Attempting to avoid the violence and drugs at Hibernia High, sixteen-year-old Tristen McCoy and his friends have transferred on a sports scholarship to the elite Curtis Hall boarding school. Hometown lacrosse heroes, the boys are tested as they attempt to assimilate into a student body where excelling is the norm.
Tristen hones his leadership skills and sense of humor while finding his way in this new environment. He and his friends must rise to the challenge of competing with peers whose skills equal and perhaps surpass their own. Tristen’s attention is soon captured by the beautiful and alluring Marcella Venier. Despite their different origins and upbringings, the two are drawn to each other. Marcella, compelled to live a clandestine life with dark secrets and a covert research mission, struggles with her desire to further her own designs and still remain in Tristen’s world.
Surviving Curtis Hall: The Lure of Blood is a fast read about a group of friends who, during sophomore year, move from their public high school to a New Jersey prep school. The trio, Tristen, Billy and Sasha, move to an elite school where there is more to worry about than just getting good grades. Their goal in the move, other than continuing to play lacrosse, was to fit in with the other students. They even begin to learn the teachers’ X-Men style, student given nicknames. However, there is something more to this school.
Surviving Curtis Hall is written in third person with the story alternating narration between different characters. There was an internal struggle on whether to rate this novel a 3 or 4. I’m leaning towards a 3.5 because while I enjoyed the story, there were some things that bothered me.
One major issue I had with the storyline is that it seemed to jump around. Although it alternated between narrators, it was hard to keep up with where I was in the story. Sometimes the narration seemed to jump backwards with no indication until I figured out they were referencing something that had occurred the day before from a different point of view.
I really liked Tristen and Marcella as central main characters. Tristen has a charm in that he’s popular, mature and a jock, but does not take all the power to his head. He’s still down to earth, very friendly to others and likable. While she is hiding something big, Marcella is likable when she gives you a chance. The supporting characters are all very mature and I wanted to learn more about Bryce and Pierce.
There was setup for a sequel, which I will read when it arrives. There are a couple romances I want to see flourish (Sasha/Pierce, Tristen/Marcella) and I really want to know what happens to the brother.