Redemption Prep
Everyone knows Emma. Neesha’s her best friend, Aiden’s her basketball star boyfriend, and Evan’s her shadow, following Emma’s every move. She stands out, which is hard to do at Redemption Prep, a school where every student has been handpicked to attend its remote campus in the forest of Utah. So when she goes missing in plain sight, everyone notices. And everyone becomes a suspect, especially at a school with strict rules: Don’t skip mass. Don’t break curfew. Don’t go into the woods.Emma’s disappearance ignites an investigation, and Neesha, Aiden, and Evan all want to find her—for different reasons. But they each have their own secrets to hide, and not everyone wants Emma to be found.As the search continues, the students realize that they’re not the only ones trying to hide something. Redemption Prep has secrets, too—secrets bigger than any of the students could have imagined, and Emma could be the key to finding out the truth… if anyone can find her.

Redemption Prep Details

TitleRedemption Prep
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Redemption Prep Review

  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review purposes. All opinions are my own.Alright, let's just get this out of the way. I was SO HYPED for this book that I requested it TWICE and couldn't wait to start it. The premise (a girl goes missing at a boarding school and everyone has a different motive for what could have happened to her) had me at the words "missing at boarding school." I am a sucker for mystery/thriller type books, and this di Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review purposes. All opinions are my own.Alright, let's just get this out of the way. I was SO HYPED for this book that I requested it TWICE and couldn't wait to start it. The premise (a girl goes missing at a boarding school and everyone has a different motive for what could have happened to her) had me at the words "missing at boarding school." I am a sucker for mystery/thriller type books, and this did NOT deliver. Don't read this if you are looking for a mystery. Don't read this if you are looking for a thriller. Don't read this if you are looking for a dystopian/sci-fi read. Don't read this if you are looking for a book that makes any sense at all. In short, don't read this.I very rarely give 1 star reviews. It's just not my thing, but this fell so flat on so many levels, I couldn't let it go. The story line has HUGE holes and the ending is unexpected because it doesn't make sense. At all. It is abrupt, kind of a cliff-hanger, but also in a way that makes your head hurt and you wonder what you just spent hours reading. The characters are underdeveloped. As a reader, you don't really care about any of them, and you really don't find any redeeming qualities. The "villains" are not fleshed out, there is no real backstory to them, and it all makes for an unresolved and disappointing mess.
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  • Paula Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    One of the awesome things about being a book blogger and reviewer is that you get the chance to read and review books that won't be released till months later. That is like Redemption Prep which won't be released till April next year. The downside of this can be if they end on a cliffhanger but luckily Redemption Prep wasn't like that. In Redemption Prep, we meet a school where the students are all high achievers and children that in the real world had achieved greatness at such a young age. The One of the awesome things about being a book blogger and reviewer is that you get the chance to read and review books that won't be released till months later. That is like Redemption Prep which won't be released till April next year. The downside of this can be if they end on a cliffhanger but luckily Redemption Prep wasn't like that. In Redemption Prep, we meet a school where the students are all high achievers and children that in the real world had achieved greatness at such a young age. These are the children that are considered to be geniuses and prodigies. During their weekly church sessions, one of the students Emma goes missing and the school is in an uproar as strange things have started occurring now that Emma has disappeared. Has she gone home like the school wanted the students to think or is something more sinister going on? We learn that the majority of students have been taking a drug called Apex which Emma and Neesha created. This drug gives them the ability to succeed and now with Emma gone, the drug supply is running low and Neesha is worried Emma's disappearance is due to their drug distribution. Enter Evan - he was Emma's stalker in a way, but when we get down to the bare bones - I felt for Evan as he really cared about Emma and just wanted to be his friend but he was ostracised for being a weirdo. One of the things that drew me to read this book was the tagline Riverdale meets Twin Peaks and I have to say this is more Twin Peaks than Riverdale, though the school could resemble a bit like Edgar Evernever's Farm as the students discover the nasty truth behind Redemption Prep and what they hoped to use the students for. Can Evan and his new friends save the rest of the students from being guinea pigs for the school's teachers? Find out in this new release coming in 2020 - Redemption Prep by Samuel Miller.
