Posts Tagged 'private school'

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

madness underneath

Genre: Fantasy

# of Pages:  290

RAC:  Yes

In this sequel to The Name of the Star Rory is recovering from her near fatal encounter with a deadly ghost in Bristol with her parents.  After a few weeks, her therapist surprisingly advises she return to school in London to resume her schoolwork and begin to move forward.  Rory is thrilled at the idea of returning to school, but she is very far behind on her schoolwork and has no idea how she can make it up.  Meanwhile, Stephen and the other shades are trying to solve an unusual murder that occurred very close to where Rory’s attack was.  Are they connected? Did her encounter somehow trigger other supernatural attacks in the immediate area of the school where all of her friends go?

This sequel moves very quickly and has a very exciting ending.  Fans of the first novel will enjoy this title as the Shades are detailed a little more and the challenges of their group’s existence are explained in a bit more detail.  Rory’s future in London seems very unsure at this point, but there are possibilities for how she will proceed laid out that could come into play in future books.   The supporting characters from the school are still just as colorful as ever, but are not featured as much as they were in the first book.  Overall, it’s a good sequel, but a tad fast and fans will be eager to see another one sooner rather than later.

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  265

RAC Book:  Yes

In this fourth installment of the Gallagher Girls series, Cammie Morgan is heavily protected by secret agents because the evil spy organization, the Circle, is trying to find her.  No one knows why Cammie is so important to the Circle, but several security measures are taken at Gallagher Academy to ensure that she is safe at all times.  Meanwhile, on her winter break Cammie is startled to learn that someone she was very close to has been accused of working with the Circle.  Can she trust anyone again?  Can Cammie and her friends find out why the Circle is after her?

This book picks up right where the third one left off and makes for an exciting and fast paced story.  The plot has many surprises and many questions are raised, but for the first time readers get a few answers too.  The characters and dialogue are just as fun as ever and fans of the first three Gallagher Girls books will devour this one too.

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri


Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  387 p.

RAC List: Yes

When five children living in four different countries disappear one night at the age of ten no one notices.   Five years later, a mysterious governess arrives in New York City with her five unusual adopted children, who will all attend the exclusive Marlowe School.  Christian is a master athlete and can play and dominate five school sports in one season.  Bice has mastered over 23 languages and is still learning more.  Belle is Bice’s twin and has bargained with the governess to become breathtakingly beautiful.  Victoria wants to have the highest gpa in the school as well as become class President and win the debate tournament.  Finally, Valentin is a poet and likes to manipulate time.  All of these children have “gifts” that were given to them by their governess.  The question is what did they have to give her in order to receive these gifts?

Another Faust plays off of the ideas in Christopher Marlowe’s play Dr. Faustus where a man sells his soul to the devil to get what he wants on earth.  In this case, these five children have made “deals” with their governess in order to get what they want, but some have known what they were getting into and others have not.  There are many interesting issues that get addressed in this book such as the importance of earning your accomplishments instead of cheating to acquire them.  Trust, family, and betrayal are all major themes in this story as well.  Fans of fantasy stories, especially series like the Blue Bloods, will snap this up.

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  260 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Scarlett Wakefield goes to an exclusive private school called St. Tabby’s where she has two best friends and aspires to be an Olympic gymnast.  She is shocked when one day the elite group of girls in the school asks her to join them for a party.  She immediately drops her best friends in favor of this new group which causes a permanent rift.  When she is at the party she ends up kissing one of the most popular boys in school and he unexpectedly dies of an allergy attack.  No one is able to understand why he had this reaction and why he did not have his epinephrine pen on him.  She soon becomes blamed even though there is no proof that she did anything wrong.  Her life becomes so miserable that she is forced to move away and go to the private school her grandmother is headmistress of.  As she relives that horrible day when Dan died she cannot seem to stop punishing herself.  One day she receives a mysterious note in which she realizes that there is much more to this incident than she knows and she is determined to find out what it is.

This story is interesting and captures the reader’s attention from the beginning.  Anyone can identify with the feelings Scarlett has throughout the book.  The mystery element also becomes intriguing as most readers will not know right off what actually caused Dan’s death.  The only issue with the story is that the ending is unsatisfying and feels unfinished.  Whether a sequel is planned or not does not excuse the fact tht the ending feels too abrupt.

Fabulous Terrible: The Adventures of You by Sophie Talbot

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 231 p.

RAC Book: Yes

This story is told in the second person point of view, which means that the reader is the main character. You have been a foster child for many years and despite finding a great family you thought you would stay with forever, problems began to arise when you began having your visions again. As a child you had had visions or shimmers in which you could see glimpses into the future. Since it seemed to upset people whenever you told anyone, you stopped discussing your visions at a young age. Unfortunately, when the shimmers begin up again it distresses your new family and so you begin looking for boarding schools to attend. You find one called Trumbull Woodhouse, which is a very exclusive all girls school. Once you arrive, you begin noticing that your shimmers are coming faster now and at the same time someone begins to sabotage your every move. Who would want you to get kicked out? Is there any way to stop this person before it’s too late?

The format of this book is very unusual, but makes for a fun story. As the story goes on and very personal attacks are made against the main character, who is “you” in this story, the reader begins to feel as if it is her getting attacked.  The more that is revealed about this school the more intriguing it gets.  There are similarities to this series and the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray, but at this time the level of fantasy is very low.  The ending seemed a bit fast, but immediately flows into the next one in the series.  This series will always keep girls wanting more.  Recommended.