After Greer starts at prestigious school S.T.A.G.S on a scholarship she’s isolated for the majority of term. When she’s invited for a weekend of huntin’shootin’fishin’ with the ‘cool’ group of the school, she jumps at the chance. But… is it friendship they’re looking for? Or victims?
I wanted to read S.T.A.G.S. because it sounded like a really different kind YA book. I’m not used to reading YA thrillers. Plus, I had high hopes it would actually be thrilling and not just claim to be a thriller. The premise intrigued me so much because I wanted to know what was going to happen on this hunting, shooting and fishing trip.
I loved the premise of the book. From the very start we know a murder will occur by the end of the book. Therefore anticipation builds throughout as we wonder how it’s going to happen. Full of stereotypes, the villains aren’t particularly sneaky but they are highly manipulative with the victims. I felt that in some places the posh stereotype was overplayed slightly but it was more funny than annoying. The plot also affected more than the 4 days we are living it within the book, which made it more interesting.
The three victims were all very different characters. They’re all distinct whereas the Medievals are carbon copies of one another. I also found it funny how they showed how backwards they were in thinking, they discussed technology as if it was a big problem. Greer our main character happily points out all the fantastic things we can do with technology, and I wholeheartedly agree with her. I honestly didn’t understand how all the pupils in S.T.A.G.S. didn’t use mobile phones just because the popular crowd didn’t.
This isn’t a classic whodunnit mystery. We know who is murdered and by who fairly early on. The biggest mystery is about what the trip to Longcross is really for, and why the students are going along with this trip every year. The ending, although shocking, felt abrupt. There was a little bit too much time spent on filler. Such as a clichéd YA romance and Greer talking to a stuffed deer head(??). It would have been better focusing on why it was happening earlier on in the plot. Overall though, I really enjoyed reading S.T.A.G.S. as it really caught my attention.
I received S.T.A.G.S.* by M.A. Bennett as an e-book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is an unbiased and honest review.