At this boarding school, even the wildest rumors don't measure up to what's really going on...
Rachel Ross is asthmatic and "more bottled up than ketchup," but that's fine. Nothing will prevent her from graduating at the top of her exclusive new boarding school and getting into Oxford.
Rachel refuses to be distracted by the present until she uncovers a shocking secret on campus. She realizes that someone is in desperate need of help and that she actually has something to share-and more friends than she knew.
With an utterly original, hilarious, and honest voice, Amelia O'Donohuedelivers a sexy new boarding school tale with true heart-and a surprise ending you won't forget.
I love Helen Fitzgerald's Adult Fiction, which are darkly funny, wild and always surprising. So I was pretty much absolutely thrilled to hear she had a YA novel coming out.
And it's got a different flavour to most YA out there. It's got the same trademark gutsy pacing - it doesn't linger over scenes but keeps pushing on forward making it a swift and page-flipping read.
I LOVED ADORED the Scottish setting. More please.
As a protagonist, Rachel is pretty different. She's a perfectionist, she's angsty towards her parents, she's drumming it out to her own beat, unconcerned with making friends - more concerned with making grades. She's a keeper of secrets (of which she knows many) and regarding the little bit of romance she has going on the side, she's strangely, infuriatingly indifferent at times. She may take a bit of getting used to... :)
As for the mystery: Helen Fitzgerald loves to play head games with her readers, and this one's a doozy, haha. Even if you figure out where you think it's going, it doesn't diminish the enjoyment and satisfaction of watching Rachel all the way to the the climax where more than just secrets are revealed. I love a cringe-worthy, LOL showdown and this book delivers. Boy, does it deliver.
It's a book that you appreciate once you're done and join all the dots and see where the author was expertly taking you the whole time. My brain scrambles just thinking about it all. A brilliant nugget of an idea which played out nicely.
Recommended: In all my reading of YA, I can't think of a book to compare this too. It's got such a unique, distinct flavour - it's a blast to read. It's funny and a little bit silly (in that teen way) and perfect for teens (not sure what the crossover appeal is for adults who read YA?).With a narrative style different to most contemporary YA it may be a change from what you may be used to - so looking forward to seeing what others think of this one. It was a fun read for me - from a clever author who dares to be a little bit different.
The trailer for Amelia O'Donohue
Amelia O'Donohue @ goodreads
Amelia O'Donohue @ Amazon
Amelia O'Donohue @ Fantastic Fiction
Helen Fitzgerald's site
Interview with Helen Fitzgerald @ The Book Depository (she sounds like so much fun!)
Isn't the cover pretty awesome (and the title, haha)