A real page-turner

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alysa_h Avatar


A creepy page-turner set at an isolated Maine boarding school under quarantine, this book is quite effective at building a sense of dread. The characters are sympathetic and sometimes opaque, adding to the claustrophobic atmosphere. The relationships between Hetty, Byatt, and Reese -- the three main characters -- were a high point. The ick factor of the "Tox," as the illness is known, is also high but actually becomes somewhat normalized as the book goes on (and is never all that gross for those of us who've read enough horror novels).

The plot, although it's the weakest part of the book, was still strong enough to carry the girls towards an inevitable understanding of the Tox, and of themselves. The last few chapters brought the whole book down a little, as the author attempted to wrap things up neatly and give some definitive answers to questions that would have been better left alone.

(I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley)