Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Night School (Night School #1)

Night School by C.J. Daugherty
Paperback, 454 pages

Published 1st January 2012 by Atom

Shelves: books-i-own, young-adult, supernatural, series-or-companions, read-in-2013, magical-realism 
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Description via Goodreads:
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.

Night School is a book that is hugely popular amongst a lot of young adults at the moment and I am sure that it'll continue to be a big hit. Night School has a very interesting idea behind it which could literally lead us anywhere - there is so much potential for this series and I truly think that it will just improve as it goes on.

I will start by saying that I didn't initially love this book. It took me quite a while to get into Night School, but towards the end I was definitely left wanting to know more! Though I've only given this book two stars, I'd say that it definitely deserves more towards the end. I always find it difficult to review first books in series, as they're sometimes just stepping stones for the following books, setting the scene and introducing us to people. I'd say that Night school was one of these books. As I've said, towards the end, it did definitely get more intriguing as we started to find out about Night School, a secret elite club. There is no doubt that Night School is an interesting group and I'd imagine that most people would be intrigued by it. 

The setting of Night School is a secluded boarding school in England, Cimmeria Academy. Boarding schools are a very popular setting for young adult books at the moment and it's obvious why -  the buildings can be full of history and so are the perfect place for creating a mysterious atmosphere. I am a person who loves reading about schools, so this was perfect for me. Daugherty definitely made the right choice by creating the Academy - she did a great job of creating a somewhat spooky feeling to the place and made very clear that there was a great amount of history to the school, which I hope she will expand on as the series progresses!

The history of the school is also embedded in the story's characters. The cast of primarily teenage characters will certainly appeal to the targeted reading group. In Night School we are introduced to Allie, a troubled girl who is having a hard time after her brother ran away from home. Allie is sent to Cimmeria Academy in the hopes that it will change her behaviour. She is pessimistic about the move at first, but after a while she realises that she's actually quite happy there with her new friends. There is a fair amount of different characters that we're introduced to - enough to allow good diversity but not too many to become confusing. I enjoyed seeing Allie interact with her new friends and I found it quite difficult to judge the characters - I wasn't quite sure who to trust and I didn't quite know where the story was going, which was good as it meant it wasn't predictable!

As you can see, I did enjoy some aspects of this book, but for me the thing as a whole didn't completely work. As aforementioned, I feel as though this is a book to pave a way for the rest of the series, rather than to be a fantastic standalone book. This book is reasonably thick, at 400+ pages and for me, the issue was that not much actually happened. C.J. did a good job of introducing us to characters and making us a little suspicious of them, which was probably what she was aiming for in this book, so she did well. Unfortunately I was a little unsure about where the book was going (I thought it was paranormal, which it doesn't seem to be) and this vagueness didn't allow me to get completely absorbed. I didn't need to know any specific information, so it was difficult to get hooked - I had no idea what I was waiting to find out.

Whilst I didn't love the whole of Night School, I did manage to find enough potential and intrigue inside it in order to want to read the second book in the school, Legacy. After reading a few reviews of Legacy, I think I am right in thinking that this story can only get stronger. I know that a lot of you will love Night School itself, and I am really looking forward to seeing where the story goes.


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  2. I just finished reading Night School myself and reviewed it (not on my site yet) but I gave it a 3.

    I agree with you that the first half of the book was not very good in that it wasn't that interesting and it was just really slow. It took FOREVER to read that first half but the second half I finished really quickly. Glad to see that it wasn't just me in thinking that some of it was just not that interesting.

  3. What a shame that you didn't really get on with the book. I loved it!

  4. Yeah, the first part wasn't really good, but I totally loved this book! You should post here your review to The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones. I really want to read that saga, but I haven't heard many reviews of it, so I would love to know what you think about it:)

  5. I have this book and I am really looking forward to reading it, I have definitely enjoyed Boarding School books so I can't wait to read this one.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven


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