her when she first started at Cimmeria, and having her make friends and be sort of happy for a while, because she had a pretty hard time of it before. But I'm also really intrigued about her family and why they're keeping all these secrets from her, and even though the ending was pretty well resolved, there's still so much that I NEED to know.
There is a love triangle, but I also thought that that was done really well, and I wasn't even that bothered by it which is really odd. Maybe it's just because I don't really like Sylvain. You can't trick me with your French accent and your CPR and your charm, Sylvain. I still don't trust you. Don't ask me why, I just had a bad feeling about him ever since I first saw his name on the page. Sorry, Sylvain fans. I really like Carter, though. Which, again, is pretty weird for me because I'm usually not all for the dark, broody fellow, but he ended up being really nice, and I always knew I'd like him better than Skeevy Sylvain (yes, I just made that up. Yes, I am sticking with it). Besides, Carter actually turned out to be pretty funny as well, and he was so much more than just the dark, broody boy. I also liked his honesty, because something that really, really annoys me about DBBs is that a lot of the time they lie to their love interest because they're trying to 'protect' them. I liked that Carter, (and Skeevy Sylvain) actually told Allie what they could of the truth, so that she could decide what to do with the information herself. I know that's kind of random, but I just thought I'd mention it.
Night School is also jam-packed full of twists, and I was really doubtful about who I could trust after all the stuff with Jo happened. And I really hope that Jo and Allie can sort themselves out because I really liked her! I was especially wary of Rachel when she came into the story as well, because even though I really, really liked her (and still do), I was starting to sense a pattern about the most likeable characters also being the least-trustworthy. I really didn't have any idea about what was going to happen for the first 200-250 pages of the book, but I didn't feel that the pace dragged much at all. I felt really absorbed in Allie's story even when there wasn't that much going on in terms of the whole mystery thing.
I also really enjoyed the descriptions of the school and learning more about it, because apart from the obvious, I haven't really read that many books set in boarding schools. I actually liked it only really having one setting, because it meant that each place where things happened had a lot more significance, and you could have a lot more familiarity with the setting. I don't know. I just like the idea of boarding schools. I couldn't actually live in one though. I'd hate it. Especially at Cimmeria, where there is no laptops. I would die. Literally.
Night School was a really great book, and I'm so glad I finally had the motivation to pick it up and read it. Though now I'm kind of annoyed that I didn't wait until the second book came out so that I could read it straight away and find out more about Allie and all of her family secrets.