In this hilarious follow-up to School of Fear, eccentric headmaster Mrs. Wellington demands requests the presence of Madeleine, Theo, Lulu, and Garrison for a mandatory summer of retraining after discovering that each of her former students has secretly regressed. Facing their fears was terrifying enough, but when the foursome learns they’ll be joined by a fifth student, things start to get even scarier.
To make matters worse, the students quickly find themselves tasked with saving their school. And because failing means spending the rest of their lives with unresolved phobias, this is one test they all plan to ace.
Class is Not Dismissed! is the second book for the School of Fear Series. The foursome, Madeleine, Theodore, Lulu, and Garrison are up for another summer adventure at the Summerstone. This time, their presence was requested by Mrs. Wellington. Not because she missed them. Oh, no, far from that. It is because the headmistress found out they all secretly relapsed. Madeleine, who fears bug and spider, unknown to her parents, still sleeps with a veil on her face. Theo, the one who is scared of dying, is secretly spying his family. Lulu, the claustrophobic, fakes going to the bathroom every so often when they were out, to show her family that she’s over her fear. Garrison, with his phobia for deep water, may have an overly tan appearance, but it’s not because of surfing. He spent his time at the beach, sure, but he’s just walking. Needless to say, they are not totally cured. And so, they need to complete another summer term on School of Fear. This time, though, they were joined by a new student. Hyacinth Hicklebee-Riyatulle is the fifth student this summer and is afraid of being left alone. She preferred to be called Hyhy and got herself a “talking” ferret. And if it’s not enough to drive them crazy, there’s burglar lurking, creating chaos and later on threatening to expose the secret school if their demands are not met. Together with Mrs. Wellington and Schmidty, the five students set off to save their beloved school. Because if not, they will live the rest of their lives in fear.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, School of Fear. And just like the first, Class is Not Dismissed! is as quirky and funny. Madeleine is still my favorite, and so is Mrs. Wellington. In this second book, it shows how much Mrs. Wellington, no matter how ridiculous she seems, cares for her school. It is her legacy. And she will do everything to save it from going down. Schmidty, the school keeper, is admirable with his undying loyalty towards Mrs. Wellington, regardless of how much she pokes fun at him. Lulu and Theo’s exchanges are still quite infuriating. The new kid, Hyhy’s being clingy, though exaggerated, is acceptable given that she’s scared of being left alone. But her nonstop chatter drives me crazy as much as it did the other characters in the book. What I like is that it keeps me guessing whether the burglar story is fabricated by the headmistress or if it’s real. Just like what she did in the first book, to make her students face their fears. The answer is still not clear by the end of this book, so I guess it’s what I have to find out on the third and last installment. The cliffhanger ending was totally unexpected, of course. And this second one made it look like just a prelude for the third. It didn’t even tackle much on helping the five kids with their phobias. I would say, it is still a good read. The ending still managed to surprise me but again, have to wonder if it is a manufactured story. It may all look silly and ridiculous but there is something to be gathered from it. From the kids’ fears and their hope to overcome them, the friendship and loyalty of each of the characters, and even the failing and trying again.
May not be as fun as the first one, I still give it a 3.5. Would really love to finish the series and find out what the weird group will do to save their school from exposure and possibly closure.
(*Photos and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)
Purchase it on Amazon.com: School of Fear 2: Class Is Not Dismissed!
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