The problem with teachers is that they're always telling you what to read. They mean well, of course, and I guess that's what we pay them for, but for those of us who love books it really gets in the way of what we really want to read. And since I earned three different degrees and attended part-time for much of my college education - which felt like an eternity - I spent a lot of time being told what to read. But in between degrees I devoured a lot of what some teachers might call rubbish, and for a while I was really into stuff like Dean Koontz and Stephen King. But only recently did I read anything that reminded me again of those books, and surprisingly it was a YA book.
The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire LeGrand (which I received from Amazon Vine) is nothing if not creepy. Mrs. Cavendish and her Home reminded me a lot of Mr. Leland Gaunt from Stephen King's Needful Things. Both are manipulative and have a real mean streak, but while Gaunt is hell-bent on chaos, Mrs. Cavendish is striving for perfection and order. And if you like a creepy story this might just be right up your alley, but as I read it with my ten-year old daughter I found it a bit too dark. Kirkus Reviews called it a "heartwarming friendship tale," but the "friendship" part was buried under some torture, a little cannibalism, and a whole lot of general creepiness. Victoria isn't exactly an endearing character with her fussiness and superiority - which turns out to be a real parallel with Mrs. Cavendish - but she's likable enough. And the writing is very good, but for me it was just a little too dark and creepy - for a YA book, that is. My little 10 year old Maddie seemed to really like it, though, and I'm not quite sure what to think of that!