Released: January 5th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
Sometimes school is murder.
Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested.
This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.
But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.
When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy. (from Goodreads)
Night School was addictive. Very addictive. Like chocolate after a bad day. While I was reading, family members kept interrupting to tell me pointless things like dinner was ready, when all I really wanted to do was keep my eyes on the page. I raced through this book, and by the end, I was left wanting more. 451 pages weren’t enough for me. The fact there is currently no news on the sequel is actually killing me (by which I mean there will be a sequel, there's just no info about it yet :P).
Night School centres on Allie Sheridan, a good girl gone bad. After her brother’s shocking disappearance, Allie’s life starts to go downhill. Really downhill. She’s hanging around with the “wrong crowd”, acting out (or so her parents think), getting into fights and has been expelled - been arrested – several times in just one year. Her parents have had enough, and so Allie gets shipped off to Cimmeria Academy, a school her mother says can help people like her. Allie is angry. Miles away from her friends, in the middle of nowhere, she quite understandably hates Cimmeria. Until she starts liking it. The people are friendly (most of the time), the classes are more interesting than at her old school and one of the most popular boys seems to be interested in her. Allie’s life seems to be taking a turn for the better – until someone dies and everything changes. Something sinister is going on at Cimmeria, and Allie believes everyone is in danger. But can she find out what’s going on before anyone else gets hurt?
Allie was an amazing character! I loved her. She was snarky and wasn’t afraid of talking back and I liked that she didn’t let people walk all over her, even though most other people probably would have in her situation. I could understand how she was feeling – she was plucked out of her school in the city and sent to some academy in the countryside, where she didn’t know anyone and where no technology was allowed (imagine – life without internet! I’d be so depressed). I actually think she dealt with the whole situation really well! A lot was going on with her life, and I think it’d have been too much to just expect her to be okay with everything. That being said, she made friends pretty easily and seemed to adjust to Cimmeria quite quickly. Jo was her first friend, and I have to say, Allie got lucky. Being the new kid is never easy, so having someone as fun, friendly and kind as Jo to befriend you and help you out is definitely a plus. Jo was awesome, and I loved her from the beginning! Yes, she could be overdramatic, but 99% of the time, she was a good friend and I loved seeing her and Allie together – Jo was the kind of friend everyone would want, that you could tell anything to and could always rely on to make you feel better. She did have her own issues, however, that we discovered later on, so I’m glad Allie had friends too – like Rachel. Rachel was another great friend Allie made later on in the story, and I liked how she was up-front about everything and just told things as they were. I think Jo and Rachel helped Allie out a lot and she’d definitely changed a little by the end of the book.
Carter and Sylvain were the two main love interests in the story, and while there wasn’t really a love triangle in this book, I’m thinking it might develop a lot more in the next one. I’m firmly Team Carter, I really loved him! He started off all mysterious and aloof (but mysterious, aloof and funny, which made up for it) but as Allie got know him, he became a lot nicer and sweeter (though still mysterious. And funny). I liked how he was watching out for Allie all along from the sidelines, and how he wanted her to be happy. He was lovely and I really enjoyed all the interaction between the two. He had a really interesting background story too, which definitely revealed a lot about him and why he was the way he was, and I generally found him to be an interesting, likeable character. I definitely can’t wait to see more of him! Sylvain, on the other hand, I did not like. At least, not at the beginning. He basically thought he could get whatever he wanted with the click of his fingers, and that really annoyed me. By the end, though, he seemed to regret some of the horrible and stupid stuff he’d done, and did redeem himself a little, so I’m intrigued as to what will happen involving him in the next book.
Plot-wise, Night School was brilliant and unpredictable. I had no idea who was behind the attacks, why they were doing it or what the hell the Night School were up to. Isabelle, the headmistress of Cimmeria, intrigued me from the start – I knew she was not your usual headteacher, and she was definitely hiding a lot about Allie and the school. The storyline surrounding Allie’s brother was really good too. The note he left was so cryptic and the whole time, my mind was just going “WTF” because I had no clue why he disappeared or what the note meant or why he would even write it. I wanted to know what the heck was happening, which is probably why I got through the book so fast – I never stopped turning the pages! It was a great mystery and I’m already anxious to read the next book!
Overall, Night School was an exciting, captivating read with great characters and a story that will keep you entranced for hours. Highly recommended!