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Reviewed by Lynette Fowlston for Readers' Favorite
"Nightmare at Emerald High" by Joana James is a novel dealing with a theme that in all actuality could be happening to our teenagers today even though they do not realize it. Malcolm Drake is an excellent student in school, raised only by his father and who at one time attended church regularly. As time went on both himself and his father drifted away from church and that sets the stage for what is about to happen. Being what one would call a geek in school, he was picked on by some bullies. When a special class was introduced by the science teacher, the students had to take a test to see who would qualify to be in it. Passing this test could land them a scholarship to the university. Malcolm was the top student along with several others who passed but little did they realize there was a price to pay for winning. This class was going to take them into the world of the occult. When Malcolm realized along with the others what was going on, how were they going to get out of it? Malcolm knew too much now and they were not just going to let him go.
As I read this book it brought to mind that teens are at the age where it is easy to control them. There is so much going on in the world today and it does not take much to entice them away from all they have learned as one will see in this book. I feel that all teens and their parents should read this book to see the hidden dangers at some of the things that are taught, especially those that have drifted away from church. I could feel the tension the students of this class were facing when they realized what was going on in their lives at the time. I enjoyed the book and the characters and feel that this is a subject that needs to be brought out to help families realize just how much their children are subjected to. Teens usually will not read a book that is true to life on occults but will read a novel about it, so hopefully this book will help those who read it.