A girl raised to be a weapon by her brutal mother must decide whether she’s willing to ruin a boy’s life for the sake of revenge.
For most teenagers, the first day at a prestigious boarding school in England would be fraught with nervous energy, but Vivian feels only duty and determination to please her mother as she begins to explore Madigan School in Yorkshire. When she was a girl herself, Vivian’s mother’s heart was broken by the now enormously wealthy creator of a digital doll program called Ava. Now Vivian’s mother has sent her to Madigan to ruin the life of her former beau’s son, to teach him a lesson in a new kind of heartbreak. Though Vivian sees herself as a weapon, distance from the cruel woman who tortured her as a child now gives her pause. The only friend she ever had mysteriously appears at Madigan, and suddenly it’s her own heart she’s at war with. Though given ample space for depth and development, Vivian never feels like a true product of her upbringing and her twisted mission. Instead, she’s distant and waffling, with all of her lovelorn beaus and school-hall bullies standing out as vivid players in her story in unfortunate contrast. Though there are countless nods to mythic tragedies, well-earned emotion eludes this drama.
More soap operatic than Shakespearian. (Thriller. 14-18)