Title: Night School (Night School #1)
Author: C. J. Daugherty
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Atom (5th January 2012)
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 a secret. And soon it begins to feel like a very dangerous place . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Night School is C. J. Daugherty’s debut novel, and the first book in her Night School series – the second installment is expected to be published in the UK in January 2013. In it we are introduced to Allie who is slowly falling apart after the disappearance of her brother.
I first came across this book at an event held by Foyles bookstore which I attended. C. J. Daughtery talked about the book and read an extract from it, and I just fell in love. It took a long time for me to reach it in my TBR pile, but I really am glad that I did. This is a real little gem of a story, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next book.
One of the things that I most enjoyed about this book was that it was told through a limited third person narrator – I find third person narrators much easier to get on with than I do first person ones. The fact that Daugherty limited the narrator so that we only know as much as Allie does, without being inside Allie’s head, really worked for me. I just fell straight into the book.
I have to admit that I liked Allie from the first. There’s just something about her that really appealed to me. We don’t meet her in the best of circumstances, but we do get a real feel for her. One of the things that Daugherty does well from the start is show that Allie is far from perfect, but the flaws that she does give Allie aren’t insurmountable. Allie is a very charming character, she’s also a very strong one – she isn’t someone I’d like to cross. Allie carries the story brilliantly, and I found her easy to emphasise with and understand. She felt very similar to how I did when I was sixteen.
The plot of the book was really interesting. If you’re looking for something fast paced with quick explanations, then this isn’t the book for you. I enjoyed the slow pace of the plot; there was plenty of really neat build-up which allowed for a lot of twists and turns. There were no real revelations until well-over half-way through the book, but you know what that worked for me. I liked the suspense. I also enjoyed the fact that even at the end of the book there are still questions that I want answered, but unfortunately I’ve got to wait. I really enjoyed the boarding school setting of the book. It really worked and added to the plot.
This is definitely an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of boarding school books.