July 2015, Chicken House Books, 352 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Content: teen romance, murder, death, boarding school, scary parts
Summary from Chicken House
At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer Game is a tradition.
Only a select few are invited to play. They must avoid being ‘killed’ by a series of thrilling pranks, and identify the ‘murderer’. But this time, it’s different: the game stops feeling fake and starts getting dangerous – and Cate’s the next target. Can they find the culprit … before it’s too late?
I think my advice to readers is don't be too put off by the start of the novel, which is rather creepy and gross. There are plenty more thrills and scary moments, but it's not a super duper creepy read, if that makes sense. Because I wanted to finish this in one day, but knew I wouldn't finish before dark (I can get quite freaked out by dark books after sunset) I did peek at the end so I knew who did it. It doesn't take much of the surprise away because I had no clue when the pranks would come, and when the pranks get serious no-one is safe and I spent the rest of the book wondering how the killer set it all up.
I like Cate, her viewpoint is fun, she wants to fit in but thanks to a newbie to the school but not to her life she stands out a bit too much. This creepy game on an island boarding school will keep you guessing until the end if you don't peek at it (I had to!), and has a high rereadability due to the likable characters and key elements which are part of a boarding school story (sneaking about, drama, strange goings on). Not too creepy for me which was a plus!
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Available at bookstores including NRC affiliate Foyles.
More boarding school murder and mayhem of the funnier kind can be found in The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry (Children's, 11 years +, 10E/10E)