Review of S.T.A.G.S.
Thank you for checking out my stop on the blog tour. Thank you to PenguinRandomHouse Canada for a free copy of this book for review.
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Greer, a scholarship girl at a prestigious private school, St Aidan the Great School (known as STAGS), soon realizes that the school is full of snobs and spoilt rich brats, many of whom come from aristocratic families who have attended the institute throughout the centuries. She's immediately ignored by her classmates. All the teachers are referred to as Friars (even the female ones), but the real driving force behind the school is a group of prefects known as the Medievals, whose leader, Henry de Warlencourt, Greer finds both strangely intriguing as well as attractive. The Medievals are all good-looking, clever and everyone wants to be among their circle of friends. Greer is therefore surprised when she receives an invitation from Henry to spend a long weekend with him and his friends at his family house in the Lake District, especially when she learns that two other "outsiders" have also been invited: Shafeen and Chanel. As the weekend unfolds, Greer comes to the chilling realization that she and two other "losers" were invited only because they were chosen to become prey in a mad game of manhunt.
Here is my review: This is a well written YA suspense book. The story takes place in England and begins at a prestigious isolated boarding school called S.T.A.G.S. which stands for St Aidan the Great School. Greer is the central figure in the story. She is attending her first year at the school as a scholarship student. She soon becomes very aware of the hierarchy among the students. There is a core group of six that comprise what is known as the Medievals. The school is also very isolating in that they don’t believe in cell phones, computers, or tech contact with the outside world. This is combined with the fact that Greer is considered an outsider and therefore no one speaks to her or befriends her so she is very alone. Greer is therefore astonished when she receives an invitation for a weekend stay at the home of the head of the Medievals, Henry de Warlencourt. She sees this a sign that they are giving her a chance to belong to the select group. As the weekend approaches Greer realizes two other students, that are considered as undesirable as she is, are also invited. Greer is pegged as undesirable because she is a scholarship student, Shafeen is labelled undesirable for being a person of colour, while Chanel is considered undesirable because she comes from new money, not old money like the Medievals. Once they reach the massive estate of Henry, things quickly take a turn for the worse as their weekend of Huntin’ Shootin’ Fishin’ etc begins. The three undesirables realize their lives are in danger at the hands of the Medievals. This book has wonderful descriptive writing. You really can envision the locations described. As well there is a bit of pop culture thrown in with references to popular movies appearing appropriately throughout the book. I found this book very engaging. I have heard it may be in the process of becoming a movie and I think it will translate well as a great YA movie.