She Was the Quiet One by Michelle Campbell, 3.5 Stars

Last week I was down to a couple of titles on Netgalley. I’m usually pretty conservative about requesting titles. But this summer, I haven’t been getting many responses to my requests and I kept finding stuff.

And then last week….I think all the marketing people came back from vacation because all of a sudden I have nine books to read! I know I can do it. And I do really want to read each and every title. But a small part of me is filled with panic when I have a ton of books to read and one that I really want to read by a favorite author pops up as available. Okay, maybe not such a small part.

But it’s a good problem to have, right?

So today, I am reviewing She Was the Quiet One by Michelle Campbell. One down, eight to go! And I’m looking forward to each and every one of them

From the Publisher:

From the author of It’s Always the Husband comes a riveting new suspense novel about privilege, power, and what happens when we let ambition take control.

For Rose Enright, enrolling in a prestigious New England boarding school is the opportunity of a lifetime. But for Rose’s vulnerable twin sister Bel, Odell Academy is a place of temptation and danger. When Bel falls in with a crowd of wild rich kids who pressure her into hazing Rose, the sisters’ relationship is shattered. Rose turns to her dorm mother, Sarah Donovan, for advice. But Bel turns to Sarah’s husband Heath, a charismatic and ambitious teacher. Is Heath trying to help Bel or take advantage of her? In a world of privilege, seduction, and manipulation, only one sister will live to tell the truth.

In a novel full of twists, turns, and dark secrets, Michele Campbell once again proves her skill at crafting intricately spun and completely compelling plots.

My Review:

Rose and Bel Enright are twin sisters who have been through the ringer. After their mother dies, they are sent to live with their rich grandmother who is welcoming for a hot minute before she ships them off to a private finished school. There’s definitely a bit of a Sweet Valley High dynamic as one twin is popular and wild while the other is bookish and shy. Although they look as different as two girls, let alone twins could look.

Their advisors, Sarah and Heath Donovan have taught at the school for some time, but are taking over control of the “wild dorm” in order to get it under control and to put Heath in a good position for a future administrator job at the school. They are young and hip with small kids and appear to be a wholesome all-American family.

Michelle Campbell did a fantastic job of telling the story from several different viewpoints and switching back and forth from past to present, releasing new details of the story and of the character’s personalities slowly enough to keep the ready intrigued and wanting more.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and love how details were slowly revealed, but for whatever reason it didn’t hook me as much as other books sometimes do. I can’t even pinpoint why. Perhaps I did crave for the story to be a bit more fast-paced?

There’s just something about a private boarding school that is just so dark. I mean, there are so many stories and novels written about them, and none seem vanilla and happy. She Was the Quiet One is definitely a worthy entry into the creepy boarding school genre.

This one releases July 24, 2018. Check it out!


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