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  • Katerina Kondrenko
    January 1, 1970
    2 out of 10 Guys, imagine something very dull and somehow lacking any rhythm so that you can't go with the flow you always stumble or trip over smth in random places. A few times you start to enjoy what you do but the anticlimactic and unsatisfying continuation screws it. That is what reading this book is. All characters expect but Evan are two-dimensional. I even thought that in the end it all will turn out to be a virtual simulation or smth like that where the only real person is Evan. They 2 out of 10 Guys, imagine something very dull and somehow lacking any rhythm so that you can't go with the flow you always stumble or trip over smth in random places. A few times you start to enjoy what you do but the anticlimactic and unsatisfying continuation screws it. That is what reading this book is. All characters expect but Evan are two-dimensional. I even thought that in the end it all will turn out to be a virtual simulation or smth like that where the only real person is Evan. They are also unlikable and illogical. They can save and betray at the same time and the same people. But! At first, I thought that a good editor can make the author's idea perfect (okay, just better), but the final changed my mind, 'cause (view spoiler)[religion meets UFO meets crazy scientists in the weirdest way ever (hide spoiler)] is such a fucked fuck. I also didn't get why (view spoiler)[ they needed sportsmen or the tallest boy in the world if the key to their plan is emotions. Huh? (hide spoiler)]The story has a very open ending so I guess it's a series. If not then AHAHAHAHAHAHA (histerical)
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  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
    ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository ◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository
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  • Sanya
    January 1, 1970
    still mad about how completely stupid the plot twist was
  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @8%It's a no from me. I know I didn't get very far into this book, but there wasn't anything I liked it even remotely interested me enough to keep going. Which is a travesty because boarding school books are always a draw for me. I did not like the writing - it was stilted and repetitive. The characters all seem very flat (but I didn't see much past their introduction so I cant say much for growth). I never like religious tones in my stories so that disappointed me too. I did go to the bad a DNF @8%It's a no from me. I know I didn't get very far into this book, but there wasn't anything I liked it even remotely interested me enough to keep going. Which is a travesty because boarding school books are always a draw for me. I did not like the writing - it was stilted and repetitive. The characters all seem very flat (but I didn't see much past their introduction so I cant say much for growth). I never like religious tones in my stories so that disappointed me too. I did go to the bad and try to read the last few chapters to see if it was worth it for me and I had to skim that too. This was basically a miss on every level and I couldn't be more frustrated. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy a great mystery. This one gives me a Looking for Alaska vibe with its setting and the secrets the students hold. It shall be interesting to find out what happened to Emma.
  • Lana
    January 1, 1970
    Did not enjoy. Read the first few chapters then skipped to the end. Still understood what happened. Wouldn’t recommend to anyone.
  • Madison Mary
    January 1, 1970
    "It makes you the most extreme version of yourself. And some people's most extreme versions don't work out very well"*1.5 Stars* *ARC received from Katherine Tegen Books*This book sounded interesting, but ended up being a miss. SUMMARY Redemption Prep, located deep in Utah, recruits uniquely talented students from all over to expand upon their gifts. When Emmalynn (Emma) Donahue goes missing one night, everyone takes notice. Most students believe she ran away, but three disconnected teens beli "It makes you the most extreme version of yourself. And some people's most extreme versions don't work out very well"*1.5 Stars* *ARC received from Katherine Tegen Books*This book sounded interesting, but ended up being a miss. SUMMARY Redemption Prep, located deep in Utah, recruits uniquely talented students from all over to expand upon their gifts. When Emmalynn (Emma) Donahue goes missing one night, everyone takes notice. Most students believe she ran away, but three disconnected teens believe that there is something more sinister at play within the walls of Redemption Prep. REVIEW This book started out rough, and it was a struggle to push through to the final pages. We follow three POVs, each with unique voices and their own secrets. Evan - The Stalker: Evan has been watching Emma for months, and after stealing her diary, believes she never would have run away. Aiden - The Addict Boyfriend: Aiden is a star basketball player, in line to receive a shot at the NBA. But his Apex addiction and the disappearance of his girlfriend are leading him to ruinNeesha - The Genius Best Friend: Neesha has been working on her drug, Apex, to win the yearly science competition. After Emma's advises her to use the student population as a test pool, the two start selling the drug. We mainly follow Evan, who is quite clearly a stalker, even if he doesn't believe so himself. Due to his high IQ and lack of social skills, Evan's POV is a struggle. He talks in his own code, which you have to learn, and also rambles for paragraphs and goes off topic. I found myself having the reread paragraphs in order to fully grasp what was going through his mind. The one positive to his character is that he is actively looking for Emma, so he is where the real "mystery" is. Aiden was really whiny. He is a rich kid who never understood that everything he worked for had actually just been handed to him. His POV just flat out annoyed me. Out of every character, he did grow the most, so that was a plus. I liked the representation of him being addicted to Apex and the toll it took on him not only while taking it, but also while going through periods of withdrawal and rationing. Neesha was cool, but once again, she didn't hold my attention as a POV. She was the most coherent POV, but was boring at times. She was very self-centered and I found it difficult to empathise with her. On a brighter note, Zaza was my favourite character :) The only part of this book that I really enjoyed was learning about Apex. This novel takes place in 1995, which is prior to the creation of Adderall. As you read the book you find out that Apex is basically Adderall, and Neesha has created it. This was a fun twist on a modern scientific discovery. Finally, the plot was just crazy and jumbled. The truth behind the creation of Redemption Prep and the "sinister underbelly" were lack luster. While it wasn't completely predictable, it left me more confused than intrigued. The "villain" felt too stiff and stereotypical, so I wasn't impressed by the reveal. Follow that up with an open-ending, and I was an unsatisfied reader. Samuel Miller has potential, but this book was a real miss for me.
