Genre: YA Science Fiction/Mystery
Recommended Age: 12+
Favorite Quote: “‘Nikka I’m a hacker, I’m above the Yellow Pages. And I looked it up online, she’s unlisted anyways.'”
I was provided a free copy of this book by the author. This did not influence my decision in any way.
“15-year-old Nikka is invited to attend Wildwood Academy, a prestigious but secret boarding school for talented youth located deep in the Californian mountains. Once there, Nikka quickly falls in love with her bizarre classes, the jaw-dropping scenery and… two very different boys.
However, Wildwood Academy has a dark and twisted secret, one that could cost Nikka the one thing she had never imagined she could lose, the one thing that money can’t buy. It is this very thing that Wildwood Academy was created to steal.
Nikka can stay and lose everything, or she can risk death and run.” – back cover blurb provided by Amazon.
Everyone has a talent, even if it’s just a little bit of one… but do you excel at a certain talent? Do your friends and family think that you’re a computer wiz? Can you draw like Michelangelo? Can you act like Bette Davis? Or can you design like Ralph Lauren? Even if you can’t you can read about talented teens that can in this book… and maybe find a way to get some of their talent on your own. But, before we can worry ourselves with finding out these tiny details, we first need to get accepted into the prestigious Wildwood Academy. Jacqueline Silvester (who is one of the nicest people I’ve met on the internet) has wonderfully crafted a beautiful tale through the eyes of Nikka, a teen who has been gifted with an eidetic memory, which is an ability to recall details after a few moments of exposure sometimes down to their most minute detail even years after seeing the details. The quality of writing is amazing and it really makes for an easy reading experience, which is perfect for children in the younger teen ages.
The author also had wonderfully developed and memorable characters. I’m already wanting to read the second book because I miss Sums. I even choked up on the surprising deaths towards the end. The book also had a decent plot and the ending left me hungry for more.
Unfortunately, I did have some slight issues with the book. These were more because the story didn’t fit my needs as a reader rather than the book being a bad book (because honestly this book is really good). I felt that there wasn’t a need for the love triangle in the story and I wasn’t invested in either of the choices of the men. Honestly, Nikka can do better than both of them and I somewhat shipped her and Sums. Another thing is that the pacing was really really good in the beginning, but then became a bit rushed at the end. I felt that the book could have either ended early or easily expanded into a 400-600 page novel. I feel that because the ending had a lot of stuff was thrown at the reader that the reader didn’t have a lot of time of process or couldn’t reflect on because of the forced pacing.
However, this book left plenty of room for a sequel and I’m excited to see where the sequel will take us. Overall the book was enjoyable and I recommend it for anyone looking for a good contemporary mystery book.