Samantha Downing | For Your Own Good

for your own good samantha downing

The Book: 

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
Published July 20th 2021 by Berkley
Date read: July 26, 2021

The Characters: 

Teddy, teacher at Belmont
Zack, his student
Sonia and Fallon, other teachers

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

Click here for book spoilers for For Your Own Good
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read For Your Own Good, I suggest you turn back now.

Teddy was poisoning everyone, but multiple times others got blamed. He didn’t mean to kill Ingrid; that coffee pod was for Sonia. When he poisoned the milk, he drank a little bit to get suspicion off of him, but his goal was to kill the headmaster.

He killed Fallon by causing a carbon monoxide leak in her house.

Zack figures everything out and tells the FBI, but Teddy talks himself out of it again.

The Twist: 

Frank knew as well, and poisoned Teddy as well. He wasn’t as clever and easily got caught, but it led to the FBI finally realizing the truth about Teddy.

The Ending:

Zack goes away to boarding school. The book ends with his plan to become a teacher at Belmont after he graduates, to go back and save the kids “for their own good”.

The Review: 

Samantha’s thrillers are unlike any other. She does such an amazing job of writing unlikeable characters. Teddy is certainly one I loved to hate. He’s obviously despicable from the first chapter, but I instantly needed to know more.

She also did a really good job of changing my opinion of other certain characters throughout the book. Ones I disliked in the beginning I loved by the end, and vice versa.

I loved how each character suspected someone else, almost in a circle of suspicion. The reader never really knows which narrators to trust and which ones are unreliable, since they’re all completely convinced that they’re the one doing the right thing.

Teddy’s milk obsession was the perfect device–somehow I found it so gross, even though milk is totally innocent. Who knew a milk addiction would be the thing to make a sociopath even more creepy?

QOTD: Do you drink plain milk? I usually don’t, but occasionally crave it with really gooey brownies.

for your own good samantha downing

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