Allie has been a bit of a troublemaker since her brother Christopher ran away. Now she has been arrested for the third time this year and her parents have had enough. They ship her off to board at Cimmeria Academy for the summer term where she has no access to phones, stereos, computers, or the outside world at all. The rules are incredibly strict and then there is also the Night School classes that other students are not allowed to know about or watch. When Allie is attacked one night, it begins a string of events leading to a death during a dance and secrets around every bend. When it seems like everyone is lying, she must find out who she can trust, and quickly, before the danger catches up with her.
I want to say first, that this book is incorrectly shelved on Goodreads. Its listed under Paranormal and Vampires, and there are, regretfully, neither within it's pages. Seeing those shelves and then reading the summary, especially the part about the Night School had me super excited thinking that the story was going to be similar to Vampire Knight
. As I met the characters (Especially Sylvain) I got more and more hopeful so part of my disappointment may be based directly on the book being mishelved.
The characters were fine. There are a few side characters that you feel might have more importance but end up fading away into the background. Others are kept so mysterious that it makes them poorly characterized. Allie drove me a bit batty. She starts out so troubled and sarcastic and then she flipflops as soon as she is in the academy and is suddenly a good student. Her panic attacks are random and some of them quite uncalled for. Its like the author has no knowledge of such things but wanted to make her more broken and added them in anyway. Having Carter tell her about his old attacks was just pointless. It was a "too little, too late" characterization. Then, Allie's lack of thinking about her family and old friends was misplaced and random. Its almost like the author went through and thought "Oh! I havent had her think about her parents in a while *adds in passing*. Oh! This person needs a bit more characterization *adds randomly*".
The story focuses too much on the love triangle. The anger/hatred/jealousy between Sylvain and Carter is too unexplained. There wasnt enough tension in the triangle and so the whole thing falls apart. You start out adoring Sylvain and then he becomes a wanker and you just fall into Carter the same way Allie does. Its like, why even have bothered with the triangle at all? Then, as things go by and Sylvain apologizes for being a wanker, Allie just ups and forgives him without worry. She still trusts him and its misplaced.
Because of the love triangle being so forefront, the story itself lags. The climax happens incredibly late and its horribly anticlimatic even then. You can tell that this was meant to be a series. The author wanted to make you asks tons of questions and give you few answers but in the end she makes you ask your tons of questions and gives you no answers. Nothing is cleared up or properly resolved. Everything is just swept under the run until company leaves, obviously to be tackled in the next book, which is always a poor idea. If you wait to tackle all the questions in the next installment you end up forgetting things or dragging on the story and annoying your readers.
Regardless of all the bad, I still enjoyed it. It was an enjoyable read with a frustrating ending is all. I think if the next installment were already out then I would have much warmer feelings for this novel.