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Young, Gifted and Dead (St Jude's Academy #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  336 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
You can’t get into St Jude’s Academy unless you’re gifted, talented and supremely rich. New girl Alyssa is on a scholarship and feels like an outsider - she's not even that smart, apart from her photographic memory (and that's cheating, right?). Then one day her room-mate Lily is found floating face down in the lake. It looks like suicide, but, torn apart with guilt and ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Macmillan (first published October 1st 2013)
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Thea Dudfield Not sure how to answer this one, I'd probably say a bit of romance alongside mystery and adventure. If this makes any sense then I'd say it's kinda…moreNot sure how to answer this one, I'd probably say a bit of romance alongside mystery and adventure. If this makes any sense then I'd say it's kinda what you'd imagine as a book with a few deaths, fights and spies as well as a private boarding school and lots of crazy 17-18 year old kids! Hope this helped :)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Becca (Pretty Little Memoirs)
First up; Alyssa was such a good narrator! I sometimes find in YA books that surround several characters that entwine into the dialogue frequently, that sometimes the main character voice can get lost, but Alyssa is up there with my favourites. And being her point of view, I felt that extra connection with the plot, and it really does help a reader when we can empathize and root for the main character throughout, by bonding with them.
Onto the story! Wow. Lucy Carver is on her way to becoming the
...more
charlotte
(1) the instalove is stifling in this one, (2) why do the police just believe everything she says and every theory she puts forward i call bull, (3) that eidetic memory sure is handy hmmm
Mehsi
Actual rating 1.5 stars.

The book started off at a good start. A girl gets dumped at a boarding school and she looks kind of forward to the time there. Sadly it was not meant to be as one of her roommates gets dragged from the lake... dead.

And that is where the story kind of fell flat. I know the girl barely knew Lily and all, but other than a few tears, a few fleeing from the room, I didn't see her grief. And later on when something else happens, she again, doesn't grief that much. The only thin
...more
Natasha Wilson
Sep 22, 2014 Natasha Wilson rated it really liked it
"Young gifted and Dead" by Lucy Carver follows Alyssa Stephens, a shy red haired girl who earns a scholarship to St Judes Academy- an academy for the elite. Coming from an extremely different environment, you are taken along with her struggle to fit in, which is something i can relate to. When Alyssa decides to investigate further into the death of her roommate Lily, she unearths suspicious clues, and as she follows them she finds herself getting deeper and deeper into the puzzle.

I decided to re
...more
Charon Lloyd-Roberts
So this is yet another book that has been sitting on my TBR pile since last year and I was already one and half chapters into it so why not finish it.

A summery for Young, Gifted and Dead:

Welcome to St Jude's Academy, the elite boarding school where the students are beautiful, talented and dangerously out of control...

New girl Alyssa is on a scholarship and feels like an outsider-she's not even that smart, apart from her freaky photographic memory. Then one day her room-mate Lily is found dead. I
...more
Lissa
Apr 30, 2016 Lissa rated it it was amazing
This book is sooooooooo amazing. It took me only 4 days to read because I was so in to it! The book and storyline is actually realistic and mostly easy to follow. The characters are great and really believable. The story can be very sad in parts - most murder mysteries are the same - but I just couldn't put it down. Set in a boarding school it is similar to murder most unladylike (a personal favourite) however Young, gifted and dead is aimed at older children and teenages (for language and plot ...more
Vicky Perera
Feb 27, 2014 Vicky Perera rated it did not like it
I reached page 60 and gave up... Really not worth the read. The main character, Alyssa just appears slightly superficial and this is just waay too teenager-ish..obsession over this Jack guy she barely met just irritates me.
Jodie Donaldson
Jan 12, 2014 Jodie Donaldson rated it it was amazing
I absolutley LOVED this book, definatley deserved 5 stars. Unexpected ending with Guy but a really good ending! ♥♥
Emma
Rating 3.5 to 4
Really enjoyed this book, the murder, the mystery! It left you hanging til the very end. Great debut... Review coming shortly!
Oda
Jan 23, 2016 Oda added it
Shelves: books-for-trade
had to dnf-it. Cant stand the writing style.
Heidi
Dec 09, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it
This is a really intelligent series (no pun intended) and I loved the perspective. Lucy Carver wrote in a really engaging style and her storyline had me hooked from the start.
I would seriously recommend this book to anyone who wants an engaging mystery with a bit of YA romance--but without any non PG scenes.
Amy
Nov 15, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like hidden gems
Shelves: british
St Jude’s sinks it’s claws into you, with its deceit & mysterious airs, which extent well beyond murder.

