This is the ONLY book I've ever read more than twice. This book is the ONLY book I can remember the characters so vividly, I have a clear picture of them over twenty years later. This book is for teenagers. This book is for adults. I love the story and how you feel so strongly for the characters. I couldn't even begin to describe the story because it is the relationships (or lack thereof) that is the real story. The plot is only one part of the book, how you feel after reading the book is a story in itself.
The first time I read this book, I freaked out for a couple of years when I'd go to summer camp, sure that my parents sent me there to have me bumped off.
OK, not really, but still...
This book is exceptionally well-written, making you feel the tension the teens face when they realize their parents want them dead. DEAD. Yeek. Far from being your typical teen book, this one immerses you in the story and makes you come to actually like these teens and makes you wonder what they did that was so bad as to warrant their parents hiring someone to kill them. Turns out the kids are basically fine and it's the parents who are messed up (surprise, surprise!) and the ending is satisfying and real. LOVED this book as a 14-year-old and loved it again when I re-read it 22 years later!
From the back cover:
Group 6 knew they were special but they didn't know why...Coldbrook Country was the perfect boarding school: expensive, innovative, discreet. So when five entering students were told to hike to a rough campsite deep in the woods as part of orientation, they didn't think to ask questions. It was strange that their leader and advisor, Nat Rittenhouse, was so young. And why had he been so careful to cover their tracks? It wasn't until the next morning that Marigold, Ludi, Sara, Coke and Sully learned the impossible truth: Nat had been hired by the Coldbrook Country School to make sure Group 6 never came out of the woods alive. And their own parents were paying the bill.