Author: C.J. Daugherty
Source: Borrowed (Thanks, Duwa!)
Tagline: 'When everyone is lying, who do you trust?'
Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.
This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.
But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.
When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.
Allie Sheridan is just another troubled teenager being carted off to a school far away somewhere. Nothing particularly special. But there is something special, something strange, about the school she's being sent to - Cimmeria Academy. For one thing, why has Allie never heard of it before , and why can't she find any mention of it anywhere on the Internet? Things take a turn for the more mysterious when Allie arrives at Cimmeria. It's somewhat strange that she is there for the summer term - normally Cimmeria is attended in the summer only by 'students with promise' i.e. 'legacy' students - students whose families are connected to Cimmeria, and tend to be ridiculously rich, ridiculously gorgeous, ridiculously clever or any combination thereof. Allie is clearly none of these things so why is she here?
Things become even more mysterious when, whilst going through the Cimmeria Rules book, Allie reads:
5. Students in certain advanced areas of study take part in Night School to prepare them for life after Cimmeria, so you will sometimes hear them working late in the evening. Only very few select students are offered this opportunity; if you are not among them, you must not attempt to interfere with or observe Night School.
6. The identities of those involved in Night School are secret. Anyone who attempts to find out their identities will be punished.
7. ALL Night School activities are secret. Any member of Night School who tells anybody outside of Night School about those activities will be punished severely.
It was this mysteriousness that compelled me to pick up this book in the first place, and it was what drove me to keep reading. I have to say, for probably at least the first three quarters of Night School, I was totally into it, enjoying the story (mostly) and desperate to discover what Night School actually was!
Sadly, and I don't want to ruin it for anyone - besides this was probably just me - but I personally found the disclosure of Night School to be somewhat anticlimatic...? Anybody else felt the same way? I don't really know what I was expecting to be honest, but the excitement went a little bit once I'd found out what Night School was.
Also, adding to my non-craziness about the end, it seemed that Allie was supposedly in great danger and had to run/hide around the school to get away from someone...? I don't know if this was as a result of my inattentiveness due to my decreased interest in the book towards the end of it, but I never really got quite what all the fuss was about. I got that there were some bad guys or something, but I never really knew just quite why Allie was supposedly in so much danger.
It's a shame that the end of Night School kind of ruined it a little bit for me, but I did enjoy the rest of it quite a lot. There was a delicious love triangle involving Allie, Sylvain (charming French guy) and Carter (moody, mysterious guy) and LOTS of amusing and witty banter, however, almost a little TOO MUCH, I'd say. It seemed to me at times that Allie was unnecessarily sarky, which annoyed me slightly.
I just want to share a couple of quotes that I particularly enjoyed:
"You don't. Ignore somebody. For weeks. And then. Ask them. Personal questions. You. Arsehole."
Silence fell as she concentrated on not speaking to him.And then...
"Is my lady ready for her escort?" he asked as she walked up.
"Your lady could murder a bacon sandwich," she said.
"How ladylike of my lady."
I may have had a few minor disagreements with Night School, but please don't be deterred from reading it because it was actually, overall, an enjoyable and amusing story.