It snuck up on me, I turned around and there was a great freakin’ YA novel.
I am not afraid to admit that I am a bit bored with the current genre excitement in YA. I needed something to shake me up and Emily Evans did an awesome job with The Boarding School Experiment. I have said it before and will say it again, the best books are the ones where two rivals or mean haters fall for one another.
A poorly planned revenge ends Elena and her long time nemesis, Thane, in the principal’s office; a place they have spent a good deal of time together over the last few years. Elena’s resentment combined with Thane’s competitive spirit has had the two in a war of wills. In a ploy to send Thane away permanently Elena changes the names of the questionnaire sheets for those who will be part of an upcoming experimental boarding school to re-establish standardized testing. By putting Thane’s name on the test of the smartest boy in the schools she thinks she will banish him for good. Until she finds herself banished with him.
There were more than a few times where I was surprised by reveals in the plot. Thane and Rhys are just yummy as the male portion of the team. Geneva, Elena and Kaitlin are the type of girls anyone would want on their side. Hell, I want them for roomies!
This book was all the stars but since ALL THE STARS isn’t an option it is all the ones I could select. I’ve already bought Rhys and Kait’s story and it is awaiting me on my Kindle for a date both my e-reader and I are excited about.
Elena and Thane are the best sort of love to haters and I think everyone should meet them.
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The Boarding School Experiment Synopsis:
There are three steps to taking revenge on the most popular, hottest guy in your senior class:
After Elena fails at all of them, she’s tossed into a government run boarding school in Alaska.
The worst part? Thane Trallwyn–her worst enemy and subject of her blown revenge–goes in with her.
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The Boarding School Experiment Excerpt:
The Scientist stood on the other side. “The other two were back ages ago. Where have you been?”
“Bear. Attack. Geneva.” I gasped out the words and pointed toward the trail.
Two of the other teachers pushed passed The Scientist. “Get inside.”
I ignored their instructions. With my hand pressed hard to my aching side, I followed. About ten feet up, I noticed something I’d missed on the way down. A sensible shoe abandoned below a huge boulder. I moved closer. Coordinator Steele lay sprawled behind it, unconscious. She must have slipped while hiding when the bear attacked Geneva. I bent and checked her breathing. Her eyes were closed but her chest rose and fell with ease.
My fists clenched and I almost didn’t want to call for help. But this was as much my fault as hers. I’d known we needed gear. I’d known the hiking guide didn’t know what she was doing. Her badge hung from her collar. Teacher. Coordinator. She didn’t deserve either title. I snatched the laminated card from the clip.
Gravel crunched as two of the teachers came into view, carrying Geneva between them.
Thane stared at me. “What?” His voice sounded breathless, and he bent, hands on his knees, sucking in air.
I shoved the badge in my pocket. “Coordinator Steele must’ve slipped.”
The third teacher, The Scientist, ran to us, pushing me out of the way and bent to check the guide’s vitals. I backed toward Thane.
Additional coordinators had left the habitat and were running up the path toward us. “Go in now,” one said.
Thane and I left them to deal with the fallen guide and hurried through the door. A bunch of students had gathered near the entrance, blocking the way, trying to see out. They
attempted to question us.
“Let them through,” a coordinator said. “This way.”
She ushered us to an elevator and from there, through the restricted area into a nurse’s office. The clinic was extensive: lab equipment, cabinets, and hospital beds. I’d never seen anything like it outside of a hospital. The nurse’s office back home consisted of an exam table, a desk, a sink, and a few cots. This deluxe arrangement made me worry how far we were from the nearest real hospital.
The nurse who met us asked about the incident and any injuries. We had none. Next, she ran through our usual weekly health check questions. “How are you feeling?”
Thane crossed his arms over his chest. “Fine.”
“Freaked. How is Geneva?” I asked.
“She’s in good hands. Don’t worry. Do you feel freaked regularly or is this new?”
Her cool tone brought out the worst of my sarcasm. “It’s new, since the bear attacked my roommate.”
“Is the feeling mild, moderate, or severe?”
She checked my pulse with cold fingers and noted something in the chart. “Do you think this will keep you up tonight?”
“I never sleep.”
Her head popped up from the paperwork and her eyes grew intent. “Since when?”
I shrugged and didn’t want to say, On and off for two years.
“When you got here or before?”
I said. She nodded and lost interest. “Check in with me tomorrow about your anxiety levels. I’ll need an update daily until the symptoms resolve.”
At this point, I was wishing I’d just said, Fine like Thane. I’d say it tomorrow.
The loudspeakers came on and the blue light flashed.
“Go ahead to the assembly,” the nurse said. “You two are fine.”
“We’ll take care of her, and your coordinator. Give them time.”
Neither of us had asked about the coordinator, but I was glad she’d be okay. We made our way to the amphitheater. We were the last to squeeze into the back row: dirty, bloody Thane, and tear-streaked, unkempt me. I brushed my palms over my torn sweatpants and kept my gaze on the director, ignoring the students who stared curiously at me and Thane.
The director spoke too close the microphone as usual and the metallic echo was especially strident today. “There have been some bear sightings. Wild bear. Until further notice, all outdoor activities have been suspended.”
Groans of protest covered the startled murmurs at the word bear.
“Our decision is final.”
Thane stomped out of the amphitheater. The anger poured off him. He hit the wall with his fist. “What was that?” He didn’t follow his question with muttered curses. The obscenities came out loud and clear.
I had no clue what to say. I stood there, feeling the same outrage and worry about the whole weirdness of this place.
“What kind of wilderness guide runs, screaming, from a bear?” he demanded.
I wet my dry lips and put a tentative hand on his arm. “This place is whack. I know you see it. Or are you just accident prone?”
I dropped my hand, feeling like he slapped me.
“What, walking away? Running off in the middle of the argument and planning something nasty as revenge later? You’re good at that.”
He wanted to fight and I had a thousand things to shout back at him, a thousand reasons to scream. One thing held my tongue. One inescapable fact: Thane Trallwyn had just saved my life. I shook my head and ran off, leaving him in his blood-splattered anger.
Meet Emily Evans:
Emily Evans writes fun, young adult romance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in History from Texas A&M University, and is completing an MFA in Creative Writing at American College Dublin in Ireland. A native Houstonian, she loves travel, movies, and books
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