Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Students Sold us Secrets (A book review)

The Students Sold us Secrets

It’s your average typical high school. Except with a sinister twist and without the musical.

SO, Curtains closed and lights off...

Sorry. Tickets are sold out for the musical. Come back some other day. “We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

[Book Title] The Students Sold Us Secrets
[Author] Lee J Mavin
[Genre] Horror - Possibly include the adjectives demented, psycho, and just bone-chilling.

[My Rating] 4.5/5 
[Would I read it again?] Scha YES.
[Would recommend it?] Yes 
[To whom?] People who like reads by authors who can make you feel uncomfortable by twisting and making even the most everyday and so-called ‘normal’ settings feel creepy. Generally horror fans, excluding the sci-fi versions of horror.

I was given this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The whole setting starts off as a regular life in a high school. 
You’ve got:
↳The teachers (obviously)
↳The principal (or headmaster)
↳The janitor(s)
↳The students (or else there would be no business. Who would be taught? The air?) 
↳And, your bullies (everyone hates the gang of bullies. It would be great without them. Oh, and of course they bring in a sense of HUGE Ego to the school.)

Average high schools don’t work without these, do they? Or so we think.... 

In this book, a collection of a multitude of different stories based upon school, narrated in first person by the most psychopathic people the face of the earth has possibly ever seen. Pessimists as well, who manage to find every single thing wrong with their school. Like doctors, who find out whatever you’ve got wrong with your broken bone, no matter how much you want it to heal slowly so everyone can make a big deal about it, and you manage to get late to class. 
All the people listed above are essential to make a school environment work. Well, a stereotypical one, at the least. Apparently our narrators think otherwise. 

It seems that these psychos have read a bit too much exaggerated Horror, or watched it. It’s like it’s implanted in their brains, and boy, I would not fancy going to a school with these creepsters... A school where underneath a football field lie the unnoticed and rotting remains of a person being sawn to pieces- gosh, when you read it, it makes you go, “That is sick and wrong on so many levels I don’t even wanna talk about it.” 

Sometimes, when you read this collection of demented diaries, it makes you squirm in your chair, and you can just picture the school possibly twenty years later, the principal’s light blue office rug coloured in places, under his desk, with dark ochre coloured stains, which the janitors had not been able to remove from the fabric. They tried, of course, they did. Unfortunately it was not enough. 

After reading this, if it strikes a seemingly everlasting fear in your heart, school and football pitches and the art studio will never appear the same to you... For the visions of the psycho narrators are haunting your mind.... overcoming it with a substance as dark as the black plague...

Here is a basic summary of how I reacted to The Students Sold us Secrets:

At the beginning of the chapter:

Not bad. Uh huh. I see, oh yeah, nice. It’s in a school. Nice environment. NOt bad at all, actually.

By the end of the chapter:

Woah! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! Did I really read that?

Now what did I think about it? Well, as mentioned at the top of this review, I gave this book a 4.5/5 because I really loved it. Now normally, I’m not a huge fan of horror and demented gruesome things. I tend to steer more towards the fantasy/historical fiction road. But when Lee J Mavin asked me to review his book, I said yes straightaway, because it’s not everyday that something like this happened. 
So I read the book. And holy cow, I was impressed. Although it isn’t a very complicated read in terms of language, it can get deep at times, and I really like Lee’s writing style. Here is a passage I really liked in the book, although it had nothing to do with the horror aspect. This is in the second- last chapter, entitled ‘The Poet.

The artists were also silenced, and some even tragically forgot how to use their rare and precious talents. The paint grew hard in stored-away tins, and canvases stayed blank under shadows of sadness.

This truly was a great read and I would definitely recommend it, and perhaps if you think you’re reading too much of the same genre, try The Students Sold us Secrets. A good idea would be to not let you teacher read over your shoulder in english class- they may get the idea that you are planning a gruesome revolt against the school, perhaps voting for equal rights between the students and teachers, for example, that you can change your grade from an Average C to an A * by winning the talent show or something. But remember, maybe leave out the ‘musical’ from the high school.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about the book. What I sometimes found is that it took me awhile to figure out who exactly the narrator was, but apart from that I found that I really enjoyed this book. 

Overall, an EXCITING read, and a pleasure. It was the kind of book that made you feel relaxed and then suddenly set off your *WARNING: Psychopath ALERT* and just hit your crazy “did that really just happen” and “oh yuk” button. 

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