Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Night School (C.J. Daugherty)

Night School by C.J. Daugherty
Title: Night School
Series: Night School, Book 1
Author: C.J. Daugherty
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Suspense Mystery
Content Rating: Older Teen (language, sensuality, skinnydipping, scary situations, violence, minor gore)
Told: Third Person (Allie), Past Tense
Format Read: ARC (releases May 21, 2013)
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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.

*          *          *

Cover: Spooky; like the color scheme. And those flying things over the school look otherworldly to me...

Writing: Choppy and all over the place. Even though it was only from Allie's perspective, most of the time I didn't know who was saying or doing what - especially her. The action and dialogue tags were poorly done, and "he/she" was all too often where a name should've been instead, causing no end of confusion.

Setting: Mostly takes place in a large boarding school. I never quite got the feel for the layout and was constantly turned around, so eventually I just gave up and let it go. Overall the setting was realistic enough.

Story: Definitely a mystery, albeit an odd one. After getting into trouble one too many times, Allie is sent to a privileged boarding school where no one is quite what they seem - including her. She is awkward at first, but eventually fits in and comes to love it - only to have her new world rocked by chaos and tragedy from a mysterious figure. Despite the writing, the first half of the book was pretty quick, but once Allie hit her "happy place" it slowed to a rather torturous crawl that never sped back up, even when the happy place led to disaster. It did have some good chill factor moments, but when it wasn't giving me the tingles it was disappointing and at times a bit tedious.

Characters: Allie was your typical "girl with a troubled past (totally justified, of course)" who finds a place to belong where she least expects it. She has a few odd "ticks" that play into the plot a little, but we get no explanation for them in this book so they felt more like filler rather than important elements in the story. She was strong, for the most part, but when she was weak it felt a bit whiny. I liked Lucas - he seemed a little spastic at times, but for the most part he was pretty cool. Sylvain gave me the creeps at first (and with good reason), but of course by the end I was questioning who I was rooting for. Although I questioned everyone - and still do.

Paranormal Element: I went into this book thinking there was a paranormal element of some kind. This was an incorrect assumption. There are no paranormal elements whatsoever, which is why I was so very disappointed with this book. Any type of paranormal angle would've done wonders for the story, and without one there seemed no real reason for a "night school," in my opinion - why not simply have a special school all together and let these kids actually get some sleep?

But just because there wasn't a paranormal element in this book, I feel that doesn't mean there won't be in future books. Early on I saw some pretty strong foreshadowing for a paranormal element (which was why I felt so let down when nothing came of it), and since the "big" secrets were left unanswered, I suspect there may be something paranormal to the story after all.

If not, what a waste.

Conclusion: I'm really not much for mysteries (especially without a paranormal element), and the writing was too all over the place for me to get a good handle on the story. While I'm semi-interested to know where the story goes, I will find out from spoiler reviews and definitely not be reading any further in the series.

Scribble Rating
2 of 5 Scribbles


  1. Gah, this one is what I'm going to be reading next. Here's hoping that I like it a little bit better than you did. This was a great review!

  2. Sorry to hear you were not a big fan of this one. I got it to review and I am really looking forward to reading it, but now maybe not so much, but I can hope. Loved your review!