blog review here- with GIFs

I definitely don’t regret buying this (cos that’s essentially what happened). The beautiful thing was that although the school is elite we feel like it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be & lots of the students don’t want it to be like that. Boarding schools work both ways- it’s up to the author. Do they want the children to act like the sun shines out their
...more
Ruby
Jan 26, 2014 Ruby rated it liked it
This review was first posted on Ruby's Reads.

I’ve heard absolutely nothing about this book. I haven’t seen it featured on any blogs, nor read any reviews (that I recall). Also, I haven’t read The Gallagher Girls books, so the comparison in the description means nothing to me. This was kind of refreshing. I read this book because it sounded interesting and that was all. The end result was middling. Young, Gifted and Dead wasn’t the hidden gem I want every book to be, but I’ll definitely be readin
...more
Amanda
Sep 21, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it
Well written, with distinct and interesting characters. There's a real sense of tension and genuine danger for the MC. The setting pressed my Agatha Christie-loving buttons.

So why only three stars? There is absolutely nothing about this book to which I can attribute my ambivalence. I'm having trouble putting my finger on it, and ultimately I'm just going to have to put it down to personal taste.

If you are looking for a YA murder mystery that feels like a modern day heir to Agatha Christie, pick
...more
Claudia
Mar 19, 2016 Claudia rated it liked it
I really do not know what to think of this book. The idea was so good but I believe the execution could have been a lot better. I thought about DNFing the book a few times, but I am a person who usually pushes through a book, even when I do not enjoy it so much. At the end of the book I still have no idea of some relationships between the book's characters. Also the book lacked descriptions. Normally when I read a book I have some kind of movie going on in my head. Unfortunately I do not know ...more
Sandra
Jun 30, 2015 Sandra rated it liked it
This was a reasonably enjoyable teen mystery set in boarding school. It was slightly darker than expected given all the reviews I read comparing it to Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series. I actually found it quite different to GG and would not compare the two. The only thing they seem to have in common is the boarding school setting and a teenage female protagonist. GG was light and ridiculous (I mean teen spy school with spy centric subjects), with a mysterious and annoying love interest, and ...more
Paula  Phillips
Aug 24, 2015 Paula Phillips rated it really liked it
St Jude's Academy is a private boarding school for the gifted, talented and extremely rich. For Alyssa , she isn't any of those. The only reason that she managed to score a place at the St Jude's Academy is because her parents died and left her with an Aunt who wasn't much of a parental figure and due to Alyssa's eidetic photographic memory , when she sat the scholarship exam - she passed with flying colours as sometimes having a memory like hers comes in handy. However, her first semester at ...more
Paige Gill
Feb 24, 2014 Paige Gill rated it really liked it
After picking this up on a whim without knowing anything about it, I am so excited that I enjoyed it as much as I did.
The narrator, Alyssa, is relatable, friendly, witty, and she really told the story is an easy-to-follow manner. I also admire her incredible memory, intelligence and the way she failed to give up until she had all the answers she was looking for.
The story was very fast paced, action packed and kept me thinking and questioning myself throughout. The only reason I didn't give Young
...more
Abby
Jan 21, 2014 Abby rated it liked it
Be warned this book has adult themes such as racism.
Young, gifted and dead is a fresh, shocking mystery that unfortunately for me fell flat on the narrative.
Young, gifted and dead follows the main character Alyssa as she battles a new school, first love and the tragic death of a friend.
Although i enjoyed Alyssa journey and character especially her photographic memory that could take flight at any moment, I found at times in the book that Alyssa voice was lost and the story dulled by its 2Dness.
...more
Kerry-Ann McDade
Aug 31, 2015 Kerry-Ann McDade rated it really liked it
Love love love this book! Intriging, mysterious and thrilling! This is the perfect read for any reader wanting to sink their teeth into a good book! With every twist ans turn you are gripped until the very last page and with the very shocking events that occur Lucy Carver will keep you up all night long reading!

