Monday, May 20, 2013

3 stars: Night School by C.J. Daugherty

 SUCCESS! I met my Bout of Books goal! 4.5 books in one week. Today I finished Night School.

"Allie's world is falling apart...

She hates her school. Her brother has run away. And she's just been arrested.


Now her parents are sending her away to a boarding school where she doesn't know a soul.

But instead of hating her new school, Allie finds she's happy there. She's making friends. And then there's Sylvain, a suave French student who openly flirts with her. And Carter, the brooding loner who seems to have her back.

Soon, though, Allie discovers Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Nothing there is as it seems. And her new friends are hiding dangerous secrets."

Expected publication: May 21st 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books. I received a digital ARC of this story.

The cover of this book and the synopsis made me think that this was a paranormal story, but it wasn't. This was the author's first book and it was written because of a dare, and honestly, it kind of shows. The writing definitely has a Stephanie Myers/E.L. James shine to it... only with bigger words. The writing does show potential, which hopefully will show in her later work. 

It was apparent that the author had a story she wanted to tell, but only part of a story, which started about halfway into the book. It seemed that she wasn't sure how to get to that point, so up until that point, the writing lacks heart and is weak. 
  • There is forced conflict between characters (why is she fighting with this guy--well, I guess just because they'll end up together and this makes things more interesting).
  •  Which leads me to very questionable motives for actions and thoughts, and sometimes we don't get any reasoning for actions or thoughts.
  • Some parts of the story are too contrived (ah, so this random thing is being done in order to end the conflict, so that these two can become a couple!)
You know those books that start of good, and you can't stop reading, but then the story goes downhill (I'm looking at you, Her Fearful Symmetry)? Well, there are too many books like that, and I'm happy to say that this is one of very few books that has the opposite problem, and better problem in my opinion. Yes, the story starts off weak but then gets stronger! The writing improves, because I believe the author finally became interested in what she was writing, since it was probably the story idea that motivated her in the first place. But as I said, I think she just had problems getting to that point in the story and all the build up to that point was tedious for her. 

While the second half of the book was far better than the first half, I still didn't understand the motivations for serious actions during that half. There are several sequels to this story, so I'm sure more will be explained, but the reasoning that was given to us in this installment is just too flimsy. The story was still interesting though, but not satisfying enough.

The good news is that I did really like Carter (you know, the guy she kept fighting with who she eventually fell head over heels for after something random happened) and he was the most well-developed character. Carter, you saved the story!



  1. Oooh, am I the first comment? Cool. If not, I am going to pretend I am, kay?

    Congratulations on meeting your goals. Will you be participating in the next Bout of Books?

    Lisa @ Just Another Rabid Reader

    1. You're the first!

      Thanks! Yep, I want to participate in August as well. The time of this one was nice since I had library books I needed to finish. I did listen to a couple audio books, but that's not cheating, right?

  2. Congrats on meeting your goals!