Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review: S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

S.T.A.G.S.Title: S.T.A.G.S
Author:  M.A. Bennett
Publisher: Delcorte Press 
Publishing Date: January 30th 2018
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Mystery-Supsense
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Audio
There's no point hunting if there's no kill.

At St. Aidan the Great School, or S.T.A.G.S., new things--and new people--are to be avoided. Unfortunately, Greer MacDonald, token scholarship student, is very much a new person. She has just transferred to S.T.A.G.S., and finds herself ignored at best and mocked at worst by the school's most admired circle of friends, the Medievals.

So imagine Greer's surprise when this very group invites her to an exclusive weekend retreat at the private estate of the parents of their unofficial leader, Henry de Warlencourt. It's billed as a weekend of "huntin' shootin' fishin'," and rumor has it that the invitee who most impresses the group will be given the privilege of becoming a Medieval themselves.

As the weekend begins to take shape, however, it becomes apparent that beyond the luxurious trappings--the fancy clothes the maid lays out on Greer's bed, the elaborate multicourse dinners held in the Great Hall--there are predators lurking, and they're out for blood. . . .

I was hesitant for this book. At first I passed it up. There seems be a lot of these type of mysteries out there right now and I have enjoyed a couple of them. However, I am not one to enjoy boarding school books and that is the main reason I passed this one up. Then I started to hear a few positive things going around and figured I should give it a try. It was an okay read for me. I did enjoy it but it wasn't a book I loved. The story was pretty good. It was interesting and different, but it lacked in character development and the ending didn't really thrill me.  
At the elite boarding school of St. Aiden The Great School, there is a group of students everyone wants to be a part of. They are the elite of the elite, the Medievals. Once a year an invitation goes out for Hunting, Shooting, Fishing. This year 3 students were invited, Greer was one of them. The weekend does not go as planned and is not what Greer had in mind. In fact it went all so wrong. 

So where to start with this review... Well first off the cover is pretty awesome. I would love to have this book simply on the fact its so pretty. It for sure is an attention grabber. Of course I can't judge the book on cover alone... So what I liked about the book. 

I liked the story. It was unique in a way that most boarding schools are not. It didn't feel so much like a boarding school book. The mystery was good, the suspense was great at times. I enjoyed the writing. 

The beginning the story starts off with the knowledge something bad has happened, someone has died, and someone had killed them. We don't know who or how or why or who did it. Well we kind of know who did it but not really any other details. I love mysteries that tells some what of the ending first and then slowly fills it in along the way. Absolutely love this style and this story had that. The pacing was good. I was totally into the read. So on the story side... interesting, unique, and written beautifully. 

Now what I didn't particularly like. I had some issues with some of the character development. The main character, Greer, was pretty okay. I liked her enough. She was interesting and easy to get along with... she did make some bad choices where I was literally wanting to slap her... but for the most part tolerable. I loved the two characters Chanel and Shafeen. These were the other two invites to the weekend stay. I really liked Shafeen. He was the star of the show for me. Unfortunately I feel there wasn't enough time with him. 

The characters I had an issue with were the Medievals. They were cliche and obnoxious. Supposedly everyone wanted to be part of their group. I couldn't understand why. They were shallow and just like every other mean teen in stories. I didn't they any of the characters were really unique.... except for Shafeen. Really loved him. 

The pacing was good for the most part. I stayed interested in the story.. but I felt it was rushed in the end. It was over too soon and I didn't feel like it should of been over. Which this brings me to the ending. I just didn't like the ending... at all. I can't think of one thing I liked about the ending. It was just well. I can't really give it away but it was like really that is what happened and really that is how it's going to end. If there was a second book coming... it would be okay for me, but it's a stand alone so it's not okay with me. 

So to wrap it up, I enjoyed the story, the execution I think lacked some. The characters were tolerable for the most part, well most of them... but the ending stunk. I did enjoy it for the most part up until the ending. 

I enjoyed it enough to say if there was a second novel I would for sure read it but I was hoping for more. 

M.A.  Bennett
M. A. Bennett is half Venetian and was born in Manchester, England, and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as a historical source. After university she studied art and has since worked as an illustrator, an actress, and a film reviewer. She also designed tour visuals for rock bands, including U2 and the Rolling Stones. She was married on the Grand Canal in Venice and lives in north London with her husband, son, and daughter.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh I've been interested in this one, so I'm glad to see your review! Sounds like it's one that's nothing exceptional, but still a good read so I'll have to check it out sometime. I hate when endings ruin it, but I'm glad to hear that the pacing was good and the author has a nice style! I always look forward to that. Great review!


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