Monday, May 28, 2018

S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

Author:M.A. Bennett
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of publication: August 2017

Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin' shootin' fishin'. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.

But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry's parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports - hunting, shooting and fishing - become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realization that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school...

I read this book on a recommendation.  Unfortunately I didn't love it.  I was hoping S.T.A.G.S would be a good YA mystery, but it really wasn't  The story revolves around an exclusive group of students in an exclusive boarding school.  At this school they don't use technology like phones and computers.  Everything is done the good old fashioned way with pen and paper.  Greer (named after the famous actress, Greer Garson) is a scholarship student who gets invited to a weekend get away with the elites of the school.  

I found the story very predictable. I never really felt a sense of danger. Most of the characters were cliche and unlikable.  Even the main character wasn't very likable.  She had this annoying habit of comparing everything to a scene in a movie.  That got old really quick.  The reference to real movies kept pulling me out of the story.  I finished because I kept hoping for a good twist or surprise.  Nope!  I even called the surprise at the end.  I'm not sure I would really recommend the book.  There are much better YA mysteries out there.

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