It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
So, firstly this book was just super disappointing for me! I’ve heard a fair amount of hype for this one & I expected to really enjoy this one! A dystopian sounding mystery? I was in! But overall it was just a nope for me in the end.
So for the thing that I did enjoy to start off with. I really enjoyed the setting of this one. It was super creepy & eerie feeling and it had so much potential if the rest of the story had followed through.
So mostly I think it was the writing that overall let this one down. To begin with the writing just felt super flat! I didn’t feel engaged in the story or hooked to it in anyway. Because of that I ended up not really caring what happened or about the characters. As for the characters I just couldn’t connect with them at all. Again they were just flat. It didn’t really feel like they had a personality or individuality that we were meant to connect with. The MC described the other characters & their personalities but it didn’t really follow through to what we actually saw of those characters.
Then there was the kind of romance I guess you could call it. You guys know that I’m not a huge romance fan but in this case I don’t believe it was just my dislike of YA romances that was an issue. The romance was just bad. The romance was just completely pointless and did not anything to the story. It felt forced and like the author was kinda only half going for it. To some degree it felt like the romance was just there to make sure you understood that the 2 girls were not straight.. I love a LGBT feature in a book but it wasn’t necessary to throw this not very thought out and forced romance in there just to prove the sexuality of the two characters. We believed it perfectly fine when the MC mentions it, it didn’t need to be anything more.
Then lastly I just want to talk about the plot. So, the plot was unpredictable but because the writing was so flat the ‘big reveals’ just left me thinking ‘oh, yeah okay’ and not ‘holy shit I didn’t see that coming’. There just wasn’t that anxious excitement of wanting to know what would come next.
So overall there was only one thing I really liked about this book. This one just really disappointed me! It had so much potential between the setting and the overall idea/synopsis of the world/plot but the writing just let it down majorly!
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