Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns

Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns
Published January 19, 2016
Summary on Goodreads
I went in with this book with all sorts of expectations and guesses as to how the book will end. This wasn’t the case. In the first few chapters, I thought I had this book pegged – it was your stereotypical boarding school book with the main character as the “new girl” and the others either judging her hardcore or taking her in like one of theirs immediately. I also thought it was going to have some sort of paranormal element to it. That was also not the case. I think the cover mislead me (again, never judge a book by its cover…) mainly because it gave off that ghostly factor so I really thought there were going to be some ghosts showing up and whatnot. Again, not the case, at all. 

So the book definitely started off with your standard boarding school premise – Sarah has a shady/murky past and is invited as a scholarship student at Sanctuary Bay Academy. When she arrives, she basically learns of this dark and secretive past that the school is hiding. But that’s where the standard premise ends. After that, you get bombarded by secret groups, drugs, murders, science, etc. And at the end, you’re like omg, that’s what this book is about? To say it caught me off guard is an understatement – I definitely did not expect that to be the secret. However once the secret was out, I wasn’t at all surprised to find out the ending. 

As much as the plot surprised me, I thought the other aspects of the book could have used some work – mainly, the characters. I didn’t really understand Sarah especially with her memory issues. I thought her past would have some big reveal, which I guess it technically did, but it wasn’t as grand as I was expecting. I thought it was going to be something crazy. Another thing I didn’t really understand about her was her personality and her decisions. There were numerous times when I couldn’t fathom her way of thinking. 

The other characters were also a mystery to understand – Izzy, Karin (I think…I forget lol), Nate and Ethan were also ambiguous. I think out of all of them, Ethan had the most personality but he was also shunned the most in comparison to the others. However, I did start to like him a little more when they started to go figure things out. One other character that I somewhat enjoyed reading about was the professor, Mr. Diaz, because he actually showed some character as well but I was a little sad to read about his past. 

Overall, I think the premise was solid – there were definitely that mystery, intrigue and suspense that was prevalent throughout the book. However, the characters could have used some work and the ending was a bit of a cliff-hanger so maybe there will be a second novel? I’m curious to see how it will turn out at the end, if there was a sequel.



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