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  • Vee_Bookish // in lockdown or not or maybe
    January 1, 1970
    Is the twist that they're all dead and the "redemption" is because they're all there because of something shitty they did as teenagers
  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, that was not at all what I thought it would be. I was thinking it would be a fun mystery with a supernatural element and what I got was a confusing plot with a weird twist that didn't make sense and an unsatisfying end. The beginning was a little bit confusing and having so many points of view didn't help. It took me a minute to get the characters straight and figure out what their motives were. Then when I was getting into the mystery, weird things were happening that I didn't think were Okay, that was not at all what I thought it would be. I was thinking it would be a fun mystery with a supernatural element and what I got was a confusing plot with a weird twist that didn't make sense and an unsatisfying end. The beginning was a little bit confusing and having so many points of view didn't help. It took me a minute to get the characters straight and figure out what their motives were. Then when I was getting into the mystery, weird things were happening that I didn't think were explained well. The twist wasn't expected, but that's because I don't think it fits the story and seemed like a random thing to throw in. We got the explanation all at once and it was too much information to understand. (view spoiler)[ It's one thing to say the school is testing the students' minds and trying to manipulate them, but the alien aspect made no sense. (hide spoiler)] One of the characters didn't have a satisfying ending for me and the others were just kind of meh. (view spoiler)[ I didn't get the thing about Evan keeping his emotions in check and then he's just stuck at the school? And what will happen with the others? (hide spoiler)]I wish this had gone a different direction and explained things better. Disappointing read.
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I was provided a free advanced copy of this book through epicreads.I don’t read a lot of mysteries. It’s not really a genre I go out of my way to read. But I do enjoy it, and when a concept interests me I will definitely read it. When I read the blurb for Redemption Prep I was kind of excited, a mystery about a secluded school in the mountains where things are all a bit suspicious and then a girl goes missing sounded really fun to me. But this did not live up to my expectations. It t Disclaimer: I was provided a free advanced copy of this book through epicreads.I don’t read a lot of mysteries. It’s not really a genre I go out of my way to read. But I do enjoy it, and when a concept interests me I will definitely read it. When I read the blurb for Redemption Prep I was kind of excited, a mystery about a secluded school in the mountains where things are all a bit suspicious and then a girl goes missing sounded really fun to me. But this did not live up to my expectations. It took me 200 pages to get into this book. Usually I’ll quit reading a book if I’m not invested by about 100 pages, but because I had an arc, I wanted to finish it. It just really dragged, going on so long without revealing anything new. I think you could have cut at least 50 pages out of first half and changed nothing.My biggest complaint was the characters. When I think about other YA mystery books I’ve enjoyed, such as All Eyes On Us, Sadie, or White Rabbit, the thing that I remember about those books, and really liked, was the characters. Redemption Prep does not have characters I enjoyed. The three main characters, Aiden, Neesha, and Evan were not likable or even particularly interesting. Aiden was just the worst, he was selfish and annoying and I couldn’t even begin to care about him. Neesha was the closest to likable, but she wasn’t interesting enough for me to care about her. Evan was the most interesting, but he was too creepy and annoying to be likable. There were a few side characters as well, but being honest the only one I remember was Emma, who I don’t think had any flaws and was very unexciting. I finished this book like two days ago and I’ve already forgotten the rest of the characters. The other major problem with the characters is that they don’t seem to follow any kind of logic. The characters just do whatever fits the plot best regardless of whether it’s in character or not. Which results in the characters making choices that don’t fit their personalities at all. I was mainly on board with the story, until the last few pages. I won’t spoil it, but there is a completely out of left field twist. This story point might have worked if it had been slowly discovered by the main characters. Instead it was monologued by the villain at the very last minute, leaving me feeling like it came out of absolutely nowhere. And then, the book just ends. I was so shocked because I thought there would be at least another chapter, but no, it just ends. It felt incomplete to me. I was really confused about whether this book wanted to be a fun adventure or a dark mystery. The tone was all over the place. It had the potential to be a really fun, exciting story, but I ended up being bored for half of it and annoyed by all the characters. I wanted to like this, but I just couldn’t.
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  • Jaclyn
    January 1, 1970
    Did not know how this book was going to end, but by the time it did, I already wanted book 2. This book really feels like riverdale met Twin Peaks.
  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    Sam is trying too hard to be literary and completely failed. Super disappointed.
