I finally read a book that I got for Christmas in a Secret Santa exchange two years ago. It may have been three years at this point. Oops, regardless, the book ended up being pretty good, but it definitely went places I did not expect. I’ll probably read the sequel just to see what happens next, but it doesn’t feel like a cliffhanger ending, which I liked.
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen year old junior at Pine Mountain, a boarding school with lots of troublemakers in Oregon. He plays rugby, he’s stuck in the bad dorm this year as punishment, and he’s got a big crush on his best friend, Annie. He’s got a perverted mind, he likes drawing, and his roommate is a big jerk. But that’s just how it starts: there are midnight poker games with “consequences,” his roommate’s girlfriend, his gay best friend, and a witch who lives downstairs. There’s fights, a few injuries, a mysterious screaming man in a car, and ultimately, an act of incredible violence that will leave Ryan Dean shaken. Welcome to Pine Mountain.
I truly didn’t know what I expected from this book. It certainly wasn’t the ending I got. Ryan Dean is a 14 year old boy, and it reads age-right for the most part. He likes girls and thinks they’re hot and his male friends joke around a lot and all that jazz, but I liked the environment of Pine Mountain and wanted to learn more about it. Maybe I will in the second book, Stand Off? I have some feelings about the end, and I won’t spoil it, but seeing that the book won certain awards makes me think not everyone has the same reaction I had–which is great. Overall, I liked the book, I want to read the second one, but this is a lot more than just “horny young boy at boarding school.”