Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Night School by C.J. Daugherty



Night SchoolNight School by C.J. Daugherty

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I always enjoy boarding school books (unless they’re contemporary, in which case I tend to run away screaming), and I’d hoped Night School would be a fine addition to the group, or in the best case scenario, that it would stand out in some way. Sadly, it’s not special at all, and it’s not even paranormal like I’d expected. It has the structure and the tropes of a paranormal YA novel, but no paranormal elements whatsoever. Consider yourselves warned.

Allie is a very troubled teen. After her older brother ran away from home, she started acting out and being completely out of control. She even got arrested a couple of times. When she gets herself expelled from yet another school for vandalism, her parents decide to take drastic measures. They send her to Cimmeria School, a very prestigious and very private boarding school located two hours’ drive from London.

Cimmeria is not your ordinary school. Students are all extremely talented and very rich, the program is highly demanding, and they get certain liberties and luxuries they wouldn’t get anywhere else. The school has many rules and failure to follow them always results in dire punishment, but one rule is most important of all: if you’re not invited to join Night School, don’t ask questions about it, don’t try to identify students who are in it and don’t ever, under any circumstances, try to disrupt Night School activities. Allie adapts to her life very easily, but she soon starts investigating odd things that are happening in Cimmeria, with the help of a few friends and her boyfriend.

Technically, Daugherty’s writing has no major flaws. There are no rough transitions, confusing or repetitive sentence structure, no naked dialogue, no telling instead of showing. The problem was entirely in the content.

Cliché after cliché after cliché, that’s what Night School has to offer, with the addition of some very disturbing details. The love triangle takes up a good part of the book, but it’s not just any love triangle: it’s about a difficult choice between the guy who’s been nothing but sweet and supportive and honest and the guy who got Allie drunk and tried to date-rape her on their first (and last) date. (But he is handsome and disgustingly rich and FRENCH!) Wow. How anyone could ever choose between them, I have no idea.

The way Allie changed from very problematic to obedient and hardworking the second she set foot in Cimmeria didn’t sit well with me. It takes a little more than a new school uniform and two gorgeous boys to fix those kinds of problems, and yet, Allie got better overnight. Her character was very inconsistent and it was clear to me that C.J. Daugherty doesn’t know the first thing about issues behind such behavior. It bothered me immensely that she didn’t approach the subject seriously enough.

In my opinion, she also failed to create tension in her story. More time was wasted on the love triangle drama and on the summer ball then on the main story line. Needless to say, when the big revelation came, it was very anticlimactic and it made very little sense. All this led to an unsatisfactory ending that really wasn’t an ending at all. It was almost like someone cut out the last chapter. There was no real climax and nothing was resolved at all.

Some of my friends on GoodReads rated this book very highly and I’m pretty sure it will have many more fans. Maybe I’m just getting tired of reading the same story over and over again.




15 comments:

  1. Awww, this is the hazard of reading so many books: You start to get tired of reading the same-old, same-old and sometimes it's hard for authors to come up with stories that are schockingly different. I'm the exact same way sometimes! It's too bad that this didn't like up to what you thought of it, especially since I LOVE boarding school books too! Cliches and an unworthy love interest can do that to a book.

    Still, even though this wasn't amazing, you still wrote an amazing honest review, Maja! <3 At least now I know what to expect when I pick up this book! :)

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  2. I read a great review on this the other day, but I am more inclined to believe you. Sigh all the cliches...another love triangle, how ever will she choose? I know the date raper, he sounds fantastic. Yeah I hear ya, the same recycled story lines get old. Thanks as always for an honest review .:)

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  3. I love reading about boarding schools too so this definitely sounds like it could have been my type of book. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it Maja! :( Those cliches sound awful to me and I really hope that love triangle doesn't end up frustrating me when I get round to this. Great review darling.

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  4. Oh, you make me smile on your line about the love triangle, Maja! Wow, it must be very hard to choose between a guy who has done nothing for you but being gorgeous and the guy who is sweet and supportive to you! Ah, teenager. I feel so old smirking at the girls who judge guys by their looks (not that I have stopped doing that). :P

    Thanks for the warning! I don't think that I'd pick up this book sooner. Maybe I'd read it only to have a laugh over the girl's behavior (yes, I do that sometimes). Brilliant review still, Maja! :)

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  5. Ouchie. This almost hurts. There's very little that bothers me more than unexplained character behaviour, like going from vandal to perfect student, and don't even get me started on the love triangle. If you're single, I guess I can understand the allure of risk, but when you have something "real", you don't turn it down to chase butterflies.

    Ah well. I think I'm keeping away from this one. I'm sorry you had to read it, and didn't enjoy it! Thanks for the great honest review, though. It saved me from falling for the cover! :)

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  6. So the Oooo, la la was not so much Oooo, la la? Yeah, I'm not really seeing Allie's dilemma in choosing the right guy. And I certainly wouldn't be interested in reading about it considering Frenchie's actions. And even with as much as I love romances, glossing over serious issues just isn't acceptable.

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  7. It's too bad that the first rule of Night School is "don't talk about Night School" because this review makes me soooo curious. If it's not paranormal then WHAT IS IT? What do they do in Night School?!!

    I am so tired of the jerkface love interest. And I'm even more tired of Mr. Jerkface turning out to be "THE ONE." Bah.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, it was just some nonsense about educating future world leaders.

      The sad thing is, the French guy who tried to date-rape her will probably end up being the one because, you know, he cried in the end when she was hurt. Barf.

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  8. Jeez, that's the love triangle choice. How's is this really a triangle then? I think I have this on my kindle, I'm not sure. I think it was gifted to me. I need to check. I love your reviews, Maja. They always get to the point and tell us exactly what we need to know. :)

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  9. Cliche after cliche...like Mimi said above, that's one of the hazards about reading a lot of books, though I'm with you...I'd like to see some new stuff! I know some of my book blogger friends highly recommended this one as well, so I'm kind of torn on whether or not to read it. I think I'm going to ride the fence and stick it on my library list. Lol.

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  10. BOARDING SCHOOL!!! One of my favorite things in books ever. I'm sad I'll have to give a boarding school book the pass but when it comes to books, I trust Maja forever and ever amen.

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  11. What the f*ck kind of love triangle is that? Any chick who's fine with dating a guy who's a complete ass is going on my bad side. Darn too this book sounded really good. Bleh. Oh well, thanks for reading this and telling me not to! haha.

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    Replies
    1. Heh, I'd say it was my pleasure, Giselle, but it really, really wasn't. ;)

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  12. Really? I read this book and had a completely different take. I thought it was awesome. Flew through it in two days! And I don't think it even has a love triangle, really.

    Normally I agree with your reviews, but I think you're totally wrong this time. This is one of the best books I've read this year!

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  13. Oh no! I bought this one a few weeks ago (don't worry, it was cheap on Kindle!) because, like you, I got all excited about BOARDING SCHOOL.
    What a shame :(
    Alas, I am not a fan of cliches and love triangles. I don't understand why girls go for the awful guy, why? Why is that even an option?
    You know me, Maja.

    Brilliant review, my dear.

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