The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

It was creepy, spooky, scary, icky, wicked, and horrifyingly delicious.  Meet Victoria Wright, a 12-year-old who’s so driven that she won’t even make friends because friends are just “idiots trying to distract you” from the goal of being the most perfect child living on Silldie Place and attending Impetus Academy, “Where Tradition Meets Innovation.” Blonde-curled Victoria — compulsively well-behaved, tidy, competitive, smugly self-assured — lives in the town of Belleville, a Stepford, Conn., clone in which “everything smelled of clean, crisp money” and upper-class, overachieving parents breed self-absorbed, perfectionist children.

Victoria’s only friend, the unkempt musical prodigy Lawrence Prewitt, she dismisses as a personal project. But when on Tuesday, Oct. 11, Lawrence suddenly disappears, Victoria slowly begins to realize that something is very wrong in Belleville. Her suspicion strengthens further as gradually more and more students — always the bohemian or unpopular ones — begin to disappear, too, and the Impetus Academy teachers began to act oddly cheery or terrified.

What’s going on? Victoria isn’t sure, but it seems to involve perpetually rainy weather, odd cockroach-like insects, extremely strange behavior amongst adults and popular kids, and the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, an orphanage located near Victoria’s home. Victoria knows two things for certain: (1) most of the adults who live on her street — including her family’s housekeeper — and most of her teachers have at least an inkling about what’s going on but are terrified to speak out, and (2) Victoria Wright, using the same relentless determination which she has lavished on getting straight-As and keeping her room and life immaculately tidy, will get to the bottom of the eerie matter. Or else! Along the way, Victoria proves herself to be more clever and courageous — and compassionate — than anyone knew.

I had no idea that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls would turn into such a page-turner! Or so suspenseful and scary and much darker than I expected.  Loved it!

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