Genre: Sci-Fi, Middle Grade
Please note in an exchange for an honest review, I received an advance reader copy (ARC) from the publisher Future House Publishing. Thank you!
I was approached by someone in the publisher if I wanted to read this book. After reading the synopsis, I was interested! I'm pretty open to reading middle grade books just because to this day I consider the Percy Jackson series one of my favorites of all time so I was excited to read a new middle grade book!
You follow the main protagonist of the story, Benjamin. A 13 year old boy who, along with other students, have been sent to a new boarding school in the hopes of bettering their future prospects. Not only is the school promised to help him in the future but it has everything a kid would need--carnival rides, ice cream shop, and even an arcade!
Yet right from orientation things were not...normal. Two things stood out to him. One, that will need to wear earpieces at all times and say or do whatever they were told. Two, that is another student and no matter how rightening they look--act normal. Enter Eve, a strange and dangerous spike covered creature who is supposed to attend this school like the rest of them.
Without spoiling it, the book was a quick fun read! I appreciate how light it was and it was a nice break from reading all these adult books. You see your usual tropes (the Three Amigos) with, in my opinion, not so common twist of it being two girls and a guy.
Benjamin is a great character and the book did a wonderful job explaining how someone suffering from anxiety feels. The two other characters, Lorena and Persephone, definitely had their own personalities and quirks. And I am being biased but I have never read a character where their roots are the same as mine! Lorena, whose mother is from Honduras and father is Mexican, was immediately my favorite just because of that. I thought her personality (a more spiritual character) bounced off really well off Persephone who definitely was the more logical/skeptic of the three.
The only thing I felt myself disappointed for was the ending. I say disappointed hesitantly just because while I wish it didn't end where it did, I understand why it did end there. I definitely wanted more since the book ended with a very climatic cliffhanger. I'm unsure if the author plans to release a sequel but if he does, I can definitely see this being picked up right where we left off.
The Classmate was a fun read and I strongly recommend it to people who want a quick light read. The character's where fun, diverse, and the plot was definitely interesting. If the author where to write a sequel, I certainly will pick it up. I strongly recommend this to people of all ages.
Warning! Spoilers ahead!
A quick little section:
- My absolute favorite scene was towards the end when the children where watching a movie with Eve. They were all crying silently knowing the impending doom that was going on but understanding that they could not just force Eve to do it against her will. It made Eve's decision an even more powerful moment.
- Eve being taken away from Benjamin's house and her apologizing was so heartbreaking.