I must admit after falling for the Benedict brothers series, Joss Stirling became a fabulous guilty pleasure of mine and I wanted to read more! I loved her style of writing and the way she portrayed events – so for someone who does not take a shining she has cracked this hard egg. So when in the library I spotted this title by Joss Stirling I knew I just had to give it a go.
Raven attends a prestigious boarding school in England after moving from America to live with her Grandfather who is a caretaker there. She only has one friend, as everyone else looks down on her and the means in which she got into the school. But when her one friend doesn’t return for the school year, she feels all hope might be lost. With no friends at all, she doesn’t know how she is going to cope with her final two years there. However, when the mysterious Kieran and Joe start attending the school, Kieran takes a shine to Raven, and when she expresses her worry about her missing friend, he promises to help get to the bottom of it.
To be honest, it took me a while to get into it.I didn’t find the same initial spark as when I started Finding Sky. I’m not sure if it was the setting, the characters or the pure fact that I wanted it to be amazing from the start. Either way, it took me a while to get into it until I felt the flow of reading really kick in.
It was a pretty interesting set up with the private school, different to the setting that had been explored by Stirling before There are always good dynamics within a school, however with this one I found there were some bits were a bit too exaggerated for my liking – like the way Raven was treated, even by the teachers. I completely understand that it was to set the dynamic, but it was a little too much for me.
When I got about half way through though, that was where the book really took a turn for the better in my opinion. It was the scene where Raven is taken and locked in the out building, the way it was described and set honestly broke my heart. This scene was conjured so well. For that, it deserves a massive well done.
I honestly quite liked Raven and Kieran as a pair, their characters became a lot better when they were together as their dynamics worked well. Even if I did find Kieran was a bit up himself. His characteristics also altered a little too much, and too quickly, for my liking from how he was when we met him, to the final chapters of the book. I get that’s the change, but would like to see him a bit more obnoxious like he was at the t the beginning if that is the way he is going to be portrayed. But then, it did make a little less annoying throughout. I loved Joe’s character and the way he was portrayed – would love to see more of him.
What attracted me the most throughout this book was the element of the YDC. I thought it was a wonderful inclusion. That little bit of thriller thrown in was what I loved from this book.
The ending worked well for me. I liked that Raven got taken onto the YDC but immediately putting them as a duo felt a bit forced, like ‘yes, they can stay together forever now!’. Other than that, I’m excited for what is next in store.
After struggling a little, this ended up being an absolutely fabulous book. I can’t wait to see what joss Stirling has next in store for the YDC.
*On a side note , I bought Struck when I was at YALC, thinking ‘ooh that’s a Joss Stirling novel I haven’t read yet’. Yet, as soon as I picked it up a couple of weeks later to read it, I realised that it was this book, just with a different name. on the bright side I now have my own copy of it. And let that be a lesson to me to always read the blurb!