Another category of the reading challenge down!
This time, I am actually quite excited about my read! So get your pen and paper, or GoodReads, or whatever you use; you’re going to want to add Blythewood by Carol Goodman to your list.
Or maybe not. I know there are people who are really less than impressed by Carol’s work, but me, I LOVE Carol. Her books, or the ones I’ve read, are all quite similar: there’s generally a mystery, the setting is generally school, and there are supernatural features, Faerie is frequently mentioned, as is Scotland. I’m sure there are people who’d complain that her work is “too samey” – but I don’t mind it one bit! Probably because she incorporates many of my favorite features.
If I was going to say one thing that could be a negative it’s that the mystery, you can usually figure it out. But then, doesn’t that just make you feel awfully clever? That’s kinda nice, right? But I guess some people don’t want that (??).
In addition, this time, she’s set the story in my favorite era: the early 1900s. Same era as many of Agnes von Krusenstjerna’s work, same era as The Knick (♥♥♥). This is a random and inexplicable obsession of mine; there’s no logic behind it.
The plot, the plot, what’s the plot? I’ll just give you the blurb, because I’m not sure I can say anything sensible and not just plain gush:
At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.
But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.
So this is like if Harry Potter was a girl, and kinda, romance?
Like my previous read, this was also a book I was looking forward to reading, but unlike last time, I was not disappointed. This book comes with my highest recommendations! I’m ordering part 2 and 3 asap. Not sure how to fit it into my challenge, guess I’ll have to be real creative.