As I went on winter break from my high school library, I took home a stack of new books different from my usual reading tastes. I selected this book as the cover looked like a cross between a vampire book and a “Pretty Little Liars” type of book. As suspected from the title, it is a takeoff on the Faust theme of selling one’s soul to the Devil in return for some kind of advantage that doesn’t turn out quite as good as you imagined.
I also was interested that the book was written by adult brother and sister reflecting on intense competition at school during their high school years. My current high school has a 98% graduation rate and is the scene of intense studying and competition to gain admission to top colleges.
The time is present day. Children are enticed to leave their homes to gain some kind of advantage in a new “family.” They lose most memory of their earlier lives. Their “governess” is an exceedingly beautiful, tall, blonde woman. Their gifts include an ability to stop and replay time, athletic prowess, high intelligence, head turning attractiveness, but their is always something off. For example, the beauty attracts everyone’s attention, but when they get close to her, she gives off a putrescent odor. If they can ignore that long enough the person becomes “charmed” by her and finds it difficult to disengage.
As time goes on, the young people start to regain some of their previous memories. They begin to see that the advantages conferred by their governess are not all for which they originally were willing to give their souls. Is it too late to escape her influence?