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Sanctuary Bay

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  580 ratings  ·  230 reviews
When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secre ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
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christina got a response from the author on twitter:

"We had such fun writing it. No sequel planned at the moment, sadly." - Metz & Burns, @TwoHeadedWriter…more
got a response from the author on twitter:

"We had such fun writing it. No sequel planned at the moment, sadly." - Metz & Burns, @TwoHeadedWriter(less)

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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  580 ratings  ·  230 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I would like to thank Netgalley for the pleasure of receiving a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

This book was completely different than I was expecting, but that ended up meaning it was better than expected. It's been awhile since I have read a YA novel that impressed me this much. It seems much of everything these days are dumbed down teenagers and supernatural creatures (I enjoy a good supernatural read but appreciate variety as well), but this was a well-written, e
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.)

This book was weird, and confusing.

So this girl Sarah gets a scholarship to a fancy school on an island – Sanctuary Bay, even though she never applied. So off she goes, and when she gets there, strange things start happening. Her roommates run off in the middle of the night to do who knows what, and Sarah has no idea what is going on.

Meanwhile we learn that Sarah has a
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

You know I was thinking this book was going to be about a school for gifted kids.... but I sure was wrong... nope... nope... nope!

The book starts when Sarah is a little girl and she watches her mom get shot and hears her dad get shot..move forward to the and out of foster homes, when suddenly Sarah gets a scholarship to this awesome school on an island. Remote.. no contact with the outside world, the kids don't anyway and kids that come out of this
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was like an old couch that is well worn and used. One that you have to sit in for awhile, wiggle down and find that just perfect position before you truly can relax and feel at home in it.

In other words, it took me awhile to warm up to Sarah and the story it's self, but once I did, I was hooked and in for the long hall.

This story is a hard one to describe. It has some familiar tropes but some new and interesting ones as well, all combined to create a unique story that will leave you
Donita Luz
Oh, wow. I just realized that this is my first 5 star rating this year. Well, not that I've already read a lot of books this year but still.. I just know that this book will remain, I want to say forever, but let's be a little bit realistic here, lol but this book will remain to me for a long long long time. The first page alone grabs my attention and managed to hold it tightly refusing to break hold. That got to mean something.

When I started reading this book, I was so sure I would give this a
I've been invited by the publisher at St. Martin's Press to review this title. I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. This has in no way affected my review.

The book follows a girl, Sarah Merson , who receives an opportunity to enter one of the most prestigious and enigmatical school in the country called Sanctuary Bay. Although the Sanctuary Bay is number 1 when it comes to academic prestige, the elite school is located in Swans Island with no contact with the outside world; a premise I
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Sarah Merson has grown up in the foster care system having been placed there after seeing her parents brutally murdered when she was three years old. Sarah has relived that nightmare over and over throughout her life because she has the ability to remember events exactly as they happened and never forgets any detail.

When Sarah receives a scholarship and invitation to join an elite private school located on Swans Island known as Sanctuary Bay Academy she thinks it will be her ticket to a better
Liz Barnsley
**4.5 stars**

Sanctuary Bay defied my expectations. In the best way possible. A really clever novel that starts off as one thing, morphs into something else then by the end has you hook line and sinker – never have I been happier to discover that this is an expected trilogy. A really great read.

Sarah Merson arrives at Sanctuary Bay Academy, determined to make a fresh start, but still with a bit of a chip on her shoulder with regards to her past versus the past of the over privileged that seem to
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for providing this ARC.

Well this was a wild ride from start to finish. I read the whole book in a couple of days, with the second half in one sitting because I. Just. Had. To. Know. What. The. Deal. Was.You don’t understand, it got SO intense at a point that I was flying through the pages. And that makes it an amazing book for me, because that’s what I’m looking for: total immersion in a book universe. And Sanctuary Bay delivered.

It tells the story
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
If you are in the US or Canada, you can enter to win a copy of this book through my Twitter account

I thought this one was going to be more like SHUTTER ISLAND or X-Men, but I really liked the way that it turned out. I thought there was a bit too much convenience about how it played out but I liked that Sarah and Ethan made it all work to their advantage.

