STAGS – Review

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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.

To her surprise Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ – an invitation 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.

Greer joins the other chosen students at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, and soon realises that they are at the mercy of their capricious host. Over the next three days, as the three bloodsports – hunting, shooting and fishing – become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying reality that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school…

Greer starts at STAGS, a historic boarding school that is posh af! As she tries to settle in she finds herself invited by the Medievals (the most popular group on campus) to a weekend of blood sports. Little does she know that the animals aren’t the only ones who should watch their backs.

This book is awesome. It’s brilliantly written, with a brilliant plot and amazing characters.  I also love the division of the book into sections for each blood sport. Huntin Shotin Fishin is definitely the worst rule of three/triplet/rhetorical triad ever! I personally think that these blood sports are gross and unnecessarily violent.  The medivals are certainly immoral, evil and self-absorbed. And just plain creepy.

I love that the three ‘misfits’ become good friends. Their friendship really blossoms as they come to the realisation of the true intentions of the weekend. I love their closeness, especially that between a certain two of them. I also loved Greer’s obsession with films even if I didn’t get most of the references to them.

The traditions of the school are weird and out of date so I’m pleased at the changes that are made at the end. We as readers are certainly lead to believe that all is well and then bam! that twist. What a surprise! I certainly wasn’t expecting that.

The different setting of a posh, traditional boarding school certainly helps set the unsettling scene and bring the story to life. Bennett has done spectacularly well to create such suspense, surprise and a whole round brilliant book. If you haven’t read this amazing book yet, I totally recommend you grab a copy as soon a possible and rocket it to the top of your TBR.

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