Thursday, August 5, 2010

The School for Dangerous Girls by Eliot Schrefer

I pulled my crumpled schedule out of a pocket and thrust it at her. A little forcefully, probably. I didn't like being mistrusted.
She scrutinized it with a sort of suspicious admiration, like a well-executed forgery. "I'm going to have to talk to Dr. Spicer," she said. "You're not supposed to be here. I don't want the other girls tainted."
"Excuse me?"
Angela Cardenas is a "dangerous girl". So she's sent to Hidden Oak School for Girls. Aka, the school for girls like her. Dangerous ones. Ones who haven't responded to any other therapy, and need somewhere to go.
For most of them, it's Hidden Oak, or jail.
But Angela soon discovers that there's more to be concerned about then the reasons she's there. More goes on behind the walls of the school then she would have thought. Gold threads and purple threads. The good girls, and the nonredeemable girls. The privileged girls who get a good education and are actually helped, and the "evil" ones, who are kept goodness knows where. Out of sight, out of mind.
Except for Angela.
"I understand," my mother said. "And so does Angela. Don't you?"
I stared through the window at the smoldering dormitory, realizing all over again that I had always been entirely alone.
First, let me explain why I picked this book up. First, the title. 'The school'. Not well known fact about me: I love boarding school books, particularly when it has a mystery/spies in it. So that caught my attention. 'Dangerous girls'. What makes them dangerous? Are they training? What? That also caught my eye. So, all in all, catchy title. Then the cover. It's like all the other ones- only blurry. Bleh, not especially eye catching. But the synopsis in the cover. hang on.. here it is. "Step 1. Cause trouble. step two get caught. step three get sent to the school for dangerous girls. Who knows what goes on behind the doors of The School for Dangerous Girls? The school's mission is clear: to take girls who've caused trouble and reform them into model citizens. It's methods? No freedom. No medication. No leniency. No escape. Some girls are meant to get better. And, as Angela is about to learn, some girls are meant to stay forever." It just caught my attention. :D Besides- THE MAIN CHARACTER HAS THE SAME NAME AS ME!!! That was, after all, the winning reason. :) But names aside, it was a good book. I loved Angela, and I loved Riley too (my fave. characters). I loved the plot (though it was bizarre), and it was very well written.
Did I mention that I liked the characters?
Well, I do. Very much. They were all brilliantly written- they seemed like real people. The different diverse personalities, everything. I'd have to give this book... four stars.
It's really rare that you can actually feel your life turning, that all the minuscule gear changes you've made in the last few years finally result in a turn of the big massive cog that's your existence as a whole.
But something changed. I'd gone from a girl sobbing in a Texas parking lot about a guy who'd never been worth it to a girl skiing through a blizzard, her survival at stake, the destiny of an entire institution in the possession of the guy confidently arrowing through the snowdrifts in front of her. I'd been called dangerous before, and I'd never really believed it.

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