Finding out your mom is marrying some rich guy you’ve never met is enough to make any eighteen-year-old’s head spin. And for RJ Shaw, it gets worse: he’s being sent to Sandover Prep for senior year. If there’s one place a misfit hacker like RJ doesn’t belong, it’s an ivy-covered all-boys boarding school for rich delinquents. There’s no point trying to get along with anyone. That is, until he meets Sloane Tresscott in the woods on the outskirts of campus. Gorgeous and sharp-tongued, Sloane is pure temptation.
Except Sloane is the one girl he’s forbidden from touching.
The headmaster’s daughter.
Good thing RJ doesn’t believe in rules. Sure, Sloane insists she’s swearing off boys this year, but he wants her bad, and he’s going to win her over if it kills him—unless her ex-boyfriend, the ruling king of Sandover, kills him first. Luckily, RJ’s unwittingly made some friends. His new stepbrother Fenn, a pretty boy with a self-destructive streak. Lawson, self-proclaimed agent of chaos. And Silas, the All-American good guy who can’t actually be as nice as he seems.
If RJ wants to survive prep school and win Sloane’s heart, he’ll need to figure out a way to use all the secrets hidden in the walls of Sandover.
Overall, I really liked this one, but there’s some pretty major buts…
Loved Sloane and RJ. TBH they felt like fairly standard NA characters, but I enjoyed how Elle Kennedy wrote them and they had fun banter, so that’s all good. I liked that even when their inevitable blow up happened and the wronged one was OTT upset about it and acted horrible and held a grudge a little too long, that same person also manned up and made things right again without having to be dragged into doing it. That was refreshing.
LOVED Casey. Can’t wait to get to her story (but I’m going to have to, darn it. I’ve got books to read for Library Journal and books to read for a contest I’m judging and UGH. No time right now unless I’m going to be super irresponsible.)
Which…I might do. But I really shouldn’t. But I digress…
I’d get it on audiobook, but–and here’s the first big but of the review–there’s so many POV characters that I don’t think I could do an audiobook, even if each character is voiced by someone different (which, yes, just confirmed in Audible, it looks like that’s what they did). There’s just so many POV switches, and since I don’t have any real commute to work anymore chances are I’d be listening in short bursts with zero guarantee I’d remember which POV I was last in.
Because so many POVs. I’m not sure which one(s) I would have gotten rid of (except maybe the subject of my next “but” section?) but especially before we really know who these people are? it’s super hard to keep track of who’s who and what’s going on. And I think trying to listen would just be a recipe for disaster.
And for the biggest BUT…Lawson. That guy is just crying out for help, and I don’t think he’s going to get it, unless something major happens in the next book. And I’m afraid that something major is going to be absolutely disastrous for him, and since underneath everything I actually like the guy, that’s not going to be fun to read. But good grief that guy is just hurtling toward disaster with all the constant drugs and the sex and
It’s not ok. And of course this is the only character (that we know of for sure at this point–unless I’m forgetting someone?) is a queer character, and that’s not ok either.
And gah. That ending. It’s the reason I might not be able to be responsible, because…Casey.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
(Spoiler alert–I read book 2. Review coming soon!)