Book Review: The St. Ambrose School for Girls by Jessica Ward

Sarah doesn’t really fit in with the carefully cultivated girls of private school St. Ambrose. On the surface, Sarah wears black, isn’t wealthy, and is socially awkward. Her mother—always looking for an angle to advance her own status in life—submitted an essay Sarah wrote and now Sarah is a St. Ambrose girl. But while Sarah is smart enough to do the work, she is different from all the others. Now Sarah has drawn the attention of popular girl Greta—placing her right in the ringleader’s sites. It isn’t just the mean girl making Sarah’s time at St. Ambrose difficult though, Sarah is bipolar and hasn’t consistently been taking her medication since arriving at the exclusive private school.

Sarah develops a friendship with her roommate, and crushes on the handsome RA in her building. But as her mental health begins to falter a series of events stretch the bounds of her well-being. In the midst of a potentially scandalous relationship and a death at the school, Sarah struggles to differentiate what is really happening from her perception.

The St. Ambrose School for Girls is a dark, windy trail about fitting in, standing out, truth, perception, and being true to yourself. Author Jessica Ward did a solid job of conveying the thought patterns of a character in the midst of an acute mental health crisis and making the reader empathize with her. There are some slow parts in this book, and it’s definitely a slow build, but an interesting read nonetheless.

The St. Ambrose School for Girls will be available July 11, 2023.

I received a copy of The St. Ambrose School for Girls from Gallery Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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