Thursday, May 16, 2013

Early Review: Night School by C.J. Daugherty (Night School # 1)

"Things are not what they seem. People aren't always who they seem to be." from the ARC of Night School

When I was first introduced to Sixteen year old Alyson (Allie) Sheridan, I felt absolutely no connection to her whatsoever. She was acting out, and getting into trouble and was working on being arrested for a third time. Her parents had finally reached their so called breaking point of what they could take from Allie before they finally did something drastic like say sending her to a mysterious school called Cimmeria Academy. But then something changed and Allie became a much different character with a backbone and a knack for searching out things that have been kept for her. A character that hopefully will grow even more over the course of this series.

Almost immediately there were several questions I had in the back of my mind, okay, no, that's a lie. I actually wrote down several questions within the first 20 percent of this book waiting for each of them to be answered. The first being, why was Allie so easily allowed into Cimmeria? (answered) What really happened to her older brother Christopher that made Allie start acting out and rebelling? (answered) What is the mysterious Night School that NOBODY is allowed to talk about? Is it one of THOSE clubs where what happens in Night School, stays in Night School? Is it a place where supernaturals are bred to take their place in society? And, lastly, of course, Why in the hell was it necessary to have yet ANOTHER 3-Way triangle with the most arrogant boy imaginable?

Since Night School had already been released in the UK (January 1st 2012 by Atom) before hitting the US, there were already hundreds of reviews posted on various web pages. The one question that remains, however, is what category this book should fall into? The cover absolutely does not do this story justice. Nigh School is more of a young adult mystery, suspense novel than anything supernatural. There is a feel of creepiness when the students are told not to wonder off alone without permission and they also have a curfew that only those who are in Night School are able to roam around freely. If Night School was meant to be a supernatural novel, it failed to impress that fact upon me. Since many other reviewers have mentioned that this was supposed to be a paranormal book, I really hope we get to the bottom of it when the next book, Legacy, is released in the US, hopefully sooner, rather than later.

Night School had it's usual share of teenaged angst, mean girls, and subsequent torture of the new girl to ensure that she doesn't feel wanted in the school and loses her friends even though they know ABSOLUTELY nothing about her or her family. We then start to peel away the layers of this book, which includes having one of Allie's suitors, Sylvain, totally go stalker mode on her, and having to be saved by suitor number 2, Carter West just in the nick of time. We find those who actually support and like Allie and help her when she's ready to kick her nemesis's ass!

Let me expound how much this particular love triangle made me throw up a little in my mouth. I really didn't see the Allie-Sylvain hook-up as a necessity to this story. Sylvain is an arrogant prick who gets girls to think they want to be with him and then takes advantage of them when they are compromised. We never really get an idea of who he really is, or why he seems to be so powerful in the school, except for the fact that he comes from a very wealthy family that has ties to the school. Whereas, I could relate and understand the Allie-Carter West connection since they have a lot of things in common, and it just made sense to me.

I will get to the other annoying particular I found hard to digest while reading Night School. Lots, and lots of brutal errors where one character is speaking, say Jo, and it was then switched to say she was someone totally different like Isabelle for example. This happened A LOT and I hope that the finalized version of this story has been run through with a fine tooth comb by editors to checked for these easily catchable errors. Honestly, it's the reason I rated this book with 3 stars and no higher. It's not an attack on the story itself or the writer.

Now, my only real questions left are: Who is Allie's mysterious Grandmother and why is she so secretive and protected? What schemes does Nathaniel have up his sleeve for the school and Isabelle in particular? Why did Allies family not EXPLAIN things a little better to her before sending her off to Cimmeria? What is Allie's mother hiding that she couldn't tell Allie? Why did Christopher REALLY abandon his own family? Bring on Legacy!

Title - Night School (Night School # 1)
Author - C.J. Daugherty
Publisher - Katherine Tegen Books
Releases May 21, 2013
Genre - Young Adult
Received from publisher via Edelweiss

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