Sunday, 17 January 2016

Review: Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

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.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 19th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin

Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher St. Martin's Griffin vis Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  the expected publication date is January 19th 2016**

Full Disclosure:  I have an extreme dislike for anything that revolves around cults as I find them extremely creepy.  While I am okay with paranormal, magical realism etc, for some unexplained reason cults terrify me.  This story had some aspects of a cult in it and therefore may have impacted my overall view as a result.  This may not be the opinion of all.

All I can say about this story is that Burns and Metz have some seriously messed up imaginations.  In my wildest dreams I could not have thought something like this.  It was one roller coaster of crazy from the very beginning.

Going back to my opening statement, I had some issues with the "wolfpack" aspect of the story as my am pre disposition to any cult like behavior is to run for the hills without reading.  The fortunate thing is that this is only a small part of the storyline.  That being said I was totally frustrated with Sarah for wanting to be a part of it.  I wanted to scream at her and shake her and tell her to turn away.  Of course you do not always get what you want in these situations.

I can't even review this story because it is so messed up. First take a private school that is located on an island that used to house a mental asylum and a POW camp. Then add the fact that the students are not allowed to have any communication with the outside world, including family for the entire duration of their schooling and you know there will be trouble.  Would you really want to attend the s school knowing that you will have no knowledge of the outside world while you are there?  Don't even get me started on the evil that can take place.  I am claustrophobic just thinking about it!

Even with my initial hesitation the story kept drawing me in as I needed to find out where it was going to go.  For once I couldn't even foresee the direction it would take. 

I would recommend this for YA fans who like a little thriller in their plotline and who like their stories a little twisted.  Overall I ended up liking this story

About the Authors

Laura J. Burns

      Laura J. Burns has written more than thirty books for kids and teens, touching on topics from imaginary lake monsters to out-of-control Hollywood starlets. (Those two things have more in common than you'd think.)

With Melinda Metz, she has also written for the TV shows ROSWELL, 1-800-MISSING, and THE DEAD ZONE. Their next book is SANCTUARY BAY, coming in January 2016!

Laura lives in New York with her husband, her kids, and her two exceptionally silly dogs.

Melinda Metz

Melinda Metz grew up in San Jose, California. People sometimes ask if she knows the way there. She kinda does, but she has an off-kilter sense of direction, so to be confident of arriving, it's better to consult some kind of navigational device.

Her mother tried to teach her to read in kindergarten, but Melinda had no interest. She also had no interest in learning to write her name. (FYI, when Melinda was in kindergarten it was all about finger-painting, play time, and naps.) Eventually, she mastered both and even majored in English at San Jose State University.

After college, Melinda moved to Manhattan to seek her fortune, which involved learning to identify fruits and vegetables while working at a grocery store,
making $2.73 working backstage for an off-off Broadway play (her part of the box-office profits), and editing books.

Melinda and the lovely and talented Laura J. Burns pretty much became unofficial writing partners when they were editors at the same company. They teamed up to brainstorm story ideas, and at some point their brains fused in some key places. Later they worked on the Roswell High book series, Laura developing and editing the series, Melinda writing.

That series led to Melinda and Laura, now an official writing team, writing two TV pilots, moving to L.A. to work on the Roswell TV show, and briefly living in Toronto while on the writing staff of 1-800-Missing. They both continue to write books, together and separately.

Laura and Melinda's new book, Sanctuary Bay, a YA thriller, is coming out in January 2016. It's set at an ultra-exclusive private school on an island. Once a student is accepted to the school, they must stay until graduation. No visits home, no contact with the outside world at all. Find out why in January!

The first four books in Melinda's new middle-grade mystery series,S.M.A.R.T.S., are out now. The books involve a group of kids in a makerspace club and they all have lots of science info. For all the cool geeks out there!

Melinda lives in Concord, NC with her dog, Scully (yes, she loves the woo-woo so much she named her dog after a kickass X-Files character). She has never regretted learning to read and write her name.

1 comment:

  1. OOh nice! I read this author's duo's previous duology some years ago and loved it! So naturally I am dying to read this one! Glad it was a good story despite it having some topics you're not fond of! Nice review!