I saw from reviews on Goodreads that there was a twist, so I was
Oct 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

Sarah was an alright character, but I didn't love her.

This started out okay, but after a while it turned weird, and It just couldn't catch my interest after that point. It dragged slightly because of it too.

Overall, Started out okay, but went downhill for me.
Gaby (lookingatbooks)
Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Plot: Sarah is a foster kid, living home to home is the norm in her life. So when she receives a letter for a full scholarship to Sanctuary Bay, an elite prep school on a reclusive island, she agrees. Sarah can finally be free of the foster care system. But Sanctuary Bay is a different kind of school. With total immersion for studying, once you arrive you don't leave till graduatio
Carlene Inspired
Sarah is an orphan and she's been plagued by that one descriptive word her entire life. Her teachers treat her like a cheater, she lacks friendship, and while she has a foster family she doesn't feel like she belongs. After receiving an unheard of scholarship to Sanctuary Bay, an all-immersive high school, Sarah's social worker convinces her this is her best chance at attaining a successful life. With no access to the outside world, Sarah finds herself surrounded by people she likes, without jud ...more
Erin Dunn
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it

I won a free copy of Sanctuary Bay By: Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz on a blog! Thank you to whatever blog it was. I'm so sorry, I know I'm horrible at remembering where I win books from. I'm working on doing better about this in the future!

Short Review Summary:
This reminds me of The Skulls with a few twists.

To me Sanctuary Bay is like a Goosebumps novel meets an Are You Afraid Of The Dark? episode meets that movie The Skulls. I got a Goosebumps vibe be
Siobhan Davis
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars

I was so looking forward to reading this book as the blurb and cover are gorgeous, and I discovered that this book was written by the author of the Roswell series (which I loved when I was younger.)

Now that I've read it, I'm kinda struggling to sort my thoughts out. It was good, it was creative and imaginative, and I definitely became invested in the story, but there were things that I didn't like as well which is why my rating isn't higher.

Initially, I found it very diffi
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it
*ARC from St Martin's Press via NetGalley*

This book follows Sarah an orphan who has spent her life bouncing from foster home to foster home until she is given the opportunity to go to Sanctuary Bay. Sanctuary Bay is a total immersion school on an island for the privileged. Sarah is thrown in at the deep end but soon makes friends and feels part of the group for the first time in her life. Things soon start to take an unexpected turn and she is thrown into a world of secrets. Sarah herself is qu
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Another story that I wish I could have loved more. It had the beginnings of a story I should love. Sarah is our main character and is a pretty disgruntled foster kid. After watching her parents die when she was young, she's been hopping from house to house, school to school, not really settling down or finding anyone who can help her.

But lucky her, she's a smart girl with a near perfect memory - beyond just a photographic memory, she can remember all the senses of memory including smell and soun
*Source* Publisher/NetGalley
*Genre* Young Adult, Mystery
*Rating* 3.5

*My Thoughts*

Sanctuary Bay, by author's Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, features 16-year old Sarah Merson. As a young girl, Sarah witnessed the murder of her parents by unknown individuals and ended up being bounced from one foster home to the next. Sarah faced prejudices at a level that most people can't comprehend or understand. She wasn't white enough for some families, and not black enough for others. Then, when she finally
Kelly Hager
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is sort of a neo-gothic suspense novel. There are a lot of different things going on, and there's at least one twist too many but I had a great time reading it. I won't discuss much of what's going on, because pretty much everything is a spoiler. So honestly, just read it. It's crazy fun.

My favorite part of this is the secret society aspect* (it made me want to watch The Skulls again!) but pretty much everything here is fun. And if we're being honest, wouldn't everyone want a sort of p
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it

The nitty-gritty: A twisty and addictive mystery with cool science fiction overtones, full of atmosphere galore.

