Hayden is definitely the big man on the boarding school campus, and Luke is happy to be his best friend and roommate. Then when a new guy shows up at school, everything changes. The new guy, Russell, starts challenging Hayden at everything from his relationship with his girlfriend to his position on the fencing team. During a fencing team tradition of jumping off a cliff into a lake, Hayden, Luke, and Russell all go up the cliff, but only Hayden and Luke come back down alive. What happened up there? Who is responsible? And can Luke deal with this on top of everything else that has happened in his life?
I love reading novels about boarding school, particularly is scandalous things happen here. There's something about being away from home (and parents) but not being an adult that makes it so great for stories. The adults in this book mostly lurk around the edges, and I didn't have a problem with that. At times I got frustrated with Luke - he saw the incident, why was he so confused as to what had happened? But then I realized that I, too, had 'seen' the incident, and I didn't know what was going on. I liked that Anhalt just put it out there for readers rather than hiding it or making it a big reveal at the end. This book made me very curious to see what Anhalt (currently a college student at Dartmouth) comes out with next.
Find it on IndieBound.
Read it with:
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Monster by Walter Dean Myers