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Daniel Caesar
Daniel Caesar
May 20, 2024

Ninth House Review

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Ninth House is a dark academia novel written by Leigh Bardugo. This is a story that follows Alex Stern, who is given a full-ride scholarship to Yale University. Despite her lack in qualifications, she is invited to be part of one of the “houses” at Yale. These houses are eight different groups of students who specialize in different areas of magic. Alex is invited to be in the ninth house, called “Lethe”, which was created specifically to monitor and keep the other houses in line. She was hand-picked to be the understudy of another ninth house member named Daniel “Darlington” Arlington because she can see ghosts AKA greys. After the mysterious disappearance of the beloved Darlington, she starts to see mysterious murders throughout the town that runs through the campus. Although she wants to look into it, the Lethe board members refuse her requests because that isn’t their job. Although she still is suspicious, she lets it go for the time being. 

Alex Stern is a very dynamic character with experience with addiction, abusive relationships, and homelessness. Throughout the book, Alex shows her struggle with anxiety and depression. Seeing a strong and relatable main character who pushes through her issues despite her obstacles gives much hope to teenagers in our society. Alex Stern has trouble fitting in to her surroundings; on top of that, she needs to decide whether or not to trust her instincts and risk losing the trust of her superiors who took a chance with her, or following the instructions given to her and risk having chaos break out throughout Yale, and the town surrounding, that could have been prevented. Throughout Alex’s trials, she is forced to confront her traumatic past and face what really happened the night everything changed for her. She must decide whether her ability to see greys was more a blessing or a curse. 

While looking into the murders behind Lethes’ back, she finds that the murders might be connected to the houses. She needs to decide whether a house is misusing it’s magic and going outside their restrictions, or an outside force is to be at fault. As she investigates, she discovers that these occurrences also might be connected to Darlingtons disappearance. Her relationship with Darlington is a very dynamic one, with multiple tense flashback scenes leaving readers to suspect there might be something more between them. These flashbacks give readers a deeper understanding of why Alex is so interested in his disappearance.

Alex Stern is one of the most intricate characters I’ve ever read about. Her backstory is a very realistic and beautifully written story that can be related to by many. Well as realistic as you can get while talking about ghosts. I believe reading this book will make readers have a different understanding and perspective on addiction. This is a great book if you want to be on the edge of your seat reading. The characters are so entertaining and captivating that when the book ends you find yourself needing more. Leigh Bardugos’ writing is so intricate and beautiful that every word she writes will leave you with a new perspective. 

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About the Contributor
Juliet Weston, Writer
Juliet Weston is a sophomore at FGHS. She loves to read and play guitar. She plans on being a Lawyer in the future.

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  • I

    ImogeneSep 29, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    Very well written! The book sounds very good.

  • B

    Baylie BrownSep 29, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Pretty writing, the book sounds intriguing

  • L

    Lucas CSep 29, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    Good article very descriptive.