Blurb from Goodreads
My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.
Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.
Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.
I have a new bookish addiction! THIS WAS SO GOOD! I was completely hooked from the first page.
A lot of people have compared this book to Twilight and I can very much see the similarities. Both have that compelling, almost guilty-pleasure aspect to them; you just can’t stop yourself from reading once you crack the book open! But I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I believe in loving what you love, and I loved this book! It’s trashy in the very best sense of that word. Believe me it’s a compliment. This is the kind of book that you can completely lose yourself in, you forget about all the scary craziness that’s going on in the world around us, and you get 100% invested in the bananas storyline of these characters.
The book follows recent orphan Grace who moves to the wilds of Alaska to live with her uncle and cousin in the preppy boarding school, Katmere Academy, that he is in charge of.
But it soon turns out that this is no ordinary boarding school as paranormal happenings are de rigueur!
”I’m being stalked by a crazy-ass vampire with ritualistic murder in their eyes. And here I thought Alaska would be boring.”
She quickly meets the quietly mysterious Jaxon… most popular, most good looking, most intense!… and sparks fly. They’re drawn to each other, but for reasons as yet unknown to Grace they really shouldn’t be. So their relationship very much blows hot and cold for much of the book…but this just kept me all the more invested in shipping them together. Yes I’m basic like that… GIVE ME ALL THE HORMONE LED DRAMA PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
Strange events and near miss accidents keep occurring, many of the students are openly hostile without reason towards Grace, and soon Grace begins to realise that those niggling thoughts she has that couldn’t possibly be grounded in reality… well they might actually be truer than she realises. ”Vampires, dragons and werewolves oh my!”
This book pretty much just mashed together all the best loved teen drama tropes from popular films and books. I mean who doesn’t love the setting of a prep school with a paranormal twist on the social settings, mean girls, jocks, and clique groups stereotypes?
The characters are great fun to read about:
There’s hot and moody Jaxon. He’s completely unrealistic but that’s what makes him compelling. He’s got that dangerous edge but then this sensitive side… he’s just a perfect book boyfriend. Over the top, slightly murderous but hot. What else would you want from a book boyfriend? *cries laughing*
Then there’s almost as hot but more fun and flirty Flint… I know… Is it possible there’s a love triangle in the mix? Not necessarily but Flint is definitely a very playful character and helps to keep things interesting with regard to the development of the romantic relationship between Grace and Jaxon.
Grace’s fantastic cousin Macy is basically just all sorts of adorable and the way she’s so protective of Grace … love to see it! I loved how their relationship developed over the course of the novel as Grace learned more of the truths about Katmere Academy.
And then there’s Grace herself. Is she Bella 2.0? Well I always liked Bella from Twilight and similarly I really liked Grace. She was utterly ridiculous at times, frustratingly blinkered, and more than capable of making a bunch of daft choices… but then she has this great sass and belief in herself. I liked that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. I liked that she tries to protect her emotions and vulnerable side. I thought that she was ultimately rather relatable because she was thrown into this world of heightened emotion and drama just after losing her parents…and still had a keen sense of who she was as a person, and what was most important to her.
For me though, the best thing about this book is that it’s completely tongue in cheek. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and is always poking fun at the genre of book it is. I mean the lead vampire character gives the lead female an actual copy of Twilight to read… I legit died laughing when that happened. And there are so many other little knowing nods to the genre… just I loved it!
Overall I had an absolute blast reading this. It cheered me right up and I completely got swept away in the danger and drama. It’s an easy five stars from me and now I can’t wait to read book two in the series. Yes I have it preordered already!
Highly recommended to people who love escapist YA fiction.
*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions*
This paperback copy publishing 29th September 2020, Hodder & Stoughton