Paperback, 451 pages.
Release date: January 5th 2012.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Allie's world is falling apart...
She hates her school. Her brother has run away. She's just been arrested. Again. And now her parents are sending her away.
But instead of hating boarding school, Allie is happy. She's making friends. And there's Carter, a brooding loner with whom she feels an instant connection.
Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Her classmates - and maybe some of the teachers - are hiding secrets. And soon it begins to fell like a very dangerous place...
Troubled teenager Allie Sheridan has really blown it this time. Ever since her adored older brother Christopher disappeared from her life without a trace, Allie’s gone totally off the rails. But with this, her latest arrest, Allie’s parents have finally called time on her shenanigans and shipped her off to an exclusive boarding school two miles left of the middle of nowhere. Cimmeria Academy’s long list of rules and regulations are as archaic as its décor and bad girl Allie expects to be bored out of her mind in no time at all. That’s until she discovers that Cimmeria is no ordinary school…
I know what you’re thinking – Boarding School Paranormal. Right? Wrong. C.J. Daugherty’s Night School looks like a typical boarding school paranormal, and at the outset it feels like one too. It’s pretty clear right from the start that Cimmeria is no ordinary school – not only because computers and mobile phones are banned and not even because every student comes from an insanely wealthy and privileged background. Well, all except Allie that is. No, it’s not any of those things. Cimmeria is different because of Night School. Now, what Night School is, nobody apart from a select few, know. In effect, what happens in Night School stays in Night School. I can’t divulge the secrets of Night School, of course, but I can tell you that if you’re anything like me, your first thought will be vampires, closely followed by werewolves. You’d be wrong on both counts. Way off, in fact. Night School is way more interesting than creatures of the night that drink blood for fun or spend all their time howling at the moon.
As far as pacing goes, Night School is pretty slow to start. However, the book held my interest despite this mainly because I enjoy reading about the everyday ins and outs of boarding school life. If you don’t though, you might find this one little difficult to get in to. However, it’s worth sticking with, because as soon as we arrive at Cimmeria Academy’s much-anticipated summer ball, the action really kicks off. And by action, I mean murder. It’s only then that Allie realizes that whatever Night School is, maybe it’s not all fun and games. It’s time for Allie to find out what’s really going on behind those closed doors at Cimmeria. No more secrets, no more lies.
Allie is a kick-ass, feisty protagonist. I didn’t totally warm to her at first, but just like this book, she is a grower. Despite her bad attitude, Allie is not really a bad girl at heart. She’s a product of her circumstances, and like many of the students at Cimmeria she’s been through some tough times. Finding common ground with a number of students means Allie makes friends fast. She also catches the eye of not one but two potential suitors. By the time the summer ball rolls round Allie is dating Sylvain, aptly named because his best friend is his mirror. As soon as Allie hears Sylvain’s French accent, she pretty much turns to goo at his feet, but where Allie finds Sylvain suave and sophisticated, I just found him all round slimy. A far better prospect for Allie is the dark and intense Carter West, a.k.a. the brooding tragic hero of this piece. Sign me up for more of him! Carter forever, Sylvain never!
C.J. Daugherty’s Night School is a fun read full of mystery, intrigue and an irresistible dash of romance. Night School left me with a whole lot of questions, and I’m looking forward to finding out some answers when Legacy (Night School #2) releases in January 2013.
U.S readers, did you know that Night School is coming your way? Night School will release from HarperCollins in May 2013 and you can see the cover art below. The publishers have gone for a very different look for the US Night School release, but I have to say I'm really liking it! I also love the UK cover, though. It's pretty difficult to choose between the two for me. What do you think?
And that's not all! C.J. Daugherty revealed the cover for Legacy (Night School #2) on her blog a few weeks back! This one will release from Atom in January 2013.