Sanctuary Bay Blog Tour: Review and Excerpt



Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
Publication date: January 19, 2016 
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Hardcover; 320 pages
Hardcover: 978-1-250-05136-3 / $18.99 USD

eBook: 978-1-466-86917-2 / $9.99 USD
Source: Publisher via NetGalley for an honest review

Description:

In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson's shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation. 

In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister.


My Take:

While Sanctuary Bay starts off as a somewhat typical young adult novel about a teenage girl who lands a spot in a prestigious private boarding school, it definitely doesn't follow the typical story line. Sarah Merson isn't your typical private school type - she is a foster kid and she has a very specific type of memory. All of this comes into play and makes the book different from some of the typical fare, but the story itself is what changes things. 

From the moment Sarah arrives at the school, things feel a bit off. Small things at first. But if you have a suspicious mind like I do, you start to have misgivings and start looking for clues as to what is the deal. I like the way the authors think - I had such fun reading the novel and finding out exactly what makes Sanctuary Bay so very different from other schools.

I think the Sanctuary Bay will definitely appeal to the young adult audience for a number of reasons. It does have many of the typical focus points for the boarding school novel, but the twists make the novel stand out. The handsome rebel, the popular clique, new friends in a strange school, -- but again - twists. I know my teens love novels with a good twist and I admit I do as well.

 I liked the ending of the novel and I hope it means there will be another book (or two) in the future. I am extremely curious about what the bigger picture is and what Sarah gets up to after this.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz have written many books for teens and middle-grade readers, including the Edgar-nominated mystery series Wright and Wong and the YA novels Crave and Sacrifice. They have also written for the TV shows Roswell, 1-800-Missing, and The Dead Zone. Laura lives in New York and Melinda lives in North Carolina, but really they mostly live on email, where they do most of their work together.

SOCIAL LINKS

St. Martin’s Griffin
Website   

BUY LINKS



SANCTUARY BLOG TOUR EXCERPT

Daddy  pressed his finger to his lips, shushing Sarah quiet as he slid the door to the tunnel back on. She wrapped her arms tightly around  her knees and pressed her cheek against her arm, trying to pretend she was back in her  own  room.  But it didn’t smell like her room. Even the spicy smell of Daddy’s cologne had faded now  that the tunnel was closed.  And  grayness was all around her. She was almost four, and that was too old to be scared of the dark. But it wasn’t all dark. It was just gray dark.
She tried not to think of monsters crawling toward her. Daddy said there were no monsters. But monsters  liked tunnels. They liked little girls.
Sometimes when she was scared she liked to sing the Maggie song. But that was against the rules. She had to be quiet. She had to be still. She had to wait until Daddy  or Mommy  opened the door and got her.
Thinking  about  the rules  helped.   She  could  almost hear Daddy  saying them, as if he was hiding in the tunnel with her. Even though he was way too big. If something bad happens, wait until the room is safe. If you leave the tunnel, put the funny slit- ted door back on. Run fast. Find a lady with kids. Tell her your name is Sarah Merson. Merson. Merson. Merson. Merson. Ask for help.
              Her nose started twitching, itching from the thick air. Mak- ing her want to sneeze. But she had to be quiet.
Then she heard Mommy screaming. Mommy never screamed. Were the monsters out there and not in the tunnel?
On  hands and knees she started creeping  toward the slits of light, heart pounding.
“Kt85L is our property,” a man said. “You had no right!”
Out there. Mommy  on her knees facing the hotel room wall. Someone’s legs. A hand  reaching  down.  A silver bird stared at Sarah from a ring on the finger. Stared with a horrible  little black eye. The finger pulled  the trigger of a gun.
A bang. Her ears filling with bees. Mommy  collapsing on the floor. Red spilling out.
Sarah shoved her fingers into her mouth. Quiet. The rule was be quiet.
Shouting. Daddy’s legs running by, out of the room. The bird man chasing. The door banging closed.
Something bad happening.
The  room  was safe. The  bird  man  was gone. So she had  to get out. Mommy  was on the floor. Daddy  was gone.
She shoved the door and it fell out onto the floor. Near Mommy. Near  the red. But the rule was to put  the funny  door back on. She picked  it up and shoved  it over the tunnel like Daddy  had shown her.
Sarah  didn’t  want to look at Mommy.  She looked  out the window  instead. The window  was always open  and there was never a screen. Daddy’s voice came from the hallway, yelling. Screaming.
Another bang.
Sarah pressing her hands over her eyes. Not looking. Not look- ing. Something bad happening.
Daddy  was quiet now. Something bad. She had to run fast.
Sarah climbed  on the chair under  the window.  The chair al- ways went under  the window.  She stuck her legs through the window  and jumped down.  Now run fast.
She ran fast, looking for a lady with a stroller or a kid her age. A mommy  would  help  her.  She would  say she was Sarah Merson.

Sarah Merson, and something bad happened.



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