Sarah Merson has grown up in the foster care system having been placed there after seeing her parents brutally murdered when she was three years old. Sarah has relived that nightmare over and over throughout her life because she has the ability to remember events exactly as they happened and never forgets any detail.
When Sarah receives a scholarship and invitation to join an elite private school located on Swans Island known as Sanctuary Bay Academy she thinks it will be her ticket to a better life. Sanctuary Bay Academy is an all inclusive school and cut off from the mainland. The students are not to have contact with their families until they graduate but for Sarah that is not a problem since she really didn’t have a family to leave behind. Things are not what they seem at the academy though, just when Sarah thinks she’s making friends and fitting into her new life something happens to her roommate and friend Karina.
Sanctuary Bay for me was one of those books that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started off reading and quite honestly I think that was why it grabbed me the way it did. The synopsis doesn’t really tell much of what you are going to find in this book but the less you know the better in this case so I won’t go into much detail as to the events so as not to spoil the story for anyone. I just felt it was I one of those books that will grab a reader and hang on for a wild and exciting ride until the end.
Everything in the story was very well written to build up the excitement as you go on. Sarah started off as what I would think was going to be someone who would annoy me and wouldn’t like as she was focused on race and status being that she is mixed and comes from a poor background. But I found that I could completely understand her as the story went on and sympathize with what she had gone through and it made her into the strong character that she needed to be to make the story work.
There was a bit of a love triangle but it quickly fizzles out and the action in the story takes over any bit of a love relationship angle which was a good thing. It seemed we were going to be led into the normal teenage high school drama angles but I was completely wrong and couldn’t have been more pleased.
Overall, a great new YA thriller with an intriguing plot. A bit of a up in the air ending that could lead to a sequel and if so I’d be right there picking up the next book in the series.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.