Ishita Goel’s book Black Orchids was my first “boarding school romance.” While I expected it to be a dramatic YA, the story and characters took twist & turns that made it feel more like a mystery. Yet rather than a whodunnit, it was more of a what the hell?!
“Black Orchids” starts with Elizabeth “Ellie” Perkins preparing for permanent relocation to a boarding school. After being linked to multiple missing persons, Ellie’s parents decide a relocation is needed. The boarding school houses an interesting cast of characters and also unusual rules such as prohibiting family pictures. Fortunately for Ellie, she strikes an instant friendship with roommate Ivy and finds herself in a popular group. But the boarding school is not far enough for the evil character that Ellie feels is responsible for the missing persons to find her. With his returned appearance, Ellie worries about the safety of her new friends, specifically love interest, Tony. But Tony is not easily frightened and is determined to solve the mystery if Ellie will let him help.
While “Black Orchids” was not a storyline that I would typically seek out, it held my attention until the very end. The ending was definitely a turn that was unpredictable but unfortunately, left me with more questions than answers. Despite my questions, it was an enjoyable read with a sweet YA love story that I would recommend.