“S.T.A.G.S.” by M.A. Bennett


By M. A. Bennett

If the opening line, “I think I might be a murderer,” doesn’t grab your attention, then you’re going to miss out on a superb debut YA thriller.

At St. Aiden the Great School—better known as STAGS—Greer MacDonald finds herself immersed in a world she’s unprepared for. It’s not an issue of smarts, she’s got that. It’s not a problem with her scholarship either, which is how she’s able to attend the high-priced institution. It’s the hostility from her peers…those who notice her existence. To others, she’s invisible.

So, she’s as surprised as anyone when she receives a coveted invitation from the Medievals, the most powerful students in school, to join them on their annual weekend of “huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ ” during the mid-term break. Greer is excited and nervous and when she learns that this invitation could lead to bigger and better things—a spot in the Medievals next year, perhaps?—she’s made up her mind.

The Medievals are a group of six who ooze confidence as their birthright. They make the unwritten rules—social media and technology are deemed “savage” and unacceptable if you want a chance to fit in. What’s a girl to do? Greer packs her bag.

As the weekend arrives, Greer is whisked away to the estate of head Medieval, the gorgeous Henry de Warlencourt, for formal dinners, a stag hunt, pheasant shoot, and trout fishing. She’s quickly surprised to find that she’s not the only misfit in attendance and starts to question why Shafeen Jadeja, nicknamed the “Punjabi Playboy” and Chanel Ashton, “Carphone Chanel,” were there.

But, the Medievals have plans for their guests. This is an annual event after all, and each day of the “huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ ” is going to play out exactly as it has for many, many generations. Or is it?

Though the underlying foundation isn’t a new concept, Bennett tells the story well with pacing that defies her debut status. Intense and suspenseful, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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