ISBN-13: 9780062345868
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 3 March 2015
Format: Paperback, 336 pgs
Source: Publisher

Prestigious boarding school always give one an impression of wealth and glamour; and sometimes what lies behind the glamour is deceit and secrets. Well, at least in fiction it is. And this is where the main setting is in Dark Rooms, whereby two sisters Grace and Nica Baker attend the Chandler Academy in Hartford, Connecticut. Their parents are teaching there, too. 

Grace and Nica aren't that close, but they aren't distant either. They are only a year apart as of their age. Grace is the quiet girl who is often seen as Nica's shadow, which is weird given she is the eldest. Nica, on the other hand is the opposite of Grace. She is daring, blunt and is known to others to be on the wild side. The night she died she is only sixteen. 

However, the crime is solved quickly the way the bullet hit her gut. They had sum it all up about an unrequited love and that a lonely schoolmate called Manny with a suicide note confession is the guy who had killed her. Nica had a boyfriend called Jamie and they had broken on and off; and then there is this mystery guy whom Nica was seeing secretly before her death. Or is there something more behind? What had happened in Chandler? With these doubts in mind and her own agenda in searching the truth, Grace becomes an investigator in her own rights. 

I have to admit I didn't warm up to Grace (or any of the characters, truth be told); the pacing is somewhat slow in the beginning and I couldn't find myself connected to Grace, who is the main voice here. There is also a part which I disagreed with Grace's motivation of pursuing the truth but I let on and was glad I didn't give it up because the intensity began towards the middle of the book and took my attention away from it. 

Although the mystery (and the ending) isn't as absorbing as I had expected, it still made an engrossing read because like Grace, I wanted to find out who the killer is. 
10 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    :) I almost always want to find out who the killer is--even in not so great books.

  2. Kay Says:

    I had wondered about this book and yours is the first review I've seen. Honestly, the school setting alone would be enough to interest me. I will likely try it at some point. And, yes, I always need to find out who did it! LOL

  3. Unknown Says:

    Thank you for the honest review. If a mystery is slow paced, there really needs to be compelling character development.

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes. It's hard to give up halfway on a mystery or thriller, unless it's really boring. ;)

  5. Melody Says:

    Kay - The school setting is minimal, but what intrigued me most is the characters in there. Complicated and interesting at the same time.

  6. Melody Says:

    Irene - I find the mystery is ok; not one that totally blew me off. As for the characters, I didn't really care about them and I was appalled at some point over the girls' mother. Perhaps this is one reason why I didn't really feel engaged to the story.

  7. I'm intrigued by this one...but really as soon as you mentioned boarding school I wanted to read it. LOL! I know that is crazy but I have a certain fondness for thrillers set in boarding schools so I'm definitely adding this one to the TBR list.

  8. Melody Says:

    Samantha - I know what you mean about reading some settings that get us excited. ;) As I mentioned, the school setting is minimal but still it's there, lol. Hope you'll enjoy this more than me.

  9. While sometimes I have no problem with protagonists who I don't especially care for, there are other times where it makes a difference. It sounds like perhaps that it mattered here for you. You have piqued my interest in this one. It does not like a strong mystery, but it sounds like there is enough there to make it a worthwhile read.

  10. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I know what you mean about the protagonists, Wendy. I don't mind reading protagonists that I don't care for (or even villians for that matter) but they have to be at least interesting in some way.

    While this book didn't wow me in a way I'd expected, it did intrigue me to turn the pages.

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