Author: Katie Lowe
Genre: Psychological Thriller / YA
Format: Hardcover 384 pages
Release Date: 2 May 2019
I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
You’d kill to be one of them.
1998. A sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing. No known cause of death.
Four girls know what happened.
And until now they’ve kept their silence.
Violet is returning home, back to the sleepy coastal town which holds so many memories.
In 1998, after a tragic accident claimed the lives of her father and sister, she joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls’ school with an unpleasant history of 17th century witch trials.
There she is drawn to Robin, Grace, Alex and their charismatic teacher, Annabel; she is invited to join them in their advanced study group. There they learn about art, literature and the grisly history of the school. Though Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, she warns them off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology. However, the more the girls learn, the more they start to believe that magic is real, and that together they can harness it.
But when the body of a former member of the society is found on campus nine months after the she disappeared, fingers are pointed at those closest to her. Leading Violet to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself.
This is a book all about toxic teenage friendships and the lengths some people will go to fit in with the ‘in’ crowd. The book is set in an elite private all girls school rich in sordid history and I was just as interested as reading about the schools history as I was about any other aspect within the book.
Robin, Grace and Alex used to be a ‘foursome’ until their friend Emily tragically passed. So when Violet starts at the school she is soon snapped up by the three girls to join their group. Violet comes from a troubled home and seems to desperately seek friendship and approval from her peers so it’s no wonder really that she allowed herself to be taken in so completely by the group.
I wouldn’t say any of the characters are necessarily likeable in this book, but it still has that general pull that makes you want to read on to find out what happens to them. I think I was personally more interested in the mystery and magical side to the story and I would have liked the book more if these aspects had been expanded but still a very good debut from this author.
About the Author
Katie is a writer living in Worcester, UK, whose debut novel The Furies is set to be published by Harperfiction (UK), St Martin’s Press (US) and eight other territories worldwide.
A graduate of the University of Birmingham, Katie has a BA(Hons) in English and an MPhil in Literature & Modernity. She is set to return to Birmingham in 2019 to complete a PhD in English Literature, with her thesis on female rage in literary modernism and the #MeToo era.
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