  • tyler
    January 1, 1970
    Boarding school: CheckMissing student: CheckCult vibes: CheckFoggy mountain forests: Check90s culture: CHECK
  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    Rep: Indian girl protagonist; character with depressionWarnings: drug abuse and withdrawal, torture, unethical experimentation on minors, graphic physical violenceWhen I started this book, I was excited, because mystery in a boarding school is one of my favorite settings. And Redemption Prep does fulfil on some aspects of the setting and its tropes - the school is quite isolated, so it has that creep factor; the student body is hyper-competitive and you don't know who is trustworthy; there is de Rep: Indian girl protagonist; character with depressionWarnings: drug abuse and withdrawal, torture, unethical experimentation on minors, graphic physical violenceWhen I started this book, I was excited, because mystery in a boarding school is one of my favorite settings. And Redemption Prep does fulfil on some aspects of the setting and its tropes - the school is quite isolated, so it has that creep factor; the student body is hyper-competitive and you don't know who is trustworthy; there is definitely something shady going on with the school's origins as well as its teachers. However, the thing with the book was that I was having a good enough time with the plot for the most part, but when the reveals started, I was like 'no what are you doing with that trope, put it down' and the coup de grace was the ending which ends on sort of a cliffhanger and just cuts you off and you are left wondering if this was supposed to be a series, because it is utterly unsatisfying as a standalone. The plot centers around a popular student, Emma, who goes missing, and three people are mainly looking for her, aside from the school administration - her boyfriend Aiden, her friend/roommate Neesha, and her stalker Evan, with each getting their own PoV, and Emma's perspective coming through her diary entries. The school's response to her going missing is weird, and it unearths some extreme things the school does, like hire a ton of security who are called 'maintenance workers', frequent invasion of student privacy (which is the least of it, tbh) and their over-involvement in student success. Aiden is probably the most boring PoV, because I honestly couldn't care about him; Evan's is questionable because he was stalking her for months to the point where he could accurately predict her patterns; Neesha's is interesting because she is stuck between what she knows and what she is being told regarding Emma's disappearance. Add in the fact that Neesha and Emma were selling drugs (which was also a way to conduct human trials for Neesha's invention of adderall) makes it even more sordid, because well the suspect pool extends. However, there are many things brought up in the plot that don't always pan out. Her invented drug does tie into the plot, but I was so underwhelmed by the reveals that it didn't even feel momentous. Evan's perspective gives us most of the exposition for the book, and I am guessing his pattern thing and rules for communication may be suggesting he is autistic. Anyway, his drive for finding Emma stems from his own mother's death, and yet, it is also addressed that it does not make his stalking right. The school's teachers are a bit stock scientist trope so I was disappointed there, too. And the final reveal about the school's origin was definitely fulfiling the Twin Peaks comparison, though I don't see anywhere how the plot relates to Riverdale. Finally, all I can say is that while it is atmospheric and an interesting read for the most part, the mystery and the ending are underwhelming. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Katherine Tegen Books, via Edelweiss.
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  • Laura Martens
    January 1, 1970
    First of all: I finished this book in awe, got ready to add it on goodreads and find praise from like-minded people and reeled back when I saw the rating. Did we not read the same book? It's the only explanation I can fathom because I really, really liked this one! I absolutely LOVED A Lite Too Bright, and when I heard that Samuel Miller was publishing another book (and a dark academia one no less!!) I was so excited, pre-ordered the book immediately and screamed when the package arrived. I star First of all: I finished this book in awe, got ready to add it on goodreads and find praise from like-minded people and reeled back when I saw the rating. Did we not read the same book? It's the only explanation I can fathom because I really, really liked this one! I absolutely LOVED A Lite Too Bright, and when I heard that Samuel Miller was publishing another book (and a dark academia one no less!!) I was so excited, pre-ordered the book immediately and screamed when the package arrived. I started it yesterday, finished it this morning and DAMN I loved it. Premise: An elite prep school in the middle of nowhere. No applications--all students are invited by the school, tuitions are paid in full. And all students are gifted in some way. But early on it becomes clear that not everything in this school is what it seems; why are there so many maintenance workers, and why are some students behaving strangely? When Emma, one of the most popular students of the school, disappears without a trace, a group of students start digging deeper into the school itself, uncovering secrets that endanger them all. I love Samuel Miller's writing. The sentences flow so effortlessly, and ever so often there's a sentence that just makes me go ugghhh. His words paint such vivid pictures, I could feel the atmosphere of Redemption Prep, see the buildings and the characters in front of me, until you could have convinced me that it's a real place (I actually wondered, in the beginning, if this book is based on a real story!). I also really liked how interviews and testimonies from and with the characters are woven into the narrative--it gives the book an almost "true-crime-podcast" feeling, and, again, gave me the feeling of the whole story having actually happened. The plot is so good!! What starts off as a simple prep school story very rapidly becomes more and more sinister, until you're reading with wide eyes as you realize what is actually going on. There are so many twists and turns, as more and more curtains are drawn back and the true story emerges. At the same time, I didn't feel lost once. The build-up is fantastic, and I especially loved the elements of foreshadowing that only reveal themselves in retrospect. Another thing I really liked are the character developments. Almost all characters are almost one-dimensional in the beginning, with their minds set on fixed goals. Over the course of the story, they really reflect and develop, but really believably. LOVED it. It makes me so sad to see that this book apparently isn't for everyone! But if you are looking for a multi-layered mystery set in a creepy, "stranger-things-style" prep school, with interesting characters and a plot-twisty story, I would definitely recommend picking up this book!
