Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
The Good: One of the things I really liked about this novel was the setting. It takes place at a prep school, and the author gives great descriptions of the settings that I can totally imagine Armitage in my head. I enjoyed Madeline, one of the main characters. I love that the author placed a "normal" adult around the privileged, over-educated teachers that surrounded the school. I thought the way the girls and their relationships with each other was depicted, was a pretty accurate portrayal. Their little "game"they played is sadly just another version of the way bullies get their power and it only seems to reinforce that only the rich, attractive, intelligent students are the only ones destined for greatness. I think more than the tragic story of a young girls death that could have been prevented on many levels, its a story on the level of cruelty teens possess these days. I liked the little thread of romance that was peppered throughout the story. Not only was there ONE potential love interest for Madeline, but TWO! I loved it!
The Bad: I was kind of disappointed in the character development in this novel. I thought there could have been SO much more to delve into. I don't know whether the author wanted readers to like Claire by the end but I certainly did not. In a way she was so under developed that I wasn't even that invested in her death. However my distaste for Claire is also representative of the fact that the author did a good job with description and making her a disgusting character. I have to say that besides the lack of character development, I thought there were a lot of unanswered questions, some loose ends that never got tied up. I would have liked to see those issues resolved.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel. I thought the best aspect to the novel was surely the descriptions. I totally felt immersed in the world of Armitage and the characters. I give this book a B+
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.