Louisa and her best friend, Maddie, are off on a new adventure. At least, that’s how Louisa views it. Her parent’s wealth has bought her a place at the new boarding school called Country Manor. With Maddie posing as her twin sister instead of her best friend, the two girls are allowed to stay together. Nobody knows where Country Manor is and there is no communication allowed with family but nobody questions the governments stand that these rules will “keep you safe”.
Country Manor isn’t perfect or easy. The girls have strict rules and classes that test their endurance and survival skills. Luisa loves the challenge though. She is doing things she has never had the opportunity to do before and finding that there are many things she can do very well. Louisa loves the fresh air and the new friends while Maddie seems to struggle with everything. Maddie seems to think that everything is not as it seems and something is really wrong with Country Manor but Louisa doesn’t want to listen. Will Louisa catch on before it’s too late?
This dystopian adventure really surprised me. I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from it, but I really enjoyed reading it! It is one of the better JF books I’ve read this year. I love Louisa’s enthusiasm as she is given new experiences and opportunities that her government has repressed her whole life. The girls in this book are young- about 13 or so, and the attitudes and ideas of this age are very accurately represented. The book I read is an uncorrected proof and it is labeled for a juvenile fiction audience. The actual book, just released this month (May 2011) is labeled YA, but I find the content and reading level appropriate for about 5th grade and up. I really think my younger girls are going to enjoy reading this series.
This is a clean read- free from language and sexual content. :)