I’ve read two outrageous stories in the past week, and this is one of them. (The other being Burning Midnight which I’ll be reviewing later in the week.) And when I say “outrageous,” I mean crazy plots that blew me away with their creative and yes, CRAZY ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed Sanctuary Bay, and while I did have a couple of issues with the story, I have to recommend it for sheer e

Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those that like Lord of the Flies and the Maximum Ride series
3 Stars, Completed January 27, 2016

Let me just share with you guys that I actually don’t like thrillers
. I’m one of the few that detested Gone Girl and a few other well known thrillers, however I’m always willing to try them anyway if the premise is interesting enough. I like to think this genre is a special spin of horror and mysteries, a fusion of two very different genres I’m not much a fan of. And I was hoping that since Sanctuary Bay was created for young adults it’d be less creepy. Gos
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enter to win a finished copy over on my blog! Ends 2/8 US/CAN only. Enter HERE

Your creepy radar will go off the moment Sarah steps foot on that island. I’m not exactly sure how to give you the goods without giving up the goods. Did that make sense? I had more fun with this than I thought I would going in. I love the premise, but some of the ends didn’t tie up like I expected. Here’s to hoping for another book.

The moment Sarah lets her guard down, things start happening. I’m always up for reading
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 stars
This was definitely what I expected. I expected Sarah to be the suspect in her roommate's death. I wasn't even close. Apparently this was the beginning of yet another trilogy. However, this one did keep my interest and I did not see what was coming. I can't really say a lot about it without giving out any spoilers.

I will say that that my heart is still racing after reading it and I even took a cigarette break. Definitely read the ending before bedtime. There is a line in there that will d
Caidyn (he/him/his)
DNF at 14%

I know, some people will say I didn't give this book a chance. But, you know what? When I can read a book and see the formulaic design, then also find stilted characters who all seemed there to fit a specific type of role (like the whore/jock/stoner/virgin rectangle in horror movies), I'm not going to enjoy it. I even saw a major spoiler for the ending and plot and just didn't care enough to find out how this comes around.

So, no thanks.

Also, the main reason why I DNFed was because of a
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kyra by: Donita Luz
Full five stars. This was awesome. Too awesome. I'll write a review as soon as my head clears up :((
(p.s. A huge thank-you to the awesome ate Donita who recommended it to me! #TeamEthan)
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, ya
I’m glad books like Sanctuary Bay were not around when I went to high school, because I probably would have gotten some unrealistic expectations about the whole experience. You see, we didn’t have secret societies, didn’t attend orgies and unlike the hot guys with ropy muscles in this school, most boys were rather shrimpy.

What this book does best, is creating an atmosphere that is ominous from the beginning and gets increasingly unnerving as we are heading toward a shocking conclusion. Sure, it’
"Flippin' kind a trippy. "

Book Title: Sanctuary Bay
Author: Laura J Burns
Series: ??
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Publisher: St. Martin's Press Expected Publication: 01/19/16
Source: Netgalley Arc

Why I picked that quote: It's my own quote; and it’s how I felt while reading this...

Overall Rating: 4.3/5 Stars

✧Breakdown of Rating✧

●Plot: 4.2/5 The pacing is perfect, I just have some issues with the content.
●Characters: 4.5/5
●Theme: That's a tricky
Oct 23, 2015 marked it as dnf
Things I appreciated: the diversity; taking the time to point out ALL races and not just those of people of color. It's so rare that you see whiteness pointed out.

But, I didn't like anything else about it. Sarah was very harsh and very judgmental - and I understand why, but it was still exhausting. I read 40 pages and the entire time it was just Sarah comparing her poor upbringing with the "rich" kids of Sanctuary Bay, even though she doesn't actually know anything about them. (I mean, Nate prov
Dec 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I am giving this book three stars out of five for the beginning of the novel and two for the end , which was a bit of a letdown. It is not predictable, I didn't see it coming at all,though.

Some people may find the twists in the plot refreshingly different ,however, I found the story and the way the characters behaved thoroughly implausible and being a dystopia and sci-fi fan that's a lot to say for me.

Despite this, I recommend the book to avid readers looking for a combination of genres.

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Laura J. Burns has written more than thirty books for kids and teens, touching on topics from imaginary lake monsters to out-of-control Hollywood starlets. (Those two things have more in common than you'd think.)

With Melinda Metz, she has also written for the TV shows ROSWELL, 1-800-MISSING, and THE DEAD ZONE. Their next book is THE LOST MAP OF CHAOS, coming in 2018!

Laura lives in New York with he

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