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(Blythewood #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,526 ratings  ·  565 reviews
Welcome to Blythewood.

At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a fac
Hardcover, 489 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Viking
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,526 ratings  ·  565 reviews

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Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-2014
I'm sorry but I feel that the people who are reading YA literature are too harsh. I am a librarian in a middle school and the students would love this book .. I think those who are critical are not looking at the writing as entertaining to young adults but looking for literary merit. Not every book has to be written like a classic. This book was entertaining, PERIOD!!! Maybe more people need to start reading for pleasure again instead of trying to be a critic. Just saying ...more
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

I appreciate the use of imagery, but the key to using it as a literary device is subtlety. In this book, imagery doesn't gently tap you on the shoulders from behind, it doesn't touch you with a gentle lover's caress. The imagery within this book comes running at you in a Pennywise mask wielding a chainsaw while screaming bloody murder. The writing is overwrought, leaning heavily towards purple prose. It tries too hard to be "gothic." It has all the subtlety of a purple plaid-patterned penguin.

Apr 01, 2013 marked it as to-read
I think we all know why I added this.
Wendy Darling
4.5 stars I love this so, so, so, so, much. PLEASE let there be a sequel soon!

Full review is on the blog:
Amber J
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. Unfortunately, there is still always a risk of slight spoilers despite my best efforts. If you feel something in my review is a spoiler please let me know. Thank you.

After her mother dies and she survives a fire at the factory where she works. Ava is attending Blythewood. Afraid she won't be able to fit in with all the rich people and worried about her own sanity. She begins to make friendships, but Blythewood is more than just
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Why on earth this isn't marketed as YA I don't know. It falls right in line with the I'm secretly from faerie and only I can (fill in the blank) because I have special powers. There are competing love interests, all romance, no sex, and a parent/family mystery that needs to be sorted before the protagonist can discover herself. Midway through, it starting feeling like a 1 of 3 and I was getting prepared to be very annoyed (I hate it when books don't announce that they're the start of a series). ...more
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the Fairwick Chronicles series that this author wrote under the pseudonym Juliet Dark. The first book in that trilogy is one of my favorites. So I was interested in giving her YA series a try. I was not disappointed. I am such a slore for books set in boarding schools. Throw in a bit of the supernatural, and I'm in.

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Who doesn't want to go to a school where you learn to use magic and train to kick some ass and save the world?

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I loved how the teachers at Blythewood were just as in
Jun 26, 2013 added it
Carol Goodman's Blythewood is absolutely marvelous. Thoroughly researched, she creates a truly believable setting. You can feel Blythewood's real and fictional locations under your feet. From the physical details (shirts are only called shirtwaists &c.) to the pronounced issues of class, Goodman captures both the physicality and emotionality of the times. I was especially impressed that while the main 3 characters grew closer together, their class conflicts never completely died — or were left f ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
I enjoyed this audio book. The audio was well done and so was the story.
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Set-up (adapted from Goodreads)
Avaline Hall is not having a good year. When Blythewood begins, she is a poor factory girl that has recently lost her mother. Things get steadily worse for Ava for a while - a tragic fire and a mental institution among other set backs - but then Ava meets her grandmother and learns more about her mother and the girls' boarding school that her mom attended - and was expelled from. Now heading to Blythewood herself, Ava is not sure how her wealthy classmates
Oct 09, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Sadly this is another book I have zero interest in finishing. I'm just feeling very detached from the story at 16%. The writing is overly descriptive when it doesn't have to be, barely anything has happened and it reminds me too much of A Great and Terrible Beauty.

The trees beside the station were thrashing in a sudden gust, the rain spitting like an angry cat, and the air smelled like singed wires. I had the feeling that if we stood here a moment longer, we'd all be blown away into the river.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Four Stars: A delightful boarding school book with a pinch of magic and a dash of mystery!

Avaline Hall at sixteen is alone since her mother passed away. Ava, though, bravely found employment at the Triangle Waist factory. She spends endless hours sewing seams on sleeves. On this particular day, Ava is madly sewing to meet her monthly quota to make rent. Right before the final bell of the day rings, Ava looks up and sees a strange man in an Inverness Cape talking to her foreman. Warning bells go
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
I haven't had the best of luck with boarding school novels lately.  So many of them are flat and contain the same old, same old:  magic, mystery, and secrets, and they're all very blasé about it.  So, it was with some trepidation that I began this audiobook, despite knowing that several of my friends had already loved the story.

I don't know if it's the combination of a truly worthy protagonist and a brilliant audiobook narrator, but I can safely say that I am back on the boarding school bandwago
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
"Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death...."

Avaline Hall has had just about enough of heartbreak and misfortune. Her mother has died of a laudanum overdose, her best friend perished in a factory fire, and she has just escaped from a mental institution where she was admitted under suspicious circumstances. But all that is about to change. The grandmother she never knew existed has stepped forward to take her under her wing. And she has been admitted into
Natasha (books_n_dreams)
So this book is really hard for me to get into which really sucks because I am intrigued, but this is the first book I've read in a long time that I just can't push through it the rest of the way. Really sucks, but oh well. I am glad though Penguin sent this book to me cause I wanted to read it, but it looks like right now after only making it about 100 pages into it that I might just have to set it down and hopefully give it ago some other time.

