Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher & ARC: St. Martins
In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson's shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?
When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation.
In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister..
I have been reading this book during while my students enjoy* their SSR time, and I have had several students interested in the book, so I had to read it rather quickly in order to pass it along. But even if they had not asked, I still would have finished this book in a few days because it is definitely a page-turner.
What young girl doesn't dream of being accepted into a prep school where everything is at your disposal, they guys are handsome and charming, and the education is credible? Sarah Merson never thought she could get into such a school. Being bounced around in foster homes because of the murder of her parents, Sarah was happy to be alive and in warm shelter.
Now that she's a part of Sanctuary Bay Academy, Sarah has to figure out a way to leave her past behind her and assimilate into a school where the students never leave the island and have to create their own ways of entertainment...and secrecy.
Befriending, but not totally trusting, her new roommates, Izzy and Karina, Sarah keeps her guard up, but she desperately wants to fit in at Sanctuary Bay. It's not long before Sarah notices Izzy and Karina randomly sneaking off in the middle of the night, and she must find out why. The realization of what's really going on means a sacrifice for Sarah, one that could make her a loyal ally or a distrusting spy.
Suspenseful is the first word that comes to mind when I think of how to describe this book. Burns and Metz weave innuendo carefully into the plot, not allowing it to overtake the flow or become tacky. Just when Sarah feels like she is safe, twists and turns abound to throw her, and the reader, into a tailspin.
Quell the urge to skip to the end to find out what happens--you'll enjoy the ride from beginning to end.