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Book Description: Summer Hemlock never meant to come back to Omen, Massachusetts.
But with his mother in need of help, Summer has no choice but to return to his hometown, take up a teaching residency at the Albin Academy boarding school—and work directly under the man who made his teenage years miserable.
Professor Fox Iseya
Forbidding, aloof, commanding: psychology instructor Iseya is a cipher who’s always fascinated and intimidated shy, anxious Summer. But that fascination turns into something more when the older man challenges Summer to be brave. What starts as a daily game to reward Summer with a kiss for every obstacle overcome turns passionate, and a professional relationship turns quickly personal.
Yet Iseya’s walls of grief may be too high for someone like Summer to climb…until Summer’s infectious warmth shows Fox everything he’s been missing in life.
Now both men must be brave enough to trust each other, to take that leap.
To find the love they’ve always needed…
Just like that.
In Just Like That, critically acclaimed author Cole McCade introduces us to Albin Academy: a private boys’ school where some of the world’s richest families send their problem children to learn discipline and maturity, out of the public eye.
Adelaide Buchwald is a “fac brat” (child of a faculty member) at a boarding school. She has just broken up with her boyfriend and is spending the summer walking dogs, and she is going to spend her summer walking dogs. On her third day at the park, she meets a boy.
The narrative splits into three different possibilities (accentuated by bold text) of how the conversation could proceed, before the real possibility plays out.
To say much more would be delving into spoiler territory, but needless to say, this is a summer where anything can happen. This book is so much more than the classic tale of “girl meets boy”.
Sage Morgan is starting her senior year at the The Bexley School, along with her best friends Charlie and Nick Carmichael. Everyone thinks that Sage and Charlie would be perfect together, but Charlie is a serial dater and they’re strictly friends. Besides, Sage secretly kissed Nick at a summer bonfire on Martha’s Vineyard.
There’s also a new student at Bexley: Luke Morrison, a PG (post-graduate). He and Charlie form a connection almost immediately, but Charlie has always dated girls and he’s worried about what people will think if he starts dating Luke.
This book takes place over the course of the school year and unfolds from Sage and Charlie’s dual perspectives. The pace is a little slow at times, but this is exactly what boarding school is like in real life. There’s a whole lot of status quo, punctuated by moments of high drama. Needless to say, friendships are tested and the characters have to figure out who they are and what they want out of life.
Honestly Ben is a YA novel by Bill Konigsberg. It’s the companion/sequel to Openly Straight. Now, I haven’t read Openly Straight, but as soon as I saw Honestly Ben on the new arrivals shelf at my town library, I just had to add it to my borrowing pile.
Ben is a student at the Natick School, a prestigious boys’ boarding school in suburban Massachusetts. As an aside, this is vaguely my neck of the woods, so I was quite enchanted by the setting. Anyway, Ben has decided to focus on academics and baseball. He feels that his involvement with Rafe Goldberg the previous semester (chronicled in Openly Straight) was a phase, and as school resumes, there is a notable froideur between the pair. Everything is going well for Ben- he’s even dating a girl from the local girls’ school- but something doesn’t feel quite right. Ben needs to figure out what he needs to make himself happy, and not what will make everyone else happy. Read more
People Like Us is a young adult novel written by Dana Mele. I read this book a while ago, but I am woefully behind with my review writing. I had heard about this book, and so I requested it via my library network.
It is an absolute nightmare when the body of a student turns up in the lake on the campus of the exclusive Bates Academy, but for Kay Donovan, it’s just the beginning. She receives a message from the dead girl, instructing her to confront her friends, and if Kay fails to comply, there will be consequences. It seems as though everyone is keeping secrets, but the biggest secret of all is how the girl ended up in the lake in the first place. Could Kay be implicated for the crime? Read more
Jolly Foul Play is a middle grade novel written by Robin Stevens. It is the fourth Wells & Wong Mystery that features Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, the intrepid schoolgirl sleuths. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book with my oldest daughter because I had a feeling she would like it.
Hazel and Daisy are back at Deepdean for another year, and there have been a lot of changes. Elizabeth, the new Head Girl, is very cruel to the younger girls. She and her five friends rule the school, and there are severe repercussions for the most minor of infractions. On Bonfire Night, Elizabeth is found dead on the playing field. The Headmistress insists it was an accident, but Hazel and Daisy are convinced that it is murder- especially after someone begins releasing secrets about the girls at the school. It is time for the Detective Society to reconvene and solve their fourth murder! Read more
S.T.A.G.S. is a young adult novel written by M.A. Bennett. This book had piqued my interest because I love boarding school stories, and I was very excited when I finally had the opportunity to read it.
Greer is a new student at St. Aidan the Great, a posh English boarding school. She doesn’t really fit in with her peers, so needless to say, she is quite surprised when she receives an invitation to spend the weekend at the country estate of the most popular boy in the school. Henry and his friends are collectively known as the Medievals, and they serve as school prefects.
Greer is enchanted by the sumptuous estate, and flattered by the attention from Henry. She’s so wrapped up in these superficial details that she fails to notice that the weekend of “Huntin’, Shootin’, and Fishin’” has taken a sinister turn. She and her fellow guests must band together if they are going to survive the weekend. Read more
Romancing the Throne is a young adult novel written by Nadine Jolie Courtney. I had seen some buzz about this book, and it seemed like a YA version of The Royal We, which is one of my favorite books. I finally snagged a copy from the library, and recently finished reading it.
Charlotte is a student at the posh Sussex Park School, and she has found herself in an elite circle of friends, one of whom is Prince Edward, the heir to the English throne. There is an instant connection, and Charlotte is just thrilled to be dating the handsome young prince.
But conflict arises when Charlotte’s older sister Libby transfers to Sussex Park. Charlotte introduces Libby to everyone in her circle, and is utterly horrified when Libby and Edward start spending time together. Everything seems like a huge mess, but apparently, the worst is yet to come. Can Charlotte salvage everything she holds dear before it is completely destroyed? Read more
The Property of Lies is the second book in Marjorie Eccles’ series of mystery books featuring Detective Herbert Reardon. It takes place a couple of years after the first book, Heirs and Assigns, and this book has our intrepid detective investigating a murder at a girls’ boarding school.
Coincidentally, Reardon’s wife has just accepted a position at the school because the last French teacher disappeared. Not too much later, the missing teacher’s body in a dilapidated corner of the property. Read more
The White Devil is a horror novel written by Justin Evans. I had this book on my Kindle, but never got around to reading it. I took the opportunity to add the Audible edition of this book at a reduced price; when things get busy, it is easier for me to listen to books than to read them.
Andrew Taylor is an American high school student. He has enrolled at Harrow as a desperate measure to improve his chances of getting into a good university after an incident at his last school. Harrow, the second most famous boys’ school in England, is steeped in centuries of tradition, is the perfect place for Andrew to improve his character.
However, trouble seems to follow Andrew. As soon as school begins, one of his new hallmates turns up dead. Andrew was the one who found the body, and more than that- Andrew saw a ghastly figure standing over the boy. But who would believe such a wild story? Read more