Review: Sanctuary Bay

Courtesy of

Book Title: Sanctuary Bay
Authors: Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
Series: Sanctuary Bay #1
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction


I would like to thank Netgalley for the pleasure of receiving my copy 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, enticing plot that I now realize is slated to be a series (I’ve heard possibly a trilogy???). The good news is the ending of this book was perfect-more on that later.

Sarah Merson is a foster child who witnessed her parents’ murder when she was a very young child. After bouncing around multiple homes, she has mysteriously been recruited to attend school at the Sanctuary Bay Academy. This school is one of the top in the world; everyone who attends becomes someone influential and powerful upon graduation. Think of it as an elite prep academy for our future politicians, movie stars, big wig CEOs, etc. Sarah has a gifted knowledge in chemistry and has hit their radar; she also has a secret ability. Are they interested in that too?

I’m not sure I want to disclose anything else of the plot as it is riddled with spoilers. The less you know going into this book the better. It is a true mystery/thriller with twists and turns galore. There is a bit of your typical teenage romance and love triangle, but it isn’t enough to take away from the overall plot; it just added another dimension to it. I was impressed at how well developed the characters became. The first few chapters took me a minute to get into and some of the dialogue between the students was a little cheesy, but I was completely sucked in and felt drawn to learn more about Sarah’s story.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT ENDING??!!! I’m not going to spoil it, but I’ll say I was impressed with the ending. The authors seemed to find the perfect balance of leaving me sure I would read the next book but answering all the big questions I needed now. I hate nothing more than reading a book that leaves you hanging in the worst ways so that by the time the next comes out you have forgotten and don’t care anymore. This was not the case for me. There was closure for the main plot and mystery of this story, but left some of Sarah’s backstory open and ready for the next stage of the big picture.

If you enjoy YA novels or mystery/suspense, I would HIGHLY recommend this one. Even if you don’t typically like YA, this one might be for you. I am eagerly awaiting more from this duo.


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