Wunderkids: Wildwood Academy
About the book:
15-year-old Nikka is invited to attend Wildwood Academy, a prestigious but secret boarding school for talented youth located deep in the Californian mountains. Once there, Nikka quickly falls in love with her bizarre classes, the jaw-dropping scenery and… two very different boys.
However, Wildwood Academy has a dark and twisted secret, one that could cost Nikka the one thing she had never imagined she could lose, the one thing that money can’t buy. It is this very thing that Wildwood Academy was created to steal.
Nikka can stay and lose everything, or she can risk death and run.
This book was not at all what I expected when I picked it up at YALC. It sounded interesting enough but I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have. I really enjoyed the story and the mystery of this way too good to be true school. Silvester drops hints and little oddities throughout the book until a climax towards the end. There was a bit of a lag in the middle when it felt like nothing was happening but then it picked up again. The ending left me wanting more and made really happy to have the next book already on kindle.
I really enjoyed the characters in the book. When you first meet them all they seem to be this set of stereotypical high school kids. However as the story develops and you get to know each character you get to see there is more to all of them. That they all have more complex lives than you realise. Nikka is very relatable and loyal character. Even when she is doing something that you what to scream at her not to do you understand why she does it. Sums is a fun and lovable character. Stella just wants to fit in but is actually lovely even if she does struggle. Tristan is cheeky with a secret of his own and Izaya seems like a jerk but is actually really complex. I do have some issues with the way Izaya treats some of the characters early in the story but he seems to grow and try to be better.
However, while I liked the characters individually I wasn’t overly fond of some of the relationships. As the description implies there is a love triangle and if I’m honest I don’t really route for either side. They are both liars and one a cheater neither deserve to get the girl. In my opinion Nikka doesn’t need a man in her life. I much preferred Nikka’s friendship with Sums and to a point Stella until near the end, when it felt like they were not listening to what Stella needed. I also found some of Nikka’s mums parenting decisions questionable. She seems to care about her daughter but doesn’t always make great choices.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to dive into the next one.