I usually enjoy picking out a book at random. I like not knowing the general plot and figuring things out for myself. However, I can’t say I had an enjoyable time reading The Inner Society by Melinda Louise Bohannon. While the novel may have been well-written, the subject matter and plot didn’t sit well with me.
Maggie Kraus comes from a family that’s seen its fair share of tragedy. When Maggie starts high school at the prestigious Norfolk High School, she knows it’s going to be an uphill battle. The most wealthy and privileged students in the country roam the halls of Norfolk High, and they’re not too accepting of outsiders to say the least. Maggie soon finds herself in a battle for her, literally, life as she tries to expose the Inner Society’s crimes.
I liked the premise of the book. It seemed to take the cliché high school click idea to a new, terrifying level. However, I did not like Bohannon’s execution of her plot. Many of the scenes were so graphic that they became hard to read. That’s saying something coming from me. I love horror movies and read a lot of graphic material, but the way Maggie and her friends and family were treated throughout the novel seemed not only cruel but unnecessary. I wish that Bohannon would have alluded to some of the horrible situations Maggie found herself in, rather than go into excruciating detail.
On top of some rather grotesque scenes, I found myself unable to believe in Maggie’s personality. She goes from a girl with a survivor mentality to a weak girl with no hope and back so frequently that I don’t feel like I know the character. Not to mention her final switch to a re-born Christian. It really didn’t make much sense to me that a girl who had gone through so much prior to her days at Norfolk would react in the ways that Maggie did.
I will say this—The Inner Society is definitely a book I will remember. Even if I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I had hoped, I really did enjoy a book free of simple grammatical errors and with a good balance of description and dialogue. I wouldn’t suggest this for younger teens, but teens and adults 17 and older might enjoy and relate to some of Maggie’s plights. However, I would be prepared to suspend some of your belief before reading.
Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is currently enrolled at Tiffin University in their Master’s of Education program. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Ellechor Publishing House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.