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I have voluntarily reviewed this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+, thank you!Alright, "someone goes missing in a closed-off place and an investigation ensues revealing a ton of messed up stuff on the way" is one of the best tropes ever. I wanted to get my hands on this book for this very reason. But then I saw the Goodreads rating and I thought... Oh no.Maybe this is why in the end I didn't think it was that bad. The characters maybe weren't origina Disclaimer: I have voluntarily reviewed this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+, thank you!Alright, "someone goes missing in a closed-off place and an investigation ensues revealing a ton of messed up stuff on the way" is one of the best tropes ever. I wanted to get my hands on this book for this very reason. But then I saw the Goodreads rating and I thought... Oh no.Maybe this is why in the end I didn't think it was that bad. The characters maybe weren't original or memorable but I didn't hate any of them, even Evan with his stalker-y tendencies which really threw me off at the beginning. The one I really didn't care about was Emma since she felt more like a plot device than an actual character and everything we knew about her was from the point of view of others who'd mostly seen what they wanted to. The villains were... Really plain and their villainous intentions were known through far too little of the book to actually bring in something constructive. The plot was pretty much all over the place - there were no actual hints about what happened to Emma and the "threats" appearing around the school turned out to be unrelated to each other and so random that they didn't really build the suspense well. I did enjoy the small "that's not how a school should work" moments I had while reading and I'm glad I turned out to be right but the final reveal was really random and out of the blue. I feel like it's not the idea itself that was bad but the lack of time put into building it up. We get a lot of information in the last two chapters and there's really no time to resolve any of that making it feel unsatisfying. The whole ending is unsatisfying with its weird cliff-hangery openness. I'm not a big fan of open endings but most of the time I at least am aware that the book ended. With Redemption Prep I went to another page expecting another chapter and was very confused when I saw Acknowledgements. I had to re-read the whole chapter to make sure I didn't miss anything but nope. It just ends like that. I think that's my biggest problem - the lack of resolution for something that might have been a pretty freaky plot twist and lead to some darker moments. It was a bit of a waste in my opinion. However, I didn't hate the writing style and the characters so I think there sure is potential for improvement. I'm sure there are better books out there following a similar premise but this one certainly wasn't horrible.
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  • Liralen
    January 1, 1970
    A boarding school in the middle of nowhere where odd things are happening. These are the best and brightest, but they don't really have classes (maybe, not clear) and never go home (maybe, not clear)...and then the most amazing girl around (maybe, not clear) goes missing, and it's up to her friends (who she doesn't really seem to like or know anything about) to figure out what happened to her.The ending here was pretty off the rails (with weird cliffhanger-y stuff that makes me think there are m A boarding school in the middle of nowhere where odd things are happening. These are the best and brightest, but they don't really have classes (maybe, not clear) and never go home (maybe, not clear)...and then the most amazing girl around (maybe, not clear) goes missing, and it's up to her friends (who she doesn't really seem to like or know anything about) to figure out what happened to her.The ending here was pretty off the rails (with weird cliffhanger-y stuff that makes me think there are more books to follow), but it never really hit the mark for me as it was. I think it's this: the book starts midway through the year for these characters. They've been at Redemption Prep for years by now, so they already know each other (more or less), and...they aren't ever entirely introduced to the reader. I ended up never really feeling connected to any of the characters (and very much disliking some of them). I suspect that the author came in with a much better sense of the characters than is conveyed on page, but that there's that thing where the author can see all the subtext and backstory and forgets that the reader doesn't have that information. (I might be wrong, but...there's a lot I don't know about the characters here.)Plot-wise, there's...a lot. There's pretty much no school, never mind that the characters are supposed to be in some incredible prep school with an unlimited academic budget and really intense schedules. I never quite figured out what any of the characters' motivations were, including the Evil Villain Who Is Evil and goes on an extended Evil Villain monologue at the end to explain said motivation. I don't understand what the repeated returns to religion are supposed to mean. I don't know what any of the characters' daily lives are like, I barely know what their home lives are like; I don't know anything about their dorm rooms or classes or teachers... But there's a lot of muddled mystery that changes shape over the book and is never fully clear to me. It...might or might not be paranormal. Or cult-related. Or just full of some really deranged adults? A puzzle.
