ARC Review: Sanctuary Bay

Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

Publication Date: January 19th, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series: None
Format: e-PUB
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 Stars
Buy it here: Amazon

Goodreads Description: 
In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson's shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation. 

In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister.

My Review:
Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Griffin for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. 

I was pleasantly surprised by this title. I thought I knew what was going to happen from the description, but nothing could have prepared me for what actually happened. 

From the moment I started reading I was hooked. A mysterious event in Sarah's life has seen her in foster homes for many years. Then a scholarship from the elite Sanctuary Bay appears and suddenly she is whisked off to a strange school built near an insane asylum. What could go wrong, right? 

I disliked Sarah from the very beginning because she put people in groups based on what they looked like. She also thought they were all spoiled rich kids who could never understand a poor girl like her. That was silly. I also wanted more backstory on the side characters. We do not learn much about them. I did not have an emotional connection to anyone except for Ethan, Nate, and Sarah. Even then, it was a small connection. 

The pacing was ok. I felt it was a bit slow at some points, but towards the end it picked up when things started coming together. 

The plot was great and imaginative. I figured something would be connected to the asylum on the other side of the school but I did not imagine it would be so large scale. 

The cliffhanger ending immediately had me wanting more so I am hoping we get another book to tie up all of the loose ends. Right now there is no indication that there will be more, but I will update if anything changes! 

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