Killing November was fabulous. There, I said it. The rest of the review is pretty much just extra. I had a lot of fun with this book, and seriously- this might be one of the more twisted schools I've encountered. The academy here is completely off the grid- no electricity or anything- and is super secret, a proving ground for the offspring of movers and shakers in society. There's more to it than that though, although for spoiler reasons I won't say anymore. At any rate November wakes up at the school- how'd she get there? How long will she be a student? No one knows- and if they do, they're not telling her.
November is immediately in over her head, paired with another student named Layla, who is not amused, and she has to adjust as best she can. The only thing she does know is her father sent her there to be safe, but it appears she's anything but! She has a target on her back from the outset, and half the time at this school it appears as if the faculty may be in on the game as well, so it's super dangerous. Oh, and they don't take regular classes- instead they take knife fighting or archery, poisoning- you know, stuff like that.
They're not just being trained as assassins, though. It goes a little deeper than that. November has to earn Layla's trust (and can she really trust anyone?) while at the same time figure out why everyone seems to hate her. Clearly a lot of people know more about her than she herself does! November is confident though, and athletic- her father trained her in survival skills growing up- so she's not completely defenseless. Just way behind everyone else. Or is she?
I loved the cast here. Layla grew on me, the villains were almost as interesting at times, and honestly- I wasn't sure who the villains were. There are shades of gray, reasons for things that happen, and of course the past. Aarya is a wild card, someone who calls November out right at the outset, but is she just toying with her, or does her animosity run deeper? I was super intrigued by Ines, who is one of the top students and an ally of Aarya- there's one scene where November and Ines are forced together and I loved it. Also the love interest- Ash- is he on the up and up?
If there's anything I didn't like, it was the realism factor I guess. I mean these kinds of stories are a dime a dozen in YA, right? Secret boarding school, who can you trust? But here by making the secret society so interwoven with history and prior events, it almost seemed too much, and yet too simplistic at the same time? The reality would be so much more complicated if this were real. But apart from that, I enjoyed this so much, I need the next book right now.
I'm going to gush about the characters for a moment. I had a blast trying to figure out who to trust (answer: probably no one), and even November's allies were questionable to me. I kept waiting for the next betrayal or shoe to drop- you never know what's coming- and I also like too how the author took the gloves off a bit. There's a particular scene that was super intense. Loved it.
Does Brendan really hate her? Is Ash trustworthy? What's the deal with the headmaster and the director of assessment? Can November trust anybody? I almost want to turn around and read it again!
Not my cup of tea, but I love it when I see someone get this excited about a book. It sounds like a lot of readers are going to enjoy this. 👍✨ReplyDelete
This was a blast!Delete
This sounds super twisty and I love when you can't figure out a character's intentions!ReplyDelete
I didn't trust ANYBODY!Delete
This sounds so good, Greg. I love secret school stories anyway and I know this is going to be a really fun read!ReplyDelete
This is one of the better ones I've read recently!Delete
I absolutely love twisted books like this!ReplyDelete
I do too. :)Delete
Good characters make the story don't they? Glad you enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
I just picked this up from one of my libraries not 1/2 hour ago. So thrilled I did after reading your review. I know Stormi liked it as well and convinced me to give it a try.ReplyDelete
Fun! I want to give this a read :-)ReplyDelete
Well this sounds thrilling. You are right, these secret boarding schools are a dime a dozen, but the things you mentioned make this one stand out. I think I am going to reserve it at my library.ReplyDelete
So excited after reading this! I need to get my hands on this one for summer. I love these type of reads in summer and fall!ReplyDelete
This sounds fantastic, now I want to read it even more than I already did! It sounds right up my alley. Wonderful review!ReplyDelete
It seems like the characters and twists help make this stand out from the others.ReplyDelete
Karen @ For What It's Worth
Well that school sounds crazy. lolReplyDelete
You sold it to me - I'm off to look for the book.ReplyDelete
I do love the whole secret boarding school scenario. This book sounds like a lot of fun.ReplyDelete
Ooooo I love this cover! I also love when you can't figure out who the villains really are in the story - who CAN you trust? There's definitely a lot of these types of stories, but it's always fun, haha.ReplyDelete
This sounds crazy! And the boarding school setting is always a fun one.ReplyDelete
I am really usually all about the characters, which I loved in this book, but the plot and all the backstory had me so captivated. Can't wait to continue this series.ReplyDelete
Ah I bought this recently and cannot wait! Sounds crazy and fun!ReplyDelete
This sounds like a wild ride, Greg! And I'm totally going to check it out. ;)ReplyDelete
I am so torn on this one because the reason I wasn't sure about it was the realism factor- I always get so involved in questioning how these things work that I can't just enjoy the story! BUT on the other hand it does sound really fun? Maybe I'll pick it up if it is on sale one day haha. Great review!!ReplyDelete
This sounds so wild and so good! I need my hold at the library to hurry up and become available.ReplyDelete
Nice review Greg! It's great when we get a book that we really love!ReplyDelete
Got to love a review where you could happily finish it with just a sentence. It does sound like it was really good, I think I'll have to check this one out.ReplyDelete
This one sounds so good that I had to put it on my wishlist! I really like the sound of the plot and all the characters. So interesting that you found it could've been made a bit more complex and it is a bit too simple for what it is! I don't hear that often DD:ReplyDelete
I totally want to read this one. I have been hearing good things about this book. I wish I had more time to read!ReplyDelete