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  • Jenny Ashby
    January 1, 1970
    Couldn't wait to get my hands on this as soon as I read a review and I pushed aside other TBR items to get into it ASAP. What a disappointment by the end. I was expecting mystery and I guess there is the mystery of where Emma has gone, but not in the classic mystery sense. Instead, this is more a thriller of what is going on at this exclusive school. I could get behind that concept as well if the story was well done, but the characters didn't do anything for me and the tension was not there for Couldn't wait to get my hands on this as soon as I read a review and I pushed aside other TBR items to get into it ASAP. What a disappointment by the end. I was expecting mystery and I guess there is the mystery of where Emma has gone, but not in the classic mystery sense. Instead, this is more a thriller of what is going on at this exclusive school. I could get behind that concept as well if the story was well done, but the characters didn't do anything for me and the tension was not there for most of the book with clues that were not obvious to the reader. Not to THIS reader anyway. Some spoilers from here on out as I complain about things I don't like so be warned.Evan truly is a stalker even though he eventually categorizes his attention as love and later becomes the hero of the story. However he obviously is supposed to fall somewhere on the spectrum so maybe his stalkerism is just his processing issues and not supposed to be creepy.But speaking of Evan.... The escaping group had a "leave no man behind" mindset in getting Neesha, Aiden, and Zaza (was that his nickname???) so why is Even left to be the martyr? And they didn't have enough people - including the Russian hitman - to take out the crazy psychologist? And if the school is collecting those who excel in every area, maybe there's a weapons expert somewhere on campus who could just blow up the machinery and bypass crazy lady entirely.I was still willing to view this book as just "fine" until the secret alien doomsday cult plot was revealed. Hiding behind a confusing thicket of Christianity. THAT'S where all this was leading? And the addictive drug was the key to it all. I'm sighing just remembering all that. Nope, that's where I knew there was no saving the generous three star rating.
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  • Cole Williams
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first real review, and also my first ARC review, so please bear with me.This book was given to me for free in exchange for an unbiased review (or what the proper lingo is here)I got an email from epic reads insiders saying that they were giving out free ARC of a "Twin peaks meets Riverdale" and that was right up my alley. I did read this in 2 days, mainly because I was on spring break and a little bit because of corona. The cover was beautiful and the synopsis was intriguing.I gave th This is my first real review, and also my first ARC review, so please bear with me.This book was given to me for free in exchange for an unbiased review (or what the proper lingo is here)I got an email from epic reads insiders saying that they were giving out free ARC of a "Twin peaks meets Riverdale" and that was right up my alley. I did read this in 2 days, mainly because I was on spring break and a little bit because of corona. The cover was beautiful and the synopsis was intriguing.I gave this book 3.5/5 stars, and just rounded up to 4. It was fine. It took a little bit to get into the plot, but once you did, it didn't slow down. Even at the last page, I wasn't sure how it was going to end. It is sort-of like riverdale, in the sense that it has teenagers doing lots of investigations but that's where the similarities end. Some issues that I had were the short chapters. The book is broken into parts, but the individual chapters aren't numbered, so it can be easy to lose track of where you are. Another complaint was that one of the side characters; Peter, says "buddy" far more than anyone should. The ending came completely out of left field, abandoned the genre and felt like it was pulled together at the last minute. However, it was a fine book. It won't be on my top 10 and I won't likely re-read it, but I would probably pick up the sequel. I would certainly watch it if it was adapted to a tv series (which I believe that it certainly has the potential). Some other notes are that it is set in the 1990s, but other than not having cell phones or laptops, that isn't too obvious. If you want something that will draw you in and have you guessing pick it up. I read the last 250 pages all in one sitting just because each time that I was going to take a break he drew me back in with another twist.
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  • Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
    January 1, 1970
    Redemption Prep started out fairly interesting (though still your run of the mill YA mystery) then got a little bit boring and then totally tanked at the end.Redemption Prep is a place where the elite of the elite attend so to be among them you have to have something really going for you. If I remember right it has three povs, you have Evan the creepy stalker, Aiden the boyfriend and Neesha the roommate. There is also some transcriptions usually at the beginning of the chapters of students being Redemption Prep started out fairly interesting (though still your run of the mill YA mystery) then got a little bit boring and then totally tanked at the end.Redemption Prep is a place where the elite of the elite attend so to be among them you have to have something really going for you. If I remember right it has three povs, you have Evan the creepy stalker, Aiden the boyfriend and Neesha the roommate. There is also some transcriptions usually at the beginning of the chapters of students being interviewed as they try to find out where Emma disappeared too. Each wants to find out what happened to Emma but they also have their own reason for wanting to find her. Emma knows a lot about them and their secrets. Through the three povs we find out a little about who Emma is and some of the reasons why she is missing and then farther into the story you find out a few things about Redemption Prep and why type of school it really is.It really was like most of your average YA mystery books as someone has gone missing and then there are those that want to find her and everyone has secrets to protect. Then the ending happened and I think that is probably where the twin peaks reference goes as  it got seriously freaky weird but not in a good way more in a what am I reading way. It really had me wishing I would have quit before I got to the end as it was learning towards at least 3 stars but the end ruined everything for me. There really wasn't much in the way of mystery to this one either.
