‘The Society for Soulless Girls’ – Laura Steven

Jekyll and Hyde inspired story…school setting…supernatural…I was curious about this the moment I saw it on NetGalley, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The elite Carvell College of Arts has a fantastic academic reputation, but it’s association with student deaths has haunted it. Ever since her family friend Janie died there, having jumped from the infamous North Tower, Lottie is determined to find out what happened. Much against her family’s wishes, Lottie enrols at the college.

From the outset she feels a darkness to the place. Her roommate, Alice, appears unnaturally angry. Lottie finds herself waking in the middle of the night, covered in dirt, with no memory of having left her room. One morning she finds herself with a ruby – which seems to come from the statue of Saint Maria – embedded in her neck. Whenever she talks about leaving the place, the ruby grips her throat and causes intense physical pain. Soon after their arrival at college a student is found dead outside the North Tower. On the night in question Alice (having experimented in a ritual she finds written down in a mysterious book in the library) has several unaccounted hours and wakes drenched in blood.

When I see those events recorded in the way I have just presented them, this book sounds crazy. It requires you to suspend your disbelief and trust that the supernatural elements serve a purpose…and they do.

Once the parallels between Jekyll and Hyde were explicitly made, and we focused on the mystery surrounding the college, the book became more interesting. At its heart it is a story about friendship, love and trusting in others to help – while taking on those who would do their best to crush women simply for daring to have strong emotions!