Review: Night School is the debut from C J Daugherty, the sequel Night School: Legacy comes out in January 2013.
A recent family issue has left Allie deeply unhappy and unsettled to the extent that her perfect grades and behaviour are a distant memory. Upon her third arrest, her parents take drastic action and send her straight to a boarding school deep in the countryside even though it's the summer holidays.
Expecting not to like Cimeria Academy instead Allie finds that she relishes the new atmosphere. The school-work is challenging and she turns the head of one of the most eligible boys in the school, Sylvain as well developing as a love-hate relationship with “bad boy” Carter, who has a reputation of being a player.
There are a lot of mysteries flying around Cimeria – what is 'Night School'? Who is in it, what's it for and what do they do? More pressingly what are the noises in the forest and why are some students getting injured? Why did Allie's parents choose Cimeria of all places?
Night School could easily have gone down a paranormal route but refreshingly the mysteries have non-supernatural answers and they had this reader on tenterhooks continuously wondering “what is going on at this school?”. I absolutely loved this one and flew through it, kicking myself for not reading it earlier – though thankfully it does cut down the wait until the sequel. I found this a tense read plus I enjoyed the developing friendship between Allie and Carter. Allie is amusing, smart-mouthed and not easily bullied and undergoes a transformation over the course of the book. Some mysteries are answered but an ongoing struggle has begun.
Despite taking place in a hot summer, Night School's gothic, claustrophobic setting makes it perfect for curling up with in front of the fire. Don't delay, and get ready for Night School: Legacy.