Friday, 9 February 2018

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

M.A. Bennett
Publisher:Penguin Teen / Delacorte Press
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
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. . . .

S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett was an intriguing read that was both well written and filled to the brim with well thought subterfuge and mystery. Not a title that was immediately on my radar, it was introduced to me by a publicist of Penguin Random House of Canada. I was immediately sold on the idea of an elite and mysterious boarding school with it's own odd hierarchy and hidden agenda, and I was bouncing with joy to finally begin the title. It was pitched as a title indistinguishable to WE WERE LIARS and THE CHOCOLATE WAR, and as I have never read either title before, I felt my experience of S.T.A.G.S. was a fresh one that I felt would have potentially taken from my prospective reaction to it's twists and turns.

"I remember a terrific volley of gunshots and watching more poor pheasants cartwheeling out of the sky. Then I remember a single gunshot, so loud that it almost seemed to come from right next to my ear."

First and foremost, S.T.A.G.S. was one wild ride. Before stepping into S.T.A.G.S., without an inkling of a spoiler from the synopsis, I had no idea where M.A. Bennett's tale would lead me, nor did I imagine how deep the mysterious twists and turns would go. Greer, S.T.A.G.S' intriguing heroine, was a breath of fresh air. Her less than snobbish attitude immediately won me over, in addition to her enormous curiosity about the Medievals, and the school's true intent. I was fascinated by the social structure of the prestigious St. Aidan the Great school, and found the rich and entitled sub-culture to be both intriguing and exciting. In addition, I found M.A. Bennett's direction in S.T.A.G.S. kept me well on my toes from chapter to chapter. I had great fun attempting to determine who at St. Aidan's was trust worthy, and what would happen next. It was, without a doubt, a very refreshing psychological mystery.

S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett was a unique and stimulating read. It's perfect for younger readers with an interest in picking up a psychological mystery featuring an intelligent female heroine and some fascinating and deadly twists. I highly recommend S.T.A.G.S to readers over the age of 13.

4 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

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