Review: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

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.


I don’t have the best memories of high school. I was a good student, got a long well with the teachers but stayed on the outside when it came to cliques. This meant that I had my nose stuck in a book most of the time which didn’t make me very popular with my peers. However, my time in high school was nothing compared to what students and staff went through in Belmont Academy.

At the heart of the story is Teddy. He is an English teacher who cares about his students and wants them to be the best versions of themselves. Sounds good, right? Not exactly! Teddy’s ideas about what it means to be a good teacher are unconventional. For one, he knows how to keep a grudge. He goes out of his way to settle scores. He is cold, so cold. Someone is onto him. However, Belmont Academy is not focused on Teddy and his weird ways though. There are unexplained deaths at the Academy that have everyone on edge. What exactly is going on in this school?

I love Samantha Downing’s books. They have subtle kind of darkness. A story begins all innocent enough before the darkness builds up. There are unlikable, selfish characters in this book who are developed in a way that won’t have you hating them.

There is a murder mystery that is a mystery only to the community and the investigators. Readers are in the know. I kept waiting to see how the mystery would get solved. I was curious about the villains especially when they just kept getting away with everything.

This was such a fun, captivating, twisty rollercoaster ride. I didn’t want the book to end. Nonetheless, the ending left me shook. Samantha Downing is definitely in a league of her own when it comes to twisted, outrageous yet entertaining characters. This was a brilliant read!


  1. What a great review, Diana! It made me want to get this book and read it ASAP. It sounds as though I’d like the writing style of this author. Thanks for making me aware of this book. 🙂

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