|The Believing Game|
A private academy. A cult leader. A girl caught in the middle.
After Greer Cannon discovers that shoplifting can be a sport and sex can be a superpower, her parents pack her up and send her off to McCracken Hill-a cloistered academy for troubled teens. At McCracken, Greer chafes under the elaborate systems and self-help lingo of therapeutic education. Then Greer meets Addison Bradley. A handsome, charismatic local, Addison seems almost as devoted to Greer as he is to the 12 steps. When he introduces Greer to his mentor Joshua, she finds herself captivated by the older man's calm wisdom. Finally, Greer feels understood.
But Greer starts to question: Where has Joshua come from? What does he want in return for his guidance? The more she digs, the more his lies are exposed. When Joshua's influence over Addison edges them all closer to danger, Greer decides to confront them both. Suddenly, she finds herself on the outside of Joshua's circle. And swiftly, she discovers it's not safe there.
That's the best word I have for this book. It's intense. Greer is living a life like many a troubled teenager--pushing the limits. But limit-pushing can only go on for so long, before someone stops you in your tracks. Once at McCraken Hill, to be "fixed," Greer seems to have something like normal fall into place for her. But even normal has its dangers.
It's insanely intense to have kids packed off to a special school/rehab facility for their troubling addictions where they are allowed the freedom to leave the school and head to town in the evenings, unsupervised. It's intense, in my small world, to have them so openly discuss and joke about their problems. It's bothersome that they don't seem any better supervised at this school than they are. But too much supervision wouldn't have allowed this story in the first place.
It's heartening to find teenagers that are trying to discern reality and truth in the world around them. Teenagers that question what doesn't feel right or make sense.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Scholastic Press through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.