the swallows

3.5 Stars

An entertaining revenge story.

This is the first book that I’ve read by this author. I like her writing style. It’s effortless and makes reading the book quick and easy. Since I had no preconceived notions about this writer, I was able to just enjoy this book for what it is; a sudsy book set in a small New England prep school about boys behaving badly and girls getting their revenge. You need to suspend belief when you read the book and just enjoy it.

The story centers on new teacher Alex Witt. She begrudgingly took the position after leaving her last teaching position under questionable conditions. Determined to tough it out and not get involved with students or other faculty, a simple writing prompt she gives new students to learn more about them changes this plan. She quickly learns about “the Ten” – a group of students at the top of the social ladder, and the existence of something called “The Darkroom”, which chronicles the boys’ sexual encounters with girls in the school.

Unable to look the other way, Alex makes headway with a few girls that have decided that the “boys will be boys” attitude in the school needs to change. But to challenge the status quo comes with serious dangers, and an enemy that knows about Alex’s past threatens her existence at the school.

School girl Gemma, the head of the resistance, has been secretly plotting her revenge for years and enlists a few other girls to help bring down the Darkroom. She also enlists the help of shy loner Norman who plays an important role in the Darkroom, but doesn’t have the courage to do anything about it. As the girls plan for revenge ramps up, it becomes more dangerous and deadly.

There are a few side stories in the book, but I found them distracting and irrelevant. I understand that their purpose was to add depth to Alex’s story, but I didn’t like them. That’s why I rated the book down a bit. Overall, I enjoyed this fast-paced read and will read other books by this author in the future.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.