Review Detail

5.0 1
Young Adult Fiction 2686
A thrilling mystery that takes readers to a mysterious school
Overall rating
Writing Style
Sarah Merson is used to a world of Goodwill and foster homes, and the new, prestigious school she’s been accepted to, Sanctuary Bay, is a world she’s never experienced before with its privilege, secrets, and isolation. As Sarah dives deeper into the school’s mystery ways, her roommate goes missing, and no one is prepared for the truth.

What I Loved:

Sarah is a wonderfully rounded character, though her development leaves something to be desired. She is aware of her own history and strongly carries the weight with her every day. She isn’t afraid to speak out against unfair privilege, and her sense of justice is incredible. The mystery of Sanctuary Bay is thrilling, and even as the clues added up, there is no clear guessing at how it will be all end.

What Left Me Wanting More:

While both potential love interests, Nate and Ethan, seem swoony, her relationship to both boys feels awkward and does not mesh as well into the story as it could have. There isn’t a strong sense of connection between Sarah and either boy, and at several times, the romance feels more distracting to the story than weaving into it. However, readers who enjoy a momentary pause for a little romance may still enjoy Ethan and Nate as the mystery plot thickens.

While the mystery behind Sanctuary Bay does get wrapped up at the end, the answers are almost a little less satisfying than they are built up to be. However, readers who dislike ambiguous endings will enjoy the resolution.

Final Verdict:

While the ending and characterization fall a bit short, SANCTUARY BAY is a thrilling mystery that will leave readers skeptical of all isolated schools and secret societies who emphasize group activities to the extreme.
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