Reading

“For Your Own Good” by Samantha Downing

If only people understood how difficult it is to teach these students to be better people. He tries and tries and tries, and yet sometimes, even he can’t help them.

Not that he’s going to give up. He never gives up.

It’s for their own good.”

Teddy Crutcher is a teacher at an elite private high school with a chip on his shoulder and a bent towards psychopathy. Chock full of self importance and a fledgling martyrdom complex, Teddy fancies himself the star of the show as tragedy after tragedy take place at the illustrious Belmot Academy. He basks in revenge and awkward encounters.

“‘Nice to see you, even at a time like this.’

‘Yes well,’ she says. ‘There’s been too much tragedy around this school, hasn’t there?’

‘We were just talking about it,’ James says, glancing down at his phone.

‘Well,’ Teddy says. ‘At least there hasn’t been a school shooting. I guess there’s that.’

The silence that follows is long and uncomfortable, and Teddy enjoys every second of it.”

Samantha Downing’s newest novel is darkly fun, if a bit undercooked. Like binging on a guilty pleasure, the reader simultaneously continues to turn the pages eagerly while feeling a little sick with indulgence and a smattering of disappointment. All in all, this is a fair to middling thriller that begs to be read poolside, allowing the reader to periodically wash away a sense of grime with a the refreshing shock of cool waters.

Thank you to Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, for providing an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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