Thursday, 7 March 2019

Review | The Classroom by A.L. Bird

Published by HQ Digital on September 16, 2018


I bought this book purely based on the cover – I hadn’t even read the blurb when I one-clicked this onto my Kindle. So covers do sell books! The premise for The Classroom based simply on the cover and its tagline had me intrigued enough to make this my first read of 2019 and the storytelling didn’t disappoint in keeping me engrossed from the first page to the last.

The book is mostly told from the perspective of two main characters – Kirsten and Miriam. Kirsten and her husband Ian are parents to five-year-old Harriet. As Kirsten so desperately wanted a child and went through several years of IVF before Harriet was born, she is quite protective over her daughter and is struggling with the idea of Harriet starting school.

Miriam is a teacher at Harriet’s school, and the introduction of a breakfast club at the school suits Kirsten, as a busy working mum, perfectly. She can drop Harriet off at school earlier and watch how comfortable she feels under the care of her new teacher Miriam, and though there is something a bit off about Miriam, Kirsten is content that her daughter is safe at school.

What I especially liked about The Classroom was how it always kept me guessing. I found a lot of the characters’ actions to be unpredictable and this meant I began every chapter on tenterhooks, obsessed with finding out what was going to happen next. This was definitely the case when I reached Part 2 of the book as I raced through this part much quicker than I had even realised, eager to know what was to come.

This book had me divided – I just did not know whose side to pick as I had very conflicted feelings about both Miriam and Kirsten and in fact some of the other supporting characters too. They were interesting characters to read their side of the story from, as though neither of them were characters you’d really want to befriend in real life, I could understand some of the motives and actions for both of them and so this added to the suspense of the storytelling as not only did I not know how the book would end, I also didn’t know how I wanted it to end either.

Whilst I definitely enjoyed reading my first book from A.L. Bird, there were a few aspects of the storytelling that niggled me a bit but can’t really be mentioned much because of spoilers. I felt like there were a few dramatic scenes in the book that were kind of half started and then we were just told the rest of what had happened rather than being able to picture them and imagine them actually unfolding. Quite a few aspects of this book were pretty unbelievable, and so maybe if those scenes had been developed fully, I would have found them less distracting and been able to really buy into the tension that was lingering on the pages.

Despite this, I can’t say The Classroom wasn’t an absorbing book to read. I was engrossed and fascinated by every chapter, always with bated breath anxious to find out how everything would turn out in the end. I loved that I genuinely had no clue how the book would end. I didn’t know whether the story of the book could lead to any possible satisfying ending, but it was definitely a thought provoking one!

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