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Title: Sanctuary Bay
Author: Laura Burns, Melinda Metz
Rating: 3.5/5

As a child, Sarah Merson lived through the trauma of witnessing her parents’ murders. Now, after a string of bad luck through her life, she gets the privilege of landing a scholarship to a prestigious academy for teenagers called Sanctuary Bay. Her first days there are idyllic, to say the least, and the feeling of belonging with a group finally settles in Sarah’s bones… until something begins to feel off, and she begins spinning into a web of confusion and secrets.

Anything else would be a spoiler so I’ll stop here. To say that this book has twists and turns would be an understatement. I read the first few chapters and I felt like I knew how it would end, but I was so, so wrong. It didn’t end at all the way I (hoped) expected it would, but it was a good way to end the novel.

This is a thriller. It’s easy to forget that when you read the first few chapters, where they set a quiet but happy pace. The action comes on fast and strong, and you get hooked… Then, it’s been an hour and most of the book is read.

I did have to swallow back a lot of disbelief though. There were many times that I stopped and told myself, “This makes zero sense…” but if you can get over that, then the book is really good. I didn’t get all the answers I had been looking for, and I hope that there will be a sequel or a spinoff to explain the plot holes in this novel. As I said, though, if you can close your eyes and ignore the weird parts of the book, then this is a good 3.5/5 stars. I guess that in such a world, not everything has to make sense… it just would have been nice to get some closure, in a way, since the end of the book was very rushed.

Additionally, though, I would like to mention that this would make an awesome movie. The imagery and world building was great, and I vividly imagined everything I read. It was a wonderful book that I not only read very quickly and easily, but actually experienced right along with Sarah. She was an interesting character, and the setting was so well done that I could imagine Sanctuary Bay and Sarah and her roomies and love interests.
Would I recommend this? Yes, I would, but with a warning. Don’t expect that too many of your questions will be answered, and you will enjoy the book a lot. I guess I could say that this book is a 3/ 5 if it stands alone, but a solid 4/5 if it’s just the beginning of a series.
I would like to thank St Martin Press, as well as Netgalley, for the free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.