Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Last Academy

Book:  The Last Academy
Author:  Anne Applegate
Publisher:  Scholastic Point
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  B

What is this prep school preparing them for?

Camden Fisher arrives at boarding school haunted by a falling-out with her best friend back home. But the manicured grounds of Lethe Academy are like nothing Cam has ever known. There are gorgeous, preppy boys wielding tennis rackets, and circles of girls with secrets to spare. Only . . . something is not quite right. One of Cam's new friends mysteriously disappears, but the teachers don't seem too concerned. Cam wakes up to strangers in her room, who then melt into the night. She is suddenly plagued by odd memories, and senses there might be something dark and terrible brewing. But what? The answer will leave Cam—and readers—stunned and breathless, in this thrilling debut novel.

Initial reaction
This was a really COOL idea! I didn't even figure it out until almost the end. What a concept!!!

Cover Story
There are no people kissing, so that immediately moves it up, IMHO.  But I really do like this cover.  I’m a sucker for dark and mysterious covers anyway.  And the title, oh the title!  It’s so clever!  And that is all I plan to say on that subject.

What’s the Story
Camden is a 14 year old girl who is starting her freshman year of high school.  Only, she’s starting it far from home in a boarding school, Last Academy.  Before you roll your eyes and say “Tammy, another paranormal boarding school novel?”, let me assure you that this is not your mother’s paranormal boarding school novel. : )

First, I think I need to address something that I’ve seen in other reviews.  Some people talk about the story being boring and not complex enough, etc, etc.  I feel that I should point out that this book is published by Point, an imprint of Scholastic.  I think that Scholastic YA is really targeted to the younger end of YA.  I read this book in nothing flat and it didn’t have the sort of complex plot and character development that you might find in other YA novels, but it works for the target audience, which is probably 11-15.  You know, early adolescence.  So don’t expect lots of depth going in and you won’t be disappointed.

Why not?  Because this book has a really cool concept.  First, there are lots of mysterious things going on.  Some of it is just downright weird.  Until you get to the end of the book and realize why it all made sense.  I kept racking my brain until the end trying to figure out what was going on and then it just smacks you upside the head at the end like the big dummy you are for not figuring it out to begin with!

Like any novel for adolescents, there is a love interest, but it’s not the main focus of the story, which is nice.  But I did like Mark Elliott.  I thought he was a real decent guy.  The girl characters were fun, even though some of them tended to lean toward the stereotype characters of YA books.  You know, mean girls, popular girls, shy girls etc.  Again, I attribute this to the younger audience.

I just keep going back to the concept behind the story.  It is going to blow your mind.  And even though there are places where the story might drag a bit, just stick with it because that ending makes everything worthwhile.
The Soundtrack

Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy

Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park

Sweet Afton by Nickel Creek

If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback

It’s Not My Time by 3 Doors Down

The Final Grade
My final grade for this novel is a B.  I really enjoyed the concept and the story, but it was a little on the youngish side, in my opinion.  I think this would be a great book for middle school students.

No comments:

Post a Comment