Actually to be completely honest, this isn't quite what I expected.
Though I am not quite sure what I expected... It's not like the blurb is inaccurate.
In fact after starting this I went and reread the blurb, and I reread it again after I finished. So I wouldn't be able to tell you why I expected this to be different. I kinda just did.
I think I expected more cute&fluffy? Possibly more angst and high-strung drama? Again I actually don't know.
And while I have been flaxing on about how this is different, let me point out that I did enjoy The Society very much. This is very near 4.5 Stars in fact.
The plot is really intriguing and it kept me on my toes. Though some twists were clear others were surprising, somehow the balance between anticipation and surprise was met perfectly. I loved each little twist and turn, each mishap and each happy fortune. Right until the end, and somehow it was to perfect for me? And there is a question mark because, well I am not sure why I feel like that. I mean it's not picture perfect, but I think the epilogue though it's nice, was kinda what was too much happy-clappy for me, it kinda took away from the story somehow. Even if I loved it.
Andrefski knows how to pace a story and how to keep her readers engaged.
I love each quote at every chapter. I really really love the choice of them, kinda little foreboding messengers of what is to come. Brilliant little literary tool used with absolute perfection.
In many ways that describes Andrefski style. It's a well thought-through and executed novel. The story is all told from Sam's POV. It's a well told story. But more so Andrefski manages to tell it without judgment. It's simply told. There is no wrong or right. It's simply what happened.
And while morally we shouldn't agree with some of the things that Sam does, we aren't given the impression that Andrefski doesn't agree. On the other hand, we are made to get where Sam is coming from. Again there is no righteousness put out there. I mean Sam does justify why she is doing whatever she is doing, but that's it. It's simply put not black and white but grey.
And I really like this. Because it makes this non-preachy and incredibly human.
The character building as a result of this is really interesting. Most characters end up having many layers, they become way more complex that you'd expect at the beginning. There is no true villain in this. Even if at first you feel there is, at the end while I still don't quite get where Jessica was coming from- I have never managed to relate to bullying, it simply doesn't make sense to me - we get a glimpse of the fact that there is more to her as well.
I think essentially Andrefski really got many situations just right, the little awkward cattiness between girls, let's face it we have all experienced that. She describes it brilliantly!
The insecurity of first love, or taking a friendship further...Odd little things about teens, unique to heir characters but also things we all did and felt- it's there.
Sam is a brilliantly written lead. Her anger, her frustration, her fears and her utter loneliness made me completely get why she did all the stuff she did. Add to that her confusion and her bravery. It does make her a really likable character. And then she hits rock bottom and I wanted to shake her. Yet she does somehow come to terms with her past, she faces the consequences of her actions and she discovers her own strength. Flawed yet likeable makes her very human and her braveness while being in some ways her downfall it's also most redeeming.
The Society essentially is about bullying- and it's effects, the cowardice around it, in many way it's mechanics as well. It is also a book about revenge and it's consequences.
I think Andrefski did a brilliant job at highlighting bullying. Looking at it from one of the victims POV but also the other side, when the victim essentially decides to flip things upside down.
I have to mention, I personally have no experience with the subject. As I said I simply don't get why someone bully others- and I am fortunate enough never having been bullied. I would love to hear what a victim would have to say about The Society. Can they relate as much to Sam as I did? Do they like the storyline?
So while it is a captivating easy read and there is a nice bit of romance- let me warn you it's slooooooow burn but o so sweet- it left me thinking about a serious subject.
As I said: so much more that I expected.