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Saturday, July 17, 2021

#ATBR2021 Review: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

For Your Own Good
by Samantha Downing

Thanks so much to Kaye Publicity, NetGalley and Berkley for this gifted book.

Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: July 20, 2021
384 Pages
Genres: Suspense, Thriller

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn't be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It's really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

My Review:

Oh the troubled life of academia and the entitlement of the rich... how I do love to read about thee....

The teacher who would do *anything* for his students.  The parents who will go one too many steps too far to ensure their child is the elite of the elite.  The student who observes and may not be quite as innocent as you think.  The mindset of the very interesting - who are only doing any of this... for your own good. 😉

This is my 3rd Downing book and just solidifies my love for her writing.  One of my favorite things about her novels is the dark humor and campy fun that comes with a suspenseful read that keeps you on your tippy toes.  Our very psychotic friend, Teddy, is such a fun character to get to know. So unapologetically himself and being inside his head is a treat. But we also get the POVs of several other characters, and I always enjoy being inside the heads of many.  Everyone is in a pressure cooker of their own making - when one blows up, who are the ones who actually get hurt in the process? 

FOR YOUR OWN GOOD doesn't quite nail it for me like Downing's two previous books did.  We still get the deviously, brilliant mind of the author with addictive short chapters and a storyline that moves at a quick pace... however, I think the ending didn't quite satisfy me like the others had and it almost got a bit too campy in its feel for my mood at this particular time.

There's no mistaking that Downing is one of my favorite thriller authors and if you haven't read her yet, I highly encourage you to pick up any of her books.  Maybe this wasn't my favorite of the three I've read so far, but I still had such fun with all these characters in all their sociopathic glory.


Jessica's Review:

To say this was one of my most anticipated releases would be an understatement. I’ve absolutely loved what I’ve picked up by Samantha Downing and my expectations were high when I picked up FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! Another binge worthy thriller with memorable characters, questionable morals, plenty of twists, short chapters, and lots of suspense.

Teddy is the Teacher of the Year at the prestigious private school, Belmont Academy. His mission was to put the students first, and it didn’t really matter to him how it was accomplished. Some of these entitled kids needed more help than others, but be wasn’t going to give up on them. At a school event a parent collapses and is later pronounced dead – a freak accident or was there foul play? When others at the school are also killed by the same means, the students, teachers, and parents are all one edge. Who is the killer?

I don’t want to give away anything and potentially spoil the fun, but this book was so much fun. Who knew the world of private schools was so cutthroat? I certainly didn’t! Downing gives us the POVs of students and teachers as the mystery unfolds. The layers slowly peel back to reveal more questions and revelations. I loved Zach’s POV and Teddy was just someone I loved to kind of hate. The pressure on the students and faculty is immense and now add in some murder to make the semester even more stressful.

I cannot recommend her books enough to people, and this just firmly cemented Samantha Downing as an auto-buy author. If you want a quick, smart, and addictive thriller, then this is the author for you. FOR YOUR OWN GOOD gives us a glimpse into the dark side of world of private schools and academia.

5 stars

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