Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Book Review: Night School by CJ Daugherty

Night School
Title: Night School
Author: CJ Daugherty
Series: Night School, #1
Pages: 465
Publisher: ATOM
Date of Publication: 5th January 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from 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.


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.

My Thoughts:
I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book. I hadn't heard of it before I received it, and while I was interested, it wasn't something that I was dying to read. And I think this is part of the reason I enjoyed it so much - because I didn't expect to. I saw the cover and just thought it was another paranormal, and I'm kind of sick of paranormals at the moment... I don't know, just right now I'm looking for something that doesn't have your generic love triangle and generic plotline... Anyway, I'd read some glowing reviews of this and it sounded like people really loved it so I thought, why not? And I'm so glad I picked it up! It was so so good.

I have a thing about books set in boarding schools. I love them - I love how because the characters are together 24/7 there is always something going on, and dramas between characters are often intensified. And when the school is a huge, old, creepy mansion, it makes it even better. And Cimmeria Academy is set in a huge, old, creepy mansion, and it was fantastic. The setting really added to the mood of the book and made everything that bit more creepy (not that it needed it - it was creepy anyway!), and there were several times when I had to make sure that I wasn't alone in the house because I was freaked. The whole footsteps thing... *shiver*

I really liked Allie. At first she was really annoying, and I didn't like her because she seemed like the kind of person who goes out of their way to annoy everyone (sorry, but these people really annoy me). But as soon as she got to Cimmeria and she explained to Jo what was really going on with her, I found that I liked her more and more as the story went on. She made some pretty poor decisions but she learnt from her mistakes, and she did her best to cope with everything that was going on around her, and I couldn't help but feel for her when she was being ignored by everyone... She really went through everything that a new girl in a school full of people who have known each other their whole life has to go through, and more. It was sad, and all I wanted to do was give her a huge hug.

And I know I said before that I've had enough of the generic love triangle, but I didn't mind the love triangle in this book... I don't know, maybe it's because she went with one guy who turned out to be a douche-bag before she moved onto the other one, and there was no cheating involved at all, but it didn't really feel like your typical love triangle. And yeah, OK, maybe she fell for the two guys because they were good looking and had no interest in any girls seriously until she came along (I mean, really, when does that EVER happen in real life?) but still, I could overlook the triangleness towards the end, when I'd decided which guy was right for Allie, and which one was a dick. So yeah, I'm team Carter. Just so ya know ;)

I really enjoyed the plot, I thought there was always something exciting going on to keep me interested. There wasn't one point in the book at which I got bored or wanted to put the book down, and I actually managed to read the last half of it (which is only 200 pages) in a couple of hours on CHRISTMAS day, when I was meant to be playing with my little cousins, but I just couldn't put the book down. I NEEDED to know what was going on, and the mysterious and eerie mood of the whole book made it difficult for me to leave it alone. And the end... Well. Let's just say my mum had to say my name at least four times before I actually took notice... I haven't been that engrossed in a book for a long time so that was awesome.

Overall, I really enjoyed Night School and I think it's a very strong debut that will do very well in the next year or so. I can't wait for the sequel! I'd definitely recommend to any fans of YA, especially if you like contemporary with a twist of paranormal creepiness (I promise there are no vampires or werewolves or faeries or anything like that!) It has just enough of everything - mystery, creepiness, romance, fun, seriousness... There's a little bit of something for everyone and I'm sure I'm not the only one in saying that you won't be disappointed! Released on January 5th - go and get yourself a copy as soon as you can, and if you already have one, read it!

*Huge thanks to ATOM for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

My Rating:
I give it 5 Feet!

2011 100+ Reading Challenge #4


  1. I was of the same mindset AND I live boarding school books, so you've just sold this to me completely! I'm going to add it to my wishlist as soon as I can get to Goodreads.


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