But I'm not saying this book sucks, the writing i
DNF @ 20%. So boring.
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book very confusing at the beginning but once I understood it, it was okay. I found it confusing because I thought it was hard to tell what was real and what was just in Ava’s head.
I really enjoyed the writing style though. I enjoyed it because it made me feel like I was right there with Ava. I might read the next two books because of the writing style.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Embarking on Blythewood, I was hesitant. I read the first few pages on Amazon preview before I accepted the review copy, mostly because of an ambivalence to paranormal stories, particularly those about angels. I really liked the writing and the sample and decided it was worth a try. I should probably make use of this sampling technique more often, since I often DNF within the first twenty pages. My i
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Where, oh where can I begin with this book?

Blythewood had me back and forth, and constantly debating with myself, about my opinion on this book. Before beginning I was bouncing of the walls with excitement, within the first few chapters I found myself to be a bit disappointed, then when things started to take off I couldn’t get enough, afterwards I was confused, and finally I fell in love with the ending.

Blythewood starts with a poor girl named Avaline Hall, Ava for short, who is working in a cl
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I've read several of Carol Goodman's adult books previously and always enjoyed them so I was intrigued to read Blythewood – her foray into the young adult paranormal realm.

The book opens quite bleakly, and without any paranormal shades which I found quite refreshing. The story is allowed to build slowly atop the back of its main character, a 16-year old girl who has lost her mother and working in a factory to avoid starvation. At this point I wasn’t quite clear on the setting and time of the sto
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could kick myself for waiting so long to read this book. I haven't enjoyed a book so much since Harry Potter. I was completely taken in by the Blythwood Academy and all its residents. Especially Avaline Hall.

Avaline Hall really isn't like the other girls. She's lived apart from most of the society girls, even though she's a legacy. Her mother attended the famous Blythwood Academy but was dismissed for mysterious reasons. After Avaline's mother dies, she's sent to her Grandmother, who immediate
Jacquelyn Rose
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: boarding-schools
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I liked the setting and the world that was created, but the execution was all over the place. The main character seemed a bit obtuse about things. Some parts dragged while others went to fast. And in all, things just seemed kind of predictable.

I will probably read the next in the series because I want to see what happens to some of the other characters and to see the world fleshed out a bit more, but in all, this was kind of disappointing.
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was a paperback I got from the publisher for review.

Once upon a time, I acquired an ARC of an intriguing little book called Blythewood in a swap with another blogger. It languished on my TBR for over a year and a half, but I fully intended to read it someday. Cut to recently, when a publicist at Penguin emailed me to offer review copies of both Blythewood and its sequel Ravencliffe. I accepted, of course, and I honestly can’t believe I put off rea
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it

I have had this book on my shelf for quite a while to read. I really enjoyed Goodman’s adult Demon Lover series, written under the name Juliet Dark, and was excited to read a YA novel by her. While there were parts of the book I really enjoyed, mostly the book just felt really long and slow moving.

Avaline (Ava) Hall has had a rough life. Her mother is dead and she’s been forced to work in a clothing factory to make ends meet. When the factory catches on fire, Avaline is saved by a winged boy and
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed this book! I just wish that it didn't take me so long to finish it! Nothing against the writing, I've just been very busy with my summer internship (which is a shame because I usually read the most books during the summer months).

But, onto the book itself...

Firstly, I could not have been more thrilled with the historical setting the author chose of early 1900s New York. There are few things I love more than a good piece of historical fiction, and this book did everything
Title: Blythewood

Author: Carol Goodman

Type: Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Tea: Strawberry Rose Champagne Oolong from Teavana. Has hints of other teas that you love, but brings its own twist entirely.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oh Carol Goodman, you are a genius. I always thought so, but you solidified this opinion with Blythewood. Having been an avid Carol Goodman fan for years I couldn't wait to get my hands on Blythewood, and I was not disappointed!

Blythewood has aspects of two of my favorite series, Harry
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Avaline Hall is now an orphan. Her mother committed suicide and she never knew her father. Now she must find a way to support herself. The year is 1911, which means there really is only one respectable way to earn money, which is to work in a factory. Avaline takes a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and she is there when the building catches fire and kills hundreds of workers. It doesn't help that she keeps spotting a strange man wearing a cape before the fire and she saw him before her mo ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I alternately couldn't put it down and wanted to savor every minute of this richly portrayed world.

Avaline Hall survives. I was going to say what she survives, but there are so many things: grief, the mystery of her mother's past, hard work and humiliation and the terrors of the Triangle Factory fire. By the time I got to that point in the book, I already admired her strong spirit and intelligence, and the story had barely begun. Blythewood is a wonder; the school, the book, the new mythologies
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Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, which won the Hammett Prize, and The Widow's House, which won the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also the co-author, with her husband Lee Slonimsky, of the Watchtower fantasy trilogy. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices. After grad ...more

Other books in the series

Blythewood (3 books)
  • Ravencliffe (Blythewood, #2)
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