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  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    Meh. This was not at all what I expected. I wanted boarding school with secrets and lies, and this is....I don’t even know what. Muddled sci fi that’s apparently a series starter? I mentioned in an early update that it feels like this book was written on Adderall. Ironically enough, since it’s the 90s, one of the characters seems to have invented Adderall (or something damn close to it) like 3 chapters after I made that observation. There’s weirdly both too much AND not enough happening? We have Meh. This was not at all what I expected. I wanted boarding school with secrets and lies, and this is....I don’t even know what. Muddled sci fi that’s apparently a series starter? I mentioned in an early update that it feels like this book was written on Adderall. Ironically enough, since it’s the 90s, one of the characters seems to have invented Adderall (or something damn close to it) like 3 chapters after I made that observation. There’s weirdly both too much AND not enough happening? We have 3 narrators and only one of them (Neesha) is remotely interesting. The other two are whiny boys projecting their love onto Emma, the missing girl. And there are various other bit players flitting about as well. It just kind of feels like every idea was thrown at the wall, and then in the end I’m still not 100% sure what happened? Like...are there aliens? That came out of nowhere. I just feel like there could have been a better build up, more of a feeling of dread — clearly the maintenance workers aren’t actually janitors, but I wish we’d heard more about that before the last 50 pages. It feels manically plotted at times, with all kinds of shit popping up everywhere, but then also these weird interludes where nothing happens and we sit with our sad man pain for a while. Also I feel like setting it in the 90s is an excuse for no one to be able to use the Internet (they do, once, in a ridiculous moment that is SO cringey). Ultimately, this was a disappointment. I don’t think I will be back for the sequel.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    At first I was really confused by the star rating on Goodreads. It was rated so low, but it was on the NYT Bestselling list for YA hardcovers. I was really confused about the stars and now I'm confused about the Bestseller's list.I DNFed Redemption Prep by Samuel Miller. I didn't want to. I reached 75% of the way through and then the ending arc happened... and it lost me. The characters weren't as engrossing as I really would have liked, so I was relying on the plot to keep me reading. When that At first I was really confused by the star rating on Goodreads. It was rated so low, but it was on the NYT Bestselling list for YA hardcovers. I was really confused about the stars and now I'm confused about the Bestseller's list.I DNFed Redemption Prep by Samuel Miller. I didn't want to. I reached 75% of the way through and then the ending arc happened... and it lost me. The characters weren't as engrossing as I really would have liked, so I was relying on the plot to keep me reading. When that failed, I literally had no other reason to keep reading it.This book has a lot of parallels to Truly Devious, but Maureen Johnson does it better. Redemption Prep is not what I expected or wanted, so I think if the back-of-the-book description conveyed the book more accurately, it would've done better. It would have attracted readers that would actually like this book, but instead the description attracted readers who wanted something different.Redemption Prep isn't a mystery or a crime book, looking for a lost person. It's a conspiracy book, where a school turns out to be something that it's not. I think there's a huge difference in expectations here. If you wanted a mystery, this isn't for you. If you want a school that turns out to be much darker and hiding stuff, this book might be for you. I don't like conspiracy books and if I'd known that's what this was... I wouldn't have picked it up.
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  • Amal
    January 1, 1970
    I personally didn’t enjoy Redemption Prep as much as I thought I would I thought the plot twist was too predictable and unnecessary and was revealed too early, the book is slow paced in the beginning and is interesting in the middle but the end brought us back to the beginning; boring and it lacked the mystery vibe. It really did have SOOOOO much potential to be an amazing book that you can’t stop thinking about but when I think about this book I frown, I didn’t really enjoy the characters much I personally didn’t enjoy Redemption Prep as much as I thought I would I thought the plot twist was too predictable and unnecessary and was revealed too early, the book is slow paced in the beginning and is interesting in the middle but the end brought us back to the beginning; boring and it lacked the mystery vibe. It really did have SOOOOO much potential to be an amazing book that you can’t stop thinking about but when I think about this book I frown, I didn’t really enjoy the characters much except probably 3 of them and i although loved some parts of the book and there was definitely morales in it but I feel like sometimes there shouldn’t be a moral. The was an okay book,I think I might reread it in 6 years unlike all my other books. It could have been amazing but it was turned to an okay I think that Samuel Miller is a great author but needs more time with some of his future work, I would definitely read Any books he would write in the future but I don’t think that mystery is the right genre for him.
