While I'm usually a little bit hesitant about boarding schools - I know everyone always gushes about how much they love them but they've just never been my favourite. Regardless, I was excited to pick this book up because I love a good thriller and good YA thrillers are few and far between. Unfortunately, despite the fact that I really wanted this book to work for me, I just don't think it did.

Hello everyone!

I'm back with another review, today it is S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest and for inviting me to participate in the blog tour. As always, all opinions are my own.

The story follows 17-year-old Greer, a girl who transferred to the prestigious St. Aidan The Great School, or S.T.A.G.S for short. While her first few months at school are rough and lonely, she gets invited to the home of Henry, one of the prefects, or Medievals as they are more popularly called, for a group getaway of huntin', shootin', and fishin'. While Greer has some reservations with hanging out with the 'cool' kids, she's happy to finally be fitting in and decides to go. But the weekend becomes much more than it initially seemed. Greer and two of her fellow classmates, all deemed outsiders, soon become prey in a deadly game of hunting.

While I really wanted to love this book, I just had what seemed like a laundry list of things that put me off. Firstly, the writing style of the book was done well enough, I'll give Bennett that, but there were some parts of the narration itself that just really bothered me. Greer is the first-person narrator and she is apparently a major film buff. (Sidenote: I might be a bit sticky about this point largely because I literally JUST read a book with a film buff MC and it was done so much better).

Anyways, the only evidence we get of Greer's knowledge of movies is when something happens. And the movie references are so choppy and poorly integrated, they stood out like a sore thumb. Things like "Ever see the Princess Diaries? Well, my makeover was like the part where Mia gets a makeover..." Look, I understand wanting to include movie references but we don't need random refs thrown in just to prove that she watches lots of movies. Also, Greer disses the Princess Diaries and that is just not okay with me.

I also felt like for a story that was supposed to be so thrilling and suspenseful, there was very little thrill or suspense. I found myself slugging through pointless drama and random movie facts of most of the book. Only near the end did things start to really get interesting because the whole plot was being unveiled. But then the book ended and I couldn't even see where things were going to go after that.

While I know you can dislike a character and still enjoy the book, I just couldn't handle Greer. She kept saying she was a feminist and could handle herself, but when a male character looked at her, she decided it was love and she was a bad feminist. Besides the fact that being a feminist has little to do with hetero-normative romantic relationships (shocker, not all feminists are lesbians), she flip-flopped more than I could handle. She was all set to abandon her friends and their plan to save themselves, but one tepid look from Love Interest #1 and she was abandoning ship because he couldn't possibly want to hurt anyone. Right.

Ok, so I could apparently go on forever talking about the parts of this book I wasn't a huge fan of. Honestly, looking back, there really isn't much that I could write about that I enjoyed. I mean I finished, so I guess that says something.

Overall, if you want a book about how old-money kids can get away with anything with no consequences, make fun of other classmates with no reprimand and continue on a Crusades-old hunting spree for no real reason, here you go!

ALSO, I just want to say that while I wasn't a fan of this book, be sure to check out the other blog tour stops - just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't work for you!