Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The School for Dangerous Girls

Author: Eliot Schrefer
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Copyright: 2009
Genre: YA

Angela's parents don't know what to do with her - and they want nothing to do with her. So they send her to Hidden Oak, the School for Dangerous Girls. But what goes on behind these very secluded walls is beyond anything they could have imagined. Along with her fellow inmates, Angela goes on a mission to find Hidden Oak's deepest secrets - and then to expose them and bring down the school.

Wow. Really wow. This book is totally crazy but compelling. The things that happen don't make sense, some parts don't fit together, but none of that really matters - it's just one crazy ride! Things get weirder and weirder, and it all feels like some alternate reality world - which is, I think, what the girls in this situation must feel like. In one of those interesting twists of life, I had just watched a few episodes of Solitary before I read this book. It certainly set the mood for this story, with crazy things happening, some of them making no sense at all!

Angela herself is a great character. For all that she's in a "school for dangerous girls," she's not all that dangerous - neither are the other girls for the most part, which lends more irony to the whole weird situation. But she is headstrong and proactive, and I loved her. The other characters round out the story with all their unique personalities, too. The dynamics between the girls and the various groups is real, and even the dynamics between the students and teachers makes sense in an exaggerated kind of way. I like such realness in relationships even when the whole story couldn't possibly be real.

I loved the book. I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting, without even changing position once - that's how caught up I was in the story!

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