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.
Well this was certainly a book. I had a lot of fun reading this but I’ll admit I’m a little conflicted about how I actually feel about it in terms of quality. But, fun!
So this book is very tropey. If you’re someone who loves tropes then maybe this is a book you want to check out. It’s got an elite boarding school, the new girl in town, secret supernaturals, family birth secrets, royalty sort of, cliques, manic pixie dream cousin, insta-love, etc. But the thing that made me really enjoy this book is the author seems to be so self-aware of it all? There are a lot of hilarious moments of meta-commentary within the book.
“Part of me thinks I must be dreaming, because this feels like a scene out of every teen movie ever, where the school bullies decide to gang up on the new kid just to show her who’s boss.”
“‘Yeah. It’s this really cool show about a bunch of teenage vampires, witches, and werewolves all living together at a boarding school. I know it sounds a little silly, but it’s fun to imagine.'”
And then there is a scene where the guy she likes (who is a vampire but she doesn’t know he’s a vampire) gives her a copy of Twilight. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This book has JOKES, y’all. The author is really playful with what they’re writing and there’s a certain joy in that. And this is, perhaps, the only reason this book worked for me.
The characters took a while to flesh out. Mostly they felt like caricatures for most of the story, but despite that I still did have fun with them. Grace feels pretty standard. She talks a lot about her parents and how sad she is over their tragic deaths but I didn’t feel it. Not compared to how emotive she was with other things in the story. I’m not saying I didn’t believe her, but it felt…shallow. Jaxon is the brooding dangerous mystery who also happens to be the most well known student in school. I don’t want to say ‘popular’ because he has his share of enemies. But he’s probably the most powerful one at the school. I did like Grace and Jaxon together even though they instantly fell in love and then Jaxon spent a lot of time, right up until the end, going ‘oh we shouldn’t be together, it’s too dangerous, I’m trying to protect you, blah blah blah’. This is such stupid drama. Once, okay, but more than once and it’s just unnecessary drama.
There is the fun, of course, of Grace being at this school and being the only one not in on the secret. This means there’s a lot of silly explanations for odd things that she notices and people cutting themselves off from speaking when nearly exposing things that she’s not supposed to know. When she finally learns the truth though, I was happy. I wasn’t sure how long they would let this go on because even though it was amusing at first it did get old pretty fast. As for the main conflict–well, Grace keeps getting hurt. At first it looks like an accident or two, but then it’s clear that either she’s just super accident prone or someone (or something) is out to get her. I did enjoy the reveal of who was behind everything, but I also feel like….how was this allowed to happen? The rules are different in the supernatural world, apparently. There is a lot that just….doesn’t make sense so I try not to think about it.
But also, that ending! What was that?! Well, okay, I didn’t see that coming so kudos for that, author. There was even foreshadowing but I didn’t understand it until later in an ‘oh, that kind of makes sense now’ type of way.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t say this is the best book ever, however, it was fun and reading it made me laugh out loud quite a few times. It’s highly entertaining and it even managed to surprise me a time or two–which is pretty impressive considering how many tropes it utilizes. 3.5/5 stars.