Author: C.J. Daugherty
Genre: Young Adult
My Copy: Complimentary Copy via Epic Reads
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Allie Sheridan’s world is falling apart. Her brother’s run away from home. Her parents ignore her. And she’s just been arrested.
This time her parents have had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to boarding school, far from her London friends.
But at Cimmeria Academy, Allie is soon caught up in the strange activities of a secret group of elite students.
When she’s attacked late one night the incident sets off a chain of increasingly violent events. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, she finds out that nothing at Cimmeria is what it seems to be.
And that she is not who she thought she was.
Let me start off by saying, looking at the cover of C.J. Daugherty’s Night School, what are your first initial thoughts? It looks spooky with paranormal undertones. Even the synopsis hints at something dark and mysterious but there’s nothing paranormal about the book. I don’t consider this a spoiler, but others might. I apologize in advance if you think it is one.
Sixteen year old Allie Sheridan has been on a road of destruction since her brother, Christopher disappeared. She’s constantly getting into trouble and failing her classes. Her latest exploit involves breaking into her current school and when she gets arrested, her parents have had enough and arrange to send her to Cimmeria Academy. Allie has never heard of the school and wonders what type of institution would accept a student virtually overnight. Upon arrival she quickly adapts and once where she was a failing student, suddenly she becomes studious. She makes friends and even though the strict rules are hard to follow at first, she soon finds herself caring about school. Suddenly mysterious things begin to occur and it’s up to Allie and her friends to find out what exactly is happening before it’s too late.
Like most YA’s, there’s a love triangle. From the moment Allie arrives she meets Carter and in many ways he’s a bit standoffish, but looks out for her. Then we have Sylvain, an arrogant French student who has a history of using girls. The differences between Carter and Sylvain are set up quickly. Carter is at Cimmeria on scholarship whereas Sylvain comes from a wealthy family. It’s Carter who has to tread carefully because he has nothing to fall back on if he gets kicked out of Cimmeria. The attraction Allie feels for Carter is set up pretty early, but Daugherty needs to drag out the plot so we don’t get a full Carter and Allie set up until a little over halfway through the novel. Ultimately, the love triangle just doesn’t work for me. Sylvain’s interest in Allie is more of a plot device to extend the story.
It ends on a cliffhanger and we have tons of unanswered questions especially with regards to Allie’s family and the fact we still don’t know exactly what Night School is. I debated with the rating between a two and three. In the end, I went with a two because of Sylvian and the fact that NOTHING happens plot wise until three-fourths of the novel. My big problem with Sylvian is that he’s prone to forcing himself on girls and knowing that especially at a boarding school, I would think there would have been more warnings for girls that enroll. Also if there’s zero tolerance for breaking certain rules, why then can’t they expel Sylvian? Furthermore, we go through the motions of Allie seeing students out after curfew and heading into areas of the school that are out of bounds to student not enrolled in Night School. It’s all suppose to be hush hush where no one speaks of Night School, but if that’s the case and the majority of the school knows about it, why not address it? Moreover there’s this added sense of mystery and of things that go bump in the night, but when you take into account the big picture, there’s nothing there. The growling sounds Allie hears is explained at the end, but not satisfactory and it’s all tied to a mysterious council and group wanting control of the school. There were too many unanswered questions and it felt at times if Daugherty did this on purpose because she now had a reason to write a series.
If you’re a fan of boarding school books you might want to pick up C.J. Daugherty’s Night School, but I’d wait until the rest of the series is released that way you breeze through the reading. I might pick up the second book just to see what questions are addressed and only if I find myself with nothing to read.