Not what I expected.
April 3, 2018
Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.
When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.
In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.
Set in a world very much like our own, School for Psychics is the first book in a stay-up-all night series.
I first learned of this book last year and requested it through NetGalley a couple weeks ago when I saw it pop up on someone’s book haul list. I liked the title, hated the cover, and thought the synopsis was interesting. I decided to give it a try.
The story quickly appealed to me. I took a liking to the protagonist, Teddy, within the first few chapters when she’s at a casino gambling to set her life straight. When she’s recruited for the School for Psychics, my interested perked up even more because I wondered what that would be like, and I was compelled to sympathize with her as she reflected on the many ways she has fucked up and now feels like a disappointment, which led her to take the opportunity the school offers. I was hooked on this story until Teddy got to the School for Psychics and then everything went downhill.
I read about half of the story before giving up on it. I didn’t like the writing and was annoyed by the characters and numerous inconsistencies in the plot. The book is listed as “General Fiction (Adult), Sci Fi & Fantasy” on NetGalley, but as I read, it became increasingly obviously that the novel is YA. There is a level of maturity missing from the plot and the characters that makes me unable to believe this novel is intended for adults. Furthermore, the quick inclusion of a love triangle and the messy navigation of it strikes me more as YA, where such things often occur. (Sidenote: I’m annoyed by and tired of love triangles, unless it’s done well, which hardly ever happens.)
It was also difficult to keep track of the passage of time, and that’s not because the characters’ psychic abilities were messing with it. Events that occurred a day before in one paragraph would be said to have happened weeks before in the following paragraph. That wouldn’t have been a problem (I guess) if characters and their relationships were shown to have developed over the time passed, but that didn’t happen. It still seemed as if the event had occurred only the day before. It made me confused about when things happened and what exactly is the status of the characters’ relationships.
And the school itself was not appealing at all. It’s supposed to be an academy training psychic 20-somethings how to be FBI operatives or work in other law enforcement organizations, but instead it was like a high-school filled with immature teens. It just didn’t work for me.
The premise of the story is interesting and the protagonist was easy to like, but the story didn’t work because it needed more development. I could see where the author was going with this, and I wanted to go there too, but I couldn’t stand the inconsistencies. I couldn’t make it to the end.
Overall: ★☆☆☆☆ 1/2
One of the reviews I’ve seen of it on Goodreads describes it as —
“Filled to the brim with clichés, shrugs characters, and The Magicians’s adult Harry Potter vibes with a hint of Quantico.” — Ann’s Review
— I totally agree.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
But, if the synopsis sounds interesting to you, then you should Borrow it. It was interesting, but the inconsistencies and immaturity of the characters turned me off.