ARC REVIEW: Killing November by Adriana Mather

killing november

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 368
Pacing: Normal to fast
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: March 26th, 2019




It’s a school completely off the grid, hidden by dense forest and surrounded by traps. There’s no electricity, no internet, and an eye-for-an-eye punishment system. Classes include everything from Knife-Throwing and Poisons to the Art of Deception and Historical Analysis. And all of the students are children of the world’s most elite strategists—training to become assassins, counselors, spies, and master impersonators. Into this world walks November Adley, who quickly discovers that friends are few in a school where personal revelations are discouraged and competition is everything. When another student is murdered, all eyes turn to November, who must figure out exactly how she fits into the school’s bizarre strategy games before she is found guilty of the crime…or becomes the killer’s next victim. – synopsis from Goodreads

my thoughts

“Strange things also happen on purpose” 

When I first heard of Killing November, I was really intrigued since it sounded like something right up my alley. I read How to Hang a Witch and liked it but the premise for Adriana Mather’s new book spoke to me much more and I was not disappointed.  

Killing November starts off with our main character, November, waking up in a new secret school after being sent there by her father with not a lot of explanations except that she will be safe. We start to understand very quickly that safety is a subjective concept when it comes to this school that I like to call a dysfunctional Hogwarts. When one of the students turns up dead after November’s first day, it becomes very clear that someone doesn’t want her there and that she will need to work out who fast if she wants to survive. November is a great character that felt like a typical teenage girl but with a passion for survival skills. Her reaction to being thrown to the wolves was very authentic and her acceptance to her situation took time like you would imagine instead of just being skimmed like we sometimes see. Though she came off strong and fierce you could see that she wasn’t too proud to admit she needed help, that help was scarce but came mostly from November’s roomate Layla and her twin brother Ashai. They are reluctant to aid November at first, but they soon learn that they will all find that they are in this together. November starts to understand how to navigate her current situation at the same time as discover her place and that she truly does belong here.

I found Killing November to be very addictive from the premise to the execution. I never found it predictable which is a rare feat for me since I tend to see the outcome of the story from a mile away. I didn’t want to put this one down and by the end I still wanted more. I’m really hoping that we will get a second book, the story surely keeps it open for one at the same time of closing the chapter. I found this is one of Adriana Mather’s skills as an author, she keeps us wanting more but ties everything up by the end of the book. The pacing of this book was just right, even though some parts went super fast it never skipped ahead too much or leave out critical details. Everything seemed thought out and I must say I have so many questions about how she came up with this story. It’s inventive and unlike anything I’ve read before.

We are so happy that Adriana agreed to come for a visit in June to TBR and Beyond Book Club on Facebook and I can’t wait to ask her my million questions about this book and it’s premise. If you are looking for a great Mystery/Thriller do check this one out, I don’t think you will be disappointed. 

4 stars