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Young, Gifted and Dead

(St Jude's Academy #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  59 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 gr ...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

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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  429 ratings  ·  59 reviews


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c,
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
(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
Becca  ☾☁︎⋆ (PrettyLittleMemoirs.com)
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
Marco (Barely a blogger)
Usually I am not one for the more realistic fiction stories, but the title grabbed my attention from the get-go. Every bus ride to my internship, I indulged in reading books, since I wanted to read more this year. The entire week I go sucked into the mystery and suspense that Young, Gifted&Dead had to offer me. This truly turned out to be a case of: ''Don't trust a book by its cover''.

The mystery of Lily's dead was wonderfully written and boy, was my initial suspect way off!
Well done, Lucy C
...more
Jasmine
I just didn't enjoy this at all. The pacing was really slow, the insta-love was really annoying and unrealistic and honestly the conclusion didn't feel realistic. In short, I didn't like any aspect of this but I didn't hate mostly because I didn't care about ANYTHING enough to hate it or care about it. This was just okay- it wasn't the worst book I read but it wasn't a good book (in my opinion) either. I felt like I never got to know any of the characters properly ever.
Overall, I didn't like th
...more
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 20, 2014 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
Vicky Perera
Feb 23, 2014 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 01, 2014 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 Renate
had to dnf-it. Cant stand the writing style.
Juliet
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Almost DNF'ed this book, but my kindle kept encouraging me by telling me I only had another 30 mins to go (it was more like an hour)

There were just so many things that I didn't like about the book:
1. The obsession with her boyfriend's quads. What.
Also the insta-love and the fact that she basically ignored her boyfriend just because he went away for a tennis tournament for a few weeks. Boohoo, my boyfriend is a nationally-ranked player and I'm upset he just abandoned me for a tournament. *rolls
...more
Lorna
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
FINALLY!!! A FEMALE LEAD WITH READ HAIR!!!! Serious brownie points for a fellow redhead protagonist.

Damn this cover is so ugly but I'm so glad I looked passed it and allowed myself into this story.

Also, I study french in college and Alyssa speaks french in some parts of the book. I did notice a grammatical error in her french. There was also a time when Paige used Alyssa's name when she should have said Lily. It didn't make sense when she said Alyssa.

I really enjoyed this story and felt like
...more
Liralen
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Entertaining enough, but I found the description to be quite misleading. Ostensibly, Alyssa is at a school for rich kids who happen to be off-the-charts smart. She's been admitted (and given a rare scholarship) on account of her perfect recall, and I was looking forward to seeing how she and the other students applied their brains and privileges to solving mysteries.

Alyssa's eidetic memory aside, though, St. Jude's could more or less be any fictional prep school chockablock full of teenagers wit
...more
Nadiah R.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although it took me a little over a year but thats cause of my really busy schedule as a design student. Nonetheless, 4 stars cause it was an easy read and unexpected mystery plot and the ending too. Of course, to add on, Alyssa is an interesting character and I love her. Love the character development of Alyssa in the book and her really good photographic memories. I could almost picture the moments of the story in my head.
Heidi
Dec 09, 2016 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.
Zee
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
absolutely love this book. of course me being a teen i have different opinion but i adore the way the author came up with such an intense plot and delicately unravelled the story bit by bit. it should all of the characters insecurities and feelings really well.
Milou
Jun 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Honestly could not be arsed to properly read this book beyond 50ish pages; I just skimmed through it to see how everything would end up. The way it was written, and the main character just really annoyed me somehow, but I can't seem to figure out why exactly.
Amy
Jan 16, 2014 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 04, 2014 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
Claudia
Mar 19, 2016 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 th ...more
Sandra
Jun 28, 2015 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 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 S ...more
Paige Watts
Feb 17, 2014 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
Kerry-Ann McDade
Jul 03, 2014 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 01, 2015 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
Abby
Jan 11, 2014 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
Chiara
Jan 01, 2014 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
May 17, 2014 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
Shannon
Jul 11, 2016 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 f ...more
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