by Madalynn Davis
Plot Summary:Still reeling from her father's murder, sixteen-year-old Noelle Hart returns to Whisper Preparatory Academy, an exclusive private boarding school in the sleepy town of Whisper, Connecticut. She tries to move on with her life, but things get off to a rocky start. Arguing with friends, dodging the overbearing Headmaster, and staying out of her nemesis' line of fire are almost her undoing.
Until she meets Gabriel Merriweather.
Over night, Noelle's luck takes a turn for the better. For the first time in her life, Noelle is the girl that every other girl at school wants to be. Once and for all, Noelle is able to step out of her older, perfect sister's shadow and be the center of attention. At last, her world is perfect.
But, all good things must come to an end.
When one of her friends is brutally murdered, Noelle becomes the prime suspect. Noelle's world is turned upside down when she learns that a secret sisterhood known as the Hive may be responsible for her friend's death and others. If Noelle and Gabriel cannot fight their way through the labyrinth of lies and secrets surrounding the Hive, then she may be next.
Review:Ooh isn't that a gorgeous cover! One of the reasons I really wanted to read this story. When I started it, I found the petty drama of the prep school pretty entertaining - very Mean Girls-esque, and I was drawn onwards through the story by Noelle's group of friends and their antagonists - the Witches. Unfortunately I did have some issues with this novel. It's pretty superficial - the characters never touched me or felt real, the novel's set up of Noelle's past issues seemed so integral to the story I sometimes thought I was reading book two in a series - like I was missing something. This also happens when another key scene comes up later - it is something important that is barely hinted at in the beginning, and is given a lot of space later. I think it comes down to editing problems, of which also include grammar mistakes. The plot summary makes it seem like Noelle and Gabriel are bound together to fight against the Hive, but Gabriel doesn't do much in the story, and his character felt very one-dimensional.
The structure of the novel is also quite curious. The sinister activities of the Hive is hinted at, but when the main characters are about to finally take some action, the novel ends - setting up the second book. With such a set-up, this book feels more like a prologue than a novel in and of itself. This does seem like it would be an intriguing series - the Hive is a compelling idea of an evil secret society - I hope it will live up to potential. And the writing in itself is pretty good with touches of humor. At the moment though, I'm afraid there's not much to recommend this book, unless you are planning to read the second.
review copy kindly provided by the author