Book Review- S.T.A.G.S

Thursday, 21 March 2019
Title: S.T.A.G.S
Author: M.A Bennett
Published: 10th August 2017
Pages: 290
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
Series: S.T.A.G.S #1

Rating: 5/5 stars

Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.
It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin' shootin' fishin'. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.
But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry's parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports - hunting, shooting and fishing - become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school... -Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and Hot Key Books in return for an honest review.
I've heard loads about this novel on Twitter and among other YA bloggers, so I was super excited to get my hands on a copy to review. I wasn't disappointed at all! This is a fascinating and unique YA thriller that will keep you reading until the last page!
This novel is set in an English boarding school, I'm a sucker for anything set in boarding schools, so if you have any other recommendations let me know!! There's something magical and so different about boarding schools, maybe it's because it's something I've only experienced through books and tv so it has a real novelty to it, but whatever the reason I can't say no to books with that setting. Bennett does an excellent job of setting up the boarding school and the scenario within the school quickly and efficiently so the storyline can get going as quickly as possible. 
Bennett's writing style is well suited to these quick paced novels, her descriptions are brief but essential, and characters are developed well, without sacrificing the quick pace of the plot.
This novel utilises a past tense narrative, with our main character Greer seemingly telling the story from the future, adding another layer to the mystery and adding the reliable/unreliable narrator theme into the novel. More of the story becomes clear as we read; Greer has the whole story, but she only drip feeds the details to the reader, so we are left wondering exactly what has taken place, and it's not completely clear until the very end of the novel.
The mystery in the novel is also well written, Bennett keeps the reader guess into exactly what has taken place until the very end, and even when you think the action has finished, Bennett throws in another twist just to keep you on your toes! It's a fast-paced and twisting story that will definitely keep you reading until the last page.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel. Bennett writes an amazing YA thriller, check out her other novel The Island for something more Hunger Games-esque but just as action packed!

Buy this novel on The Book Depository here (affiliate link)


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