The press release stated it was first in a new YA series so I am super excited to read the next book! (Wonder when it's out?)

Alyssa is one character that kicks ass and I absolutely love
...more
Farren
Aug 17, 2015 Farren rated it it was ok
This is really more like 1.5 stars if I'm being honest. I was seriously disappointed with this book. I actually have the second one and I'll never read it because this was so terrible. Luckily I got them free! This book makes very little sense. She has a photographic memory, but only when it is triggered by something specific, and sometimes it has to be triggered by multiple things to see the whole memory play out. So the whole scene is repeated 3 or 4 times, which gets super boring. That's not ...more
Chiara
Jan 01, 2014 Chiara rated it liked it
The premise grabbed me. The narrator seemed your standard YA, likeable and easy to read. But there were parts of it that just seemed...shallow, maybe. For example, the grief of their friend's death just didn't seem quite right - it came across too much as curiosity. And then there were parts that just seemed too convenient. Alyssa's photographic memory (that sometimes doesn't work until later on, when it's more dramatic to reveal details that she's suddenly remembered), or (view spoiler) ...more
Amiee
Oct 28, 2014 Amiee rated it it was amazing
This book is probably one of the best I have read in a long time! It has great twists, a great story line, wonderfully developed characters and an amazing overall ending!

It starts in a school and to be honest I did feel a sinking feeling of 'oh no it's just going to be another one of these books' but not was I wrong! And I am so glad I was!

This book, I personally, didn't really find predictable at all which is a difficult thing to achieve in a book of this kind! The twists came at a good rate a
...more
JessicaGrace
May 06, 2016 JessicaGrace rated it liked it
Alright. I have to rant first. For starters, Jack Cavendish had no personality whatsoever!! Either he didn't contribute to the conversation or didn't bother to show up.

The second thing was his relationship with Alyssa. I mean they know each other for 5 seconds and they're an item?!? What's with that?

That's it. I've finished complaining.

Anyway, there were some parts of this book that I really enjoyed but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

It was a satisfying stories but could have been i
...more
Shannon
Jul 11, 2016 Shannon rated it it was ok
The very best thing about this book is the cover. Ouch! Actually - once it got going, the mystery was pretty good. But the big failure was - BIG. The death of Lilly happens before the reader gets any real sense of Lilly. Thus, the reader has no attachment to the dead girl. It wasn't until bad things started happening to Alyssa that I started to care about any of the characters. I almost quit reading the book -- but I'm glad I continued reading and completed it. In the end, it is a fitting book ...more
Deborah
Nov 04, 2014 Deborah rated it really liked it
It took me a few chapters to get used to the style of storytelling but soon I was hooked. Lots of mystery and small clues that our main character finds. Romance as always finds its way into it but it's not over powering and it has its place in the story but doesn't take over like in many YA now a days.
Brooke
Jan 30, 2015 Brooke rated it really liked it
This story is a bit of a rollercoaster. It took me a little while to get into it but once I did I was hooked. The cool thing about this novel is, unlike many YA mysteries, it actually keeps you guessing right up until the end. I mean, it's shocking and hits you hard at so many points but it really is a great, thrilling read.
Eva Werry
Aug 23, 2014 Eva Werry rated it really liked it
A little bit confusing at times, but overall, it was really good mystery, in the sense that you could't have predicted the ending. Alyssa was a cool character, someways different, but still similar to a lot of other characters in lots of other books. I also liked how the readers (well, me anyway), were always kept in suspense. And the couples were really good. i liked the book.
Emi
Jun 07, 2014 Emi rated it really liked it
What can I say about this book?

It confused me constantly, but in a good way. I wasn't sure how I feel about this book, but I will re-read it.
I loved the characters and how strong-willed Alyssa was and her determination was admirable. All of her friends were supportive and lovely.

Will re-read then update this.
Sophie Quinn
Sep 15, 2014 Sophie Quinn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Such a good plotline! Definitely one of the best murder mysteries I've read in recent years :) my only issues with this book were the fact that the writing was pretty low quality (i.e. mixing up character names) and the protagonist was a bit cringey. But apart from that, the story had me on tenterhooks at every page and the ending left me satisfied. Can't wait for the follow up novel!
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