RIOT HOUSE by Callie Hart
Release Date: April 29th
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They might be richer than gods, but they’re morally bankrupt.
As far as the boys who run America’s most exclusive international academy are concerned, I’m an unwelcome interloper, an inconvenience, and they’re determined to make my life a living hell.
When Wren Jacobi sets eyes on Wolf Hall Academy’s newest inductee, all he sees is an easy mark. A reserved little girl with a target painted on her back. He knows nothing of my troubled past, though. Nothing of my mother’s suspicious death, or the horrific treatment I’ve had to endure at the hands of my psychotic father.
And he has no idea of the lengths that I, unassuming little Elodie Stillwater, will go to in order to break the savage beast who dreams of breaking me first.
There’s a wolf stalking the forests that surround my new school.
Little does he know…
There are far scarier predators lurking out there in the dark.
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Every single one of Callie Hart’s gritty and dark worlds lure me in with their complex settings and bevy of main and supporting characters who have so many layers that it’s impossible to completely know any of them until every trait has been unearthed and every question as to the reasons they do what they do and say what they say is answered.
In Hart’s newest release, she introduces readers to Wolf Hall, an exclusive international academy in New Hampshire, and the rich and entitled students who walk its hallways and seem to call all the shots when it comes to anything and everything that happens at Wolf Hall as well as Riot House – the home of three princes of the school – that sits at the bottom of the hill.
Wren Jacobi appears to have everything he could ever want and the fact that he walks around Wolf Hall like he runs it seems to give him power over everyone, meaning that he can do whatever he wants, offering his own not so warm welcome for new students, including Elodie Stillwater.
Wren may see Elodie as an easy mark, as someone he can play with without repercussion, but he would be underestimating who she truly is and what she’s made of. There’s a resilience to her, despite her outward appearance and demeanor, that allows her to stand tall and weather the storm, no matter if it comes from her peers or someone who holds authority over her.
It’s interesting to see how Wren and Elodie go from adversaries to a secret couple and what the different stages of their relationship look like, but because there is so much more going on than these two sparking a connection, contending with those obstacles amidst figuring out what they truly mean to each other becomes quite the interesting game of cat and mouse.
I do have to say that the story felt a bit too long; creating the foundation for the world and its characters took up a good majority of the first half of the book, and I found myself skimming parts of it, eager to get to the twists and turns as well as the revelations that I knew were coming, and once they started, the pace of the story picked up and how everything played out in the end kept my attention and answered the questions as it came to its resolution.
Despite the slow start, I enjoyed the non-linear plot line and the fact that certain conversations and situations had me second-guessing how everything would play out, which is exactly what keeps me intrigued as the story line continues to be fleshed out.
4 Poison Apples
About the Author
Callie Hart is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary and dark romance. Her Blood & Roses Series is currently being translated into multiple languages all over the world. Having spent the last seven years living in Australia, Callie now calls Los Angeles home, where she enjoys hiking, spending time at the beach, daily hot yoga classes, and generally pretending to be a hipster.
Callie is often asked, ‘What is dark romance?’ Her reply is always the same: Dark romance is a story that makes you fall for the anti-hero. It is a story that will make you walk a tightrope, question your sanity, and have you checking your moral compass at the door. If you love a good story about a very bad boy, then dark romance is for you.’
Under her legal name, Frankie Rose, Callie writes young adult fiction that has been globally recognized, and has received numerous awards for her ‘Halo’ series.