**2.5-stars rounded up**
A girl found dead on the grounds of a prestigious, all-girls private school. So, the mystery begins.
As a reader, you do not know the identity of the girl. Fun, right? Then begins out protagonist, Violet, telling of her days at the school and the events leading up to the mysterious death.
You grab your popcorn and settle in for what is sure to be an intense murder mystery and then it’s not.
There was so much about this book that should have worked for me. It was described as being set at a private school in a sleepy, coastal town. YES! Give me that.
I love that type of atmosphere and literally seek it out in books. I live on an island out in the middle of the ocean for goodness sake! My life is a sleepy, coastal town. I never really felt that sense of place though while reading this. The atmosphere just wasn’t there for me. It could have been anywhere.
Violet, the new girl at the school, is odd and unsure and desperate to fit in. When Robin befriends her, she is smitten right away. Robin seems dangerous and way more mature than Violet. Two other girls, Alex and Grace, ultimately make up their group of four. This set-up was very reminiscent of The Craft which also should have worked for me as that is one of my favorite movies, EVER.
Again, it just fell flat for me. The relationships were never intriguing or captivating enough. I didn’t believe it. The girls are in sort of a secret group that is headed up by one of their teachers. She teaches them about the classics and the history of the school itself, which was once the setting for witch trials and executions.
Okay, great. That all sounds interesting as well but the school stuff was just so boring to me. Perhaps if I was a bigger fan of the classics in question, of myths and legends, such as ‘the furies’ I would have been more into that aspect. Sadly, I am just not so fear it went heinously over my head.
Then the girls beginning dabbling in occult practices trying to harness magic for themselves. As expected they push it way too far with dire consequences. This was the one aspect of the book that kept me reading but even this, used in their eyes for revenge, I ended up feeling lost amidst all the details.
I’m not sure if it was the format that put me off or the fact that the writing, although using intelligent topics, words, structure, etc., it just felt so technical. It lacked heart. I am not sure if I am expressing this correctly or not, I just felt the entire story lacked emotion. I never, ever connected with it.
I know a lot of people are going to enjoy this as all the basic elements are in place for a solid story. Just personally, it wasn’t for me.
Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with an opportunity to read and review this book. I know this is a debut for this author and I would be interested in reading whatever she releases next.