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Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye eARC {2 Stars}

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye is a middle grade tale of two trouble makers dropped off at a very strange and mysterious boarding school. I had high hopes for Witherwood Reform School, but ended up disappointed by the complete lack of an ending or any answers and annoyed with the pretty bratty main characters. The illustrations are gorgeous though!

Note: I received an advanced copy of Witherwood Reform School from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye eARC {2 Stars}

Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye (Witherwood Reform School #1)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on March 3rd, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 240 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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After a slight misunderstanding involving a horrible governess, oatmeal, and a jar of tadpoles, siblings Tobias and Charlotte Eggars find themselves abandoned by their father at the gates of a creepy reform school. Evil mysteries are afoot at Witherwood, where the grounds are patrolled by vicious creatures after dark and kids are locked in their rooms. Charlotte and Tobias soon realize that they are in terrible danger--especially because the head of Witherwood has perfected the art of mind control.

If only their amnesiac father would recover and remember that he has two missing children. If only Tobias and Charlotte could solve the dark mystery and free the kids at Witherwood--and ultimately save themselves.

2 Stars


  • My favorite thing about Witherwood Reform School is definitely the illustrations. The drawings are incredibly intricate and I can only imagine they are even lovelier in the final finished copy. There are illustrations for all the main and secondary characters too which made it easier to picture them.
  • Witherwood Reform School is a fast read and pretty much non-stop adventuring and trying to figure out the big mystery!
  • I love seeing a brother and sister team as the main characters. They were clearly friends as well as siblings and relied on each other’s strengths to get through the many challenges they faced.
  • There are times when Witherwood Reform School was fairly funny though they were a bit inconsistent.


  • I can’t even call that ending a cliffhanger because that would require there to be a cliff. Witherwood Reform School has literally no resolution or ending of any kind, gahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
  • Tobias and Charlotte are ridiculously cruel in their descriptions of the adults around them. Everyone is fat and ugly and they constantly are making fun of the adults in their heads. I really can’t stand characters like that.
  • There are these intros to each chapter where the narrator of the story is speaking directly to the reader about seemingly random things that do kind of tie in to the chapter. Sometimes they were amusing, but mostly they were just annoying and odd.
  • On the whole, all of Witherwood Reform School is downright strange. There are mystery creatures, mystery elderly people, mystery singing in the halls at night, an heir that thinks the main characters are from his imagination and the whole school is on a mesa formed when a meteorite struck the desert. That could all add up to something cool, but it just didn’t.
  • You know all those mysteries I mention? Yeah, you don’t get any answers to them. I can’t tell you what the school is there for, what all of these things are, why Tobias and Charlotte are even being held captive there, nothing. It felt like the book was cut off in the middle at a very depressing point since it isn’t a happy ending.


Witherwood Reform School had a promising beginning but quickly goes downhill. I can forgive a lot if I’m given answers that are interesting, but the complete lack of answers just put me over the edge. Why must books do this to me???? The illustrations are pretty though ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Witherwood Reform School by Obert Skye

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. That’s disappointing. At least it had good illustrations. The lack of an ending would frustrate the heck out of me. How did that get past the editor?
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Read Proud Listen Proud: Connecting with LGBTQ Teens through LiteratureMy Profile

    • Yup, at least it was pretty! I don’t freaking know! A part of me wonders if the editor was very engaged at all with the quality of it D:

  2. Love the cover if it is any indication of the illustrations I bet they are beautiful. So sad when main characters are bothersome – I can’t stand bratty ones. Thank you for the review.
    Steph recently posted…Crazy for Summer Readathon Day 2My Profile

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