Sneak Peek Wednesday: The Helmont Academy of Alchemy by Meg Kassel

The Helmont Academy of Alchemy
(The Silent Sister #1)
by Meg Kassel
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: March 20, 2020
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult

If I had known my thoughts would kill her, I would have thought about something else.

When the sudden discovery of my mind control ability causes the death of my high school nemesis, my mom sends me to the Helmont Academy of Alchemy, a boarding school for kids with staggering IQs and supernatural talents.

My mom has a lot of secrets, including a connection to this school that makes its scary headmistress watch me like a hawk. When students who possess uncanny mental abilities (like mine), begin falling ill with a mysterious ailment and are “quarantined” on the forbidden thirty-third floor, I know something terrible is happening at this school. The terrifying reality is clear—The Helmont Academy wants more than just good grades from kids like me.

With the help of a pair of telepathic twins and a secretive, but fascinating boy who does wild things to my heart, I find myself navigating unlikely friendships and unraveling a secret society’s dark plot to develop my mind control ability into a devastating weapon.


Sneak Peek

“Did this ever happen before? Have you ever…made someone do something they didn’t mean to do?”
I shake my head.
“Okay then.” Her shoulders visibly relax and she begins digging through the CDs in the compartment between our seats. Yes. My mom still uses CDs.
We don’t talk for a long time after that. Everything that had to be said is said. I watch mile markers fly by. Signs for Orlando and Disney World have come and gone. We’re on route ninety-five and about to go through Jacksonville before I speak again. This is the Big Highway. The one out of Florida and away from everything I know.
“Where is this school?”
“Maine. Well, it’s on the Maine-New Hampshire border. In the mountains.”
A chill runs through me. “Wow. That’s really far away.”
“I grew up there. I was a student there for a while.” Her eyes go wide, as if she surprised herself by admitting this. She doesn’t speak about her childhood. Or anything about her life before I was born. “It’s very beautiful. I think you’ll like it.”
I’m not sure about that, but there’s no point in debating it. Out the window, the landscape is a blur of greens and browns, punctuated by the bright colors of signs and cars. Normal is just a word now. A state of being for people whose thoughts stay in their heads. I don’t think I’ll ever know normal again.
“Helmont is the right place for you, Sage.” My mother’s words break into the quiet and cut something deep and previously untouched inside me.
I don’t respond. Obviously, she doesn’t think being with her is the right place for me anymore. I don’t think I belong anywhere. Not me––a lonely girl who can wish people into crashing their cars and then let the guilt of it swallow them whole.



Meet Meg Kassel

Meg Kassel is an award-winning author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s always been creating stories, whether with visuals or words.

She has worked as a graphic designer, a waitress, a tour guide and a farm hand. Meg is a New Jersey native who now lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. She has always been fascinated and inspired by myths, creepy urban legends, and science fiction. When she’s not writing, Meg is reading, hanging out with her family, hoarding peanut butter cups, or playing video games.

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2 Thoughts on “Sneak Peek Wednesday: The Helmont Academy of Alchemy by Meg Kassel

  1. What a great premise for a YA paranormal, hope you enjoy it.

  2. the first sentence of the blurb made me sit up and take notice
    sherry @ fundinmental

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