Author: Mark Frost
Release date: September 25, 2012
Published by: Random House Children's Books
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This story has heart-pounding action from the get-go! Will West, a teenager who has pretended to be average his whole life, scores off the charts on an academic test. Unfortunately, this draws the attention of both good and evil. Within the first 20 pages of the story, Will is chased by “black caps” in an SUV as he goes for his morning run. This is followed by a call to the office once school starts where he is invited to attend The Center for Integrated Learning due to his amazing test scores. Once school is over, be ready to read some more awesome chase scenes and follow Will as he begins to question what is going on with his parents, the “black caps,” this guy called Dave, and the new school.
My Thoughts: I loved trying to figure out what the heck was going on, just like the main character! I also loved reading all of the tips that Will’s dad gave him through his growing years in order to prepare him for the moment when he might be discovered. Will has to negotiate this new school that recruits incredibly smart kids (which, by the way, is located in Wisconsin—best state!), and he must figure out what is going on while these creepy, evil things keep trying to kill him and some of his fellow students seem to be working against him, too. I was a little intimidated by the 550 page count, but I was hooked by page 20 and this story never lost momentum; I applaud Mark Frost for being able to hold my interest for that number of pages. I kept doing the clock check, telling myself it was 11…12…1 in the morning and I need to get some sleep, but it was worth it.
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