The moment she steps foot inside, Grace knows there is nothing normal about Katmere Academy, or the students in it. Her uncle’s exclusive and secretive boarding school is the last place she wants to be, but after the tragic deaths of both her parents, she is left with no choice.
Soon she realises she’s entered a world like nothing she has ever known. Shapeshifters, witches and vampires roam the halls, existing in uneasy cooperation. As the lone mortal, the only thing Grace is sure of is that she doesn’t belong.
Then she meets Jaxon Vega, a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. Something in him calls to Grace – something that could spell her death.
Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And as Grace is drawn further under his spell, she begins to wonder: did she come to Katmere by accident, or was she brought here . . . as bait?
Okay, I knew what I was getting myself into here, and I am always willing to delve into the realm of a good trashy YA romance, especially if there are paranormal or supernatural elements involved. So I prepared myself for overdramatic secrecy, inflated teenage emotions, and so. much. instalove. But even being aware of what to expect, I still ended up disappointed.
There were so many wasted pages revolving around the most painfully apparent secrets that in almost 600 pages, nothing happened. The scene was set for so many somethings to occur; it’s a freaking boarding school in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness with vampires, dragons, werewolves, witches, and warlocks! But all Wolff wanted to talk about was Jaxon’s multiple personalities and the secrets screaming out that they weren’t secrets.
The only thing worse than instalove is authors who allow their characters to be mindreaders. We better find out that Grace is telepathic because her entire relationship with Jaxon is based on her ability to read his mind through eye contact. Although, if they could have an entirely text-based relationship, it might work – I 100% thought it would end up being Flint pranking her through text. For how walled-off and silent Jaxon is in person, he has an effusive text persona.
I didn’t particularly like Grace, or Jaxon, or their relationship. It felt more than borderline abusive at times. The mixed messages never end – one chapter they’re in love, the next Jaxon is pushing her away, then Grace is flirting with Flint, and then they’re in love again, but not for long because now they’re on the outs again. But even when they’re on the outs, his friends keep everyone else away. Since this cuts Grace off from socialising with anyone besides her cousin, that’s not messed up at all.
I know I’m likely being too critical, but I still feel let down, even reminding myself of what to expect with this genre (and this series). Where was the plot? I don’t know how this book is so fucking long, and I still don’t know anything about the paranormal creatures all living together at a boarding school. I don’t understand this world or its rules (if there are any) and don’t know the point of this first book if it hasn’t set the groundwork to build upon moving forward. So many characters were introduced and then discarded, and the only ones focused on were Grace and Jaxon, and even there, their characters still feel underdeveloped.
I don’t understand the rushed timeline here, either. Why did everything have to happen within like a week of Grace getting to Alaska? Suppose the suspense and character/relationship development had been spread out over weeks or months. In that case, it could have been so much better, not to mention it would have justified the length of this book if we got to attend some classes, learn how the school works, and explain more about all these different creatures. Instalove, instaplot, instapointless.