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  • Mikayla Tewksbury
    January 1, 1970
    This story is full of spooky, cult-like mystery vibes set in a boarding school for gifted students. It centers around the students trying to find Emma, a student who suddenly goes missing while none of the staff seem to care. This book is weird, and strange, and overall pretty interesting. I feel like there are so many perspectives and characters that I had a hard time getting attached to any of them, which overall did have a slightly negative impact on how much I enjoyed the story. I felt like This story is full of spooky, cult-like mystery vibes set in a boarding school for gifted students. It centers around the students trying to find Emma, a student who suddenly goes missing while none of the staff seem to care. This book is weird, and strange, and overall pretty interesting. I feel like there are so many perspectives and characters that I had a hard time getting attached to any of them, which overall did have a slightly negative impact on how much I enjoyed the story. I felt like there was just...so much happening that none of the events really made me gasp or surprised me. It felt a little more like, "Oh..that's strange. What's next?" It kept me guessing, but lacked a huge emotional punch for me.I think this could be a fun read for the spooky season, like the creepy nights in the fall around Halloween, but I'm not sure that it would be a book I reread a few times. Thank you to Edelweiss+ and HarperCollins for giving me a free copy to review! All opinions are my own.
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  • Kelly H (Readallaboutit)
    January 1, 1970
    *** I received an ARC from the epic reads insider program. These opinions are entirely my own ***I DNFed this book after 13 pages because of such strong language! I flipped through the rest of the pages and I decided I would not be reading it. I am not going to fill my head with disgusting words! I really loved the idea, seeing as I love mysteries but I am not going to be solving this one. I'm actually really crushed that I am unable to read it because I was really really excited for it. It says *** I received an ARC from the epic reads insider program. These opinions are entirely my own ***I DNFed this book after 13 pages because of such strong language! I flipped through the rest of the pages and I decided I would not be reading it. I am not going to fill my head with disgusting words! I really loved the idea, seeing as I love mysteries but I am not going to be solving this one. I'm actually really crushed that I am unable to read it because I was really really excited for it. It says on the back that it is recommended for ages 13 and grades 8 and up; I would never give a child that age this book for the language alone. I don't even know what other content is in it, but that's just how it's going to be. I'm really sick of not being able to read books because of their ridiculous and disgusting content! You don't have to put such in your book to make people like it! Believe it or not, people WANT clean content!
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  • Katie Lawrence
    January 1, 1970
    Hmm well this had a lot of potential. Definitely a fair bit of action and an intriguing premise. Beloved student Emma disappears and her friends, stalker, drug purchasers attempt to find her. Is their elite boarding school what it seems? What does the drug Emma and her roommate Neesha created really do to people? Why have these students specifically been recruited? Doesn’t this sound like the makings of a great book? And yet it kind of fell flat for me. The ending really threw me and I didn’t fe Hmm well this had a lot of potential. Definitely a fair bit of action and an intriguing premise. Beloved student Emma disappears and her friends, stalker, drug purchasers attempt to find her. Is their elite boarding school what it seems? What does the drug Emma and her roommate Neesha created really do to people? Why have these students specifically been recruited? Doesn’t this sound like the makings of a great book? And yet it kind of fell flat for me. The ending really threw me and I didn’t feel enough was explained. I wish it’d been a bit easier to connect with the characters as well. Overall enough going for it that I might recommend it, but I did leave wanting a better realized story and more detail. I almost wonder if I’d have liked this better if it’s followed all of Emma’s fourth year from her perspective...
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  • Liv
    January 1, 1970
    Redemption Prep is about a missing girl at a remote Boarding School for gifted individuals, and the efforts being made to find her. The book has a very eerie vibe. The comparisons to Riverdale are accurate - the feel of it is very similar to that dark and creepy atmosphere. From the very beginning, the plot moves fast, but it still feels like it isn't really going anywhere. I quickly found my attention wandering, and the ending was disappointing. The characters were varied and mildly interesting Redemption Prep is about a missing girl at a remote Boarding School for gifted individuals, and the efforts being made to find her. The book has a very eerie vibe. The comparisons to Riverdale are accurate - the feel of it is very similar to that dark and creepy atmosphere. From the very beginning, the plot moves fast, but it still feels like it isn't really going anywhere. I quickly found my attention wandering, and the ending was disappointing. The characters were varied and mildly interesting, but I didn't connect with any of them and I felt none of them had much personality. The story is well written, but the style just wasn't for me and I didn't enjoy it, even though I really, really wanted to!I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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  • Nora
    January 1, 1970
    Disclosure: I received a free advance copy of this book through the Epic Reads Insiders programThe book is an incredibly quick read, but that's all it has going for it. Some things in the book aren't ever totally explained. Certain things that feel like they should be wrapped up with the mystery are left out of the final explanation, and some details are disjointed and feel unnecessary. The ending to the mystery is unsatisfying and comes out of left field, and leaves you confused. Also, the char Disclosure: I received a free advance copy of this book through the Epic Reads Insiders programThe book is an incredibly quick read, but that's all it has going for it. Some things in the book aren't ever totally explained. Certain things that feel like they should be wrapped up with the mystery are left out of the final explanation, and some details are disjointed and feel unnecessary. The ending to the mystery is unsatisfying and comes out of left field, and leaves you confused. Also, the characters, especially Dr Richardson, don't act like real people, breaking any suspension of disbelief I had left.A full version of this review (and many others) is available on my website, noramcintyre.com
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