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

Sanctuary BayTitle: Sanctuary Bay
Author: Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
Series: standalone
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
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.

My Review:
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars

I was so looking forward to reading this book as the blurb and cover are gorgeous, and I discovered that this book was written by the author of the Roswell series (which I loved when I was younger.)

Now that I’ve read it, I’m kinda struggling to sort my thoughts out. It was good, it was creative and imaginative, and I definitely became invested in the story, but there were things that I didn’t like as well which is why my rating isn’t higher.

Initially, I found it very difficult to connect with this story , and I actually put it down to read another book, unsure if I would come back to it. I did, and once I got beyond the 30 percent mark, I began to enjoy it. Now, it was extremely weird and confusing at times, and I didn’t like the cult aspect or the wolf-howling scenes (total cheese-fest.)

The second half of this book is a total rollercoaster read – so much is crammed in there that I had to stop and take stock a few times, but it was fast-paced and thrilling and full of mystery and suspense. Awesome.

Our MC, Sarah, was very weak at the start and quite insipid. By the end of the book I had warmed to her but her development wasn’t really logical or explicable. Ethan Steere was my favorite character and I felt the only one who had true depth. Now, when you realize what’s actually going on it explains some of the other characters strange behaviour and stiff dialogue, so I can forgive that as it works with the plot. Believable.

The revelations about what was really going on in Sanctuary Bay were fantastic, if a little underdeveloped at times. I thought the world building and writing were good.

The ending felt very rushed to me. It had a conclusion, and an epilogue, but to me there is another story in this and a few loose threads that weren’t developed. If a second book is released I would read it to see what happens next for Sarah and Ethan.

I’d like to thank St. Martins Press and Netgalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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