By Lizzie Friend
Source Received from the publisher via Netgalley
Published by Merit Press
on November 29, 2013
Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
Perfect people aren't just born. They're made.
The first time she is blindfolded and kidnapped, star-athlete and posh boarding school newbie Sadie is terrified. She wakes up in a dark room surrounded by hushed whispers, hooded strangers, and a mysterious voice whispering not-so-sweet nothings in her ear.
But once the robes come off, she realizes it’s just an elaborate prank designed to induct her into the group that’s been pulling the strings at Keating Hall for generations. The circle has it all--incredible connections; fabulous parties; and, of course, an in with the brother society’s gorgeous pledges.
The instant popularity is enough to make Sadie forget about the unexplained marks on her body, the creepy ceremonial rituals, and the incident that befell one of her teammates the year before. So the next time Sadie is kidnapped, she isn’t scared, but she should be. The worst of Keating Hall is yet to come.
I was totally drawn to this book because I love reading stories set at boarding schools! I was especially interested in reading a story involving spoiled rich kids and secret societies!
Sadie was, right away, very likable. She was funny and sarcastic, and as a student attending the elite school on a scholarship, she was definitely an outsider. Sadie was attending school on an athletic scholarship for lacrosse, and I enjoyed reading about her lacrosse practices, which were incredibly intense, although that element of the story seemed to disappear as the book went on. I also liked her friend Jessica, and Jeremy, the cute new guy Sadie had the hots for.
When Sadie was recruited by a secret society, things started to get very creepy. She was kidnapped at times, taken strange places where she couldn’t see the faces of the people speaking to her, and she was asked all sorts of terribly intrusive personal questions. It all seemed so bizarre, but as she began to talk to some of the girls who were members, she began to think that it wasn’t so bad. It might be nice to belong and to fit in. And it turned out that Jeremy was being recruited as well, so what could be so bad?
However, as she uncovered secrets about her deceased mother’s connection to the school and the death of another student, Sadie realized that this club was not everything it seemed to be. It was worse! And for a while, there was a bit of a ‘whodunit’ feel to the story, with Sadie and her friends trying to unravel the club’s true intentions and chain of command. It was fun, and a bit creepy.
Overall though, I felt that the story’s denouement was a bit quick. It was somewhat satisfying, but I think I would have liked more of a resolution as far as the guilty parties were concerned. I did feel that I was left wanting to know more, and that the ‘bad guys’ were not fully fleshed out.
I was also a little confused at times regarding Sadie’s mother and Anna, the dead student. It occasionally felt that there were elements of the story involving their characters that wasn’t very clear to me, at least not right away, and I wondered if I had somehow missed something earlier in the book.
All in all, this was a fun, quick read with an intriguing mystery, and a pretty unique premise compared to my other recent reads. I can’t think of a single book I’ve read before involving a high school’s secret society, so if that appeals to you, you should pick this book up!