WARNING: If you haven't read DFF: DEAD FRIENDS FOREVER, then you probably shouldn't read this review. Especially since it may contain spoilers!
S c h o o l' s O u t 4- e v e r by J.R. TurnerSynopsis- "Skater girl Kaylee Hensler gave up her freedom to save a trapped soul, only to be imprisoned with dozens of dead children. To make matters worse, if she stops smiling, she might not live to see fifteen. You can take a Barclay girl out of class, but you can't take the class out of a Barclay girl. The headmistress at Barclay Hall reformatory is gorgeous and the students are just as polished and beautiful. Beneath their proper etiquette lies a desperate fear and a dangerous secret. As one by one the students turn up dead, Kaylee will uncover an evil so ancient, only heaven can help her."
Release Date: January 14, 2010 (Paperback)
Age Group: Young Adult
Next: Detour 2 Death (2/15/11)
Go Buy It: Amazon★Barnes&Noble
Word Blurbs: Riveting, fresh, and sinister!
Quick Thinking: Things have gotten a whole heck of a lot worse for nearly fifteen-year-old Kaylee Hensler in this engaging second installment in J. R. Turner's Extreme Haunting series. While being sent to a dark, eerie boarding school is bad as is, Kaylee must now deal with her newfound powers, and help not one ghost but a multitude, saving them from something lurking in the school. Mysterious deaths. Suspicious failed attempts at escape. Trapped ghosts. Killer demons. Barclay Hall, boarding school for rich, wayward females, is anything but pleasant or ordinary. Kaylee must face a challenge unlike before, must defeat a new menacing foe more powerful than the last, all the while dodging demerits, making strange, unexpected friends, and enduring the hardships of newly awakened, untamed powers.
My Thoughts In-Depth: *Note: May not be spoiler-free.* One of the reasons why I'm really getting into this series has to do with it being filled with all of my favorite elements in a novel! The first being the paranormal aspect, added to that is the darkly thrilling, adrenaline-packed punch of a plot. And I'm really rooting for a romance here, somewhere! Though I have my suspicions of a love triangle fast-approaching! I think that's just about the only thing that's missing in the series that would make me love it. But, one thing's for sure: I definitely liked School's Out 4-ever more than its predecessor.
I'm not exactly sure what it is. It could be because the threat is more real and the fact that Kaylee is practically on her own in this book. No best friend Davey, no parents. Plus, the frightening factor went up a few notches also!
Kaylee hasn't changed as far as personality, but her maturity level has definitely gone up. She's evolved, grown up some, aged by all the experiences she's had and all the adult decisions she's had to make regarding her parent's involvement, her own future. Yet, at the same time she has the heart of a child/teen, still scared of the unknown, of not knowing how her power works or how to manage the nightly ghost visits she's forced to endure. My sympathy for this girl grew. Now, more than ever, she needs to be surrounded by the people she most loves with this development in her lineage and what she's capable of, but is instead shipped off to a boarding school overflowing with people unfamiliar to her, made to live in the school without much contact with her parents or her best friend, and without answers to the countless questions she has about herself and the spirits of the dead. It's heart-wrenching, thinking of this girl being so alone and unable to share all that's been happening to her.
Other characters like Tracy and Pastor Jim really helped with Kaylee's loneliness and fear, as she finds unexpected allies in these two characters. Tracy is weird, no doubt about it. But, I'm glad she was there so that Kaylee could relate to someone with similar abilities. And Kaylee's sudden involvement with Pastor Jim was a little shocking, considering she's had to deal with demons and ghosts and angels. But, Pastor Jim stands as this kind of father figure who has the capacity to believe what Kaylee says and believe in her, which is way more than her parents have done for up to this point. Brianna, a totally shy, soul-bruised, yet exuberant girl, was really adorable and I became more emotionally invested in the story as my sympathy welled toward this girl. And like with Isabelle, the ghost-girl Kaylee had to try and save in the last book, I was ridiculously sad for the imprisoned ghosts at the school, and was rooting for Kaylee to get them the heck out. But, boy, were they creepy too!
The story behind this installment was way more engaging than the last book! The mystery was deeper, more puzzling. The threats more serious and dangerous. Trying to figure out why six kids every six years either go missing or are found dead at this boarding school, why a century-old photo turns up of the headmistress appearing just as youthful as in the present was a bit of a feat! I could see the connection but couldn't quite put two and two together. So, because it was harder for me to figure out, the intrigue built as well as my enjoyment of this book.
The ending was pretty much a huge cliffhanger, leaving The Reader wondering what's going on, what's wrong with Davey, whose infection and paralysis has not faded but instead strengthened. Not to mention all the weird dreams Kaylee's been having about him. Plus, the secret of her possible lineage that may not signify she's actually a witch but something more otherwordly, well... If that's not any indication that Detour 2 Death is going to be just as engrossing as this last book, I don't know what is! I'm super excited for the third installment in the series, and hope that I get to read it soon!
Loved this Scene/Quote:
"He touched her, for the first time, his fingers warm against the side of her face. She leaned into that hand, already weary and knowing the battle wasn't half over. He said, 'Kaylee, you have so much ahead of you still. Don't waver. You're faith is stronger than you imagine.'Is it wrong that I want an angel to hook up with my main girl over here? Is that like really bad? xD!
She looked into his faith and beneath his eyes, beneath the skin over bone, and saw the brightness of an angel. Tears sprang into her eyes, 'Raphael?'" (250)
Thanks for reading!