Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Summer Reading 2021 The Castle School (for Troubled Girls)


I admit that this book took me by surprise. I began reading it expecting that it might be a tale of dark academia. After all, a castle deep in the woods, far from the nearest town, with only 12 girls as pupils. What would anyone think - creepy thriller, gothic haunting, psychological experiment? It seems that I was not the only one to have such suspicions because the latest pupil to be sent by her family to the Castle School is sure that the doctor is carrying out some sort of bizarre experiment on the residents. And things only become more strange when she and her roommate discover an identical castle with 12 male pupils nearby. Doesn't it sound like the set up for some sort of modern retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" or something similar? But just as the protoganist Moira notices, things don't add up. If the good doctor is playing mind games, then why doesn't he notice when the girls sneak out to visit the boys? (And why doesn't the boys' therapist notice when the girls visit?) If something sinister is planned, then why are pupils allowed phone and Internet privileges? Maybe this place isn't what it first appears to be. But what is it? And what is this book really about?

I honestly can't tell you more without giving away too many spoilers. But if you enjoy YA novels that make you think, make you look at your own relationships and regrets, and keep you guessing - then you should give The Castle School a try.

Thank you to the lovely folks at Sourcebooks for sending me a review copy of the book!

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