This review is part of my blogtober celebration, my month-long blog party about all things creepy and Halloween-y! If you've got a fall post, make sure to add it to the Linky so I can check it out!
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Keywords: magic, boarding school, adventure
Format Read: finished copy (signed!) from publisher
I've had this book on my shelf forever (I think since before it came out. In 2010. Yikes), and I've always wanted to pick it up, and I finally did this time (it's beautifully signed), and I was very glad I did. And then I checked out #2 from the library. Also, side note, first cover (pictured) is better. The new one has a "prettier" girl on the front. You know, long hair, lip gloss, a little Mean Girls-esque. Which doesn't make sense. Because the character looks like this ^^.
This was the essence of what I wanted to read in October. Quintessential boarding school creepy setting in Chicago with old-time magic and lots of sneaking around and cliques. And it was excellent. The characters were a typical cast — mean girls ruling the school, MC new girl to the school, the quirky, weird girl who befriends MC, and a few others thrown in there like the boys from the companion boarding school who visited on occasion. But even though it was the regular cast of people, I still felt like they had wonderful personalities, and they were all developed over time and not just thrown together and mentioned a few times.
Neill was also excellent at spacing out the right amount of information in the right amount of chapters apart from each other. It was suspenseful and fun to read, and I was left with a lot of questions, but not enough that I was frustrated, but enough that I definitely wanted to read the next book.
It wasn't a masterpiece or anything, but it was such a fun, essential, Halloween read that I wanted to go grab the series and just stay in bed all day reading them.