mystery · suspense · Young adult

The Island – M.A. Bennett ★★★★

Blurb; Link is a fish out of water. Newly arrived from America, he is finding it hard to settle into the venerable and prestigious Osney School. Who knew there could be so many strange traditions to understand? And what kind of school ranks its students by how fast they can run round the school quad – however ancient that quad may be? When Link runs the slowest time in years, he immediately becomes the butt of every school joke. And some students are determined to make his life more miserable than others . . .

When a school summer trip is offered, Link can think of nothing worse than spending voluntary time with his worst tormentors. But when his parents say he can only leave Osney School – forever – if he goes on the trip, Link decides to endure it for the ultimate prize. But this particular trip will require a very special sort of endurance. The saying goes ‘No man is an island’ – but what if on that island is a group of teenagers, none of whom particularly like each other? When oppressive heat, hunger and thirst start to bite, everyone’s true colours will be revealed. Let the battle commence . . .

My Review; I have loved the S.T.A.G.S series by this author so I had to give this standalone a go and I wasn’t disappointed. The perfect young adult mystery. What turned out to be a planned two week school holiday takes a turn for the worse… Lies. Deceit. Fights. Anger. Power. Love. Hate. Bonding. Team work. This story has it all. Five totally different kids stranded on a remote island, what will they do?

Link, I loved his character. The main character, the lowest, nerdy child in the whole school becomes the clever, nerdy leader on the island and for once doesn’t face the reality of being bullied… But for how long? I don’t want to give anything away but there is a HUGE twist to this story that I never saw coming in a million years. The twist made this story for me!

It’s brilliant. A real page turner. You just want to know how they will cope… Will they get rescued. It would make a brilliant film. I loved it. Highly recommend. Four stars from me.

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mystery · suspense · Young adult

D.O.G.S. – M.A. Bennett ★★★★

Blurb; After the dramatic events of the last few weeks, Greer Macdonald is trying to concentrate on her A levels. Stuck for a play to direct for her drama exam, she gets help from an unexpected quarter . . .

A priceless lost play, buried by time, is pushed under her door. It is Ben Jonson’s The Isle of Dogs, a play considered so dangerous in Elizabethan times that every copy was burned . . . except one. As the students begin to rehearse it, events become increasingly dark and strange, and they lead Greer back to where she never thought she would return – Longcross Hall.

There she discovers that not only is the Order of the Stag alive and well, but that a ghost from the past might be too . . .

My Review; Finally got around to reading this, book two in the S.T.A.G.S series and I seriously hope there is more to come. Please. I need more. S.T.A.G.S I read last year was brilliant and made my top twenty of 2019 and this was just as good!

We see the same characters from the first book with some new comers but this year it’s all focused on a play called The Isle of Dogs. Which apparantly all the scripts got destroyed… Well except one… The one Greer has been given. She decides to perform the play for her A level but things soon start to become wierd and familiar. Linking past to the present. This is more than just a play…

After book one (S.T.A.G.S) she could never imagine she would end up back at Longcross but that is exactly where she ends up. Back where everything began. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s a brilliant sequel to S.T.A.G.S. A must read. I really enjoyed it. The ending messed with my head a little and ended on a major cliffhanger… I need answers. I need more.

Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me. Brilliant. Perfect for mystery and young adult readers. Would make a brilliant tv series or film.

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suspense · thriller · Young adult

S.T.A.G.S – M.A. Bennett ★★★★★

Blurb; 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…

My Review; I picked this one up after seeing other bloggers reading it and saw it in my library. I was not disappointed. I loved the cover too. A brilliant young adult story which turns dark and deadly.

A brilliant read! Throughally enjoyed it. It’s a fast paced, page turner of a read that had me hooked. It would make a brilliant film or tv series. I cannot wait to see what happens in book two D.O.G.S! S.T.A.G.S Ends on a major plot twist and cliff hanger which needs some explanation and answers… Highly recommend.

Perfect for readers who enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying and A Good Girls Guide To Murder. A well deserved five stars from me. One I won’t forget for a long time.

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