Greetings to everyone on this Sunday. We are one of today's stops on The Last Academy Blog Tour hosted by Shane at Itching For Books Book Tours. We have chosen some of our favorite quotes, have our review, and there's a tour wide giveaway. Have a great day!
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
YA paranormal*Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Point
Curtis Sittenfeld's PREP meets THE SIXTH SENSE in this spine-tingling, unforgettable debut.
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.
I wore my funk of irritation like a housecoat and skulked up to the dining hall.
There is nothing worse than someone knowing you like somebody.
"Hi," Mark Elliot said. It was hard to breathe, but I managed to not pass out, based purely on the fact that I wanted to impress the guy.
I didn't feel like my right self. I had an insane urge to lean over and . . . I dunno. Lick the sweat off Mark Eliot's neck, right by his collarbone. It was shocking to think that. Shocking and super-uber fantastically unbelievably gross. It wasn't even a kiss, was the thing. It was madness to think of something like that. Insane licking madness.
I could not believe I was actually living in a world where guys like Thatch were making out when I was sitting in my dorm room like a dork.
Nora had chosen me for her secret room adventure. It was like being inducted into the Illuminati or something.
This time, a few of the varsity players stayed to watch the JV team practice. That meant I got to peek at Mark Elliot for a whole hour. I didn't want to care about boys anymore, but even as Eeyored out as I felt, I couldn't entirely ignore him.
About the Author
Anne Applegate was born in Chico, California. Most of her childhood was spent moving across America with her family, nomad style.
When Anne was fourteen, her parents sent her to boarding school so she could spend four years in a single educational system. As it turned out, her family then promptly settled into a small mid-western town and lived there for the next sixteen years. Anne still hasn’t figured out if this means something.
After graduation, she went on to Tufts University in Medford, MA, where she had a wicked good time. Eventually, she wound up back on the west coast, where she married a fantastic Californian guy. Together, they have three children.
For the last twelve years, Anne has lived in San Luis Obispo County. This is by far the longest time she has stayed in any one place her whole life. She immensely enjoys living where 1) the sun always shines and 2) she isn’t the weirdest person in town.
The Last Academy has one of the strongest voiced characters I've read in YA lately. Camden retains her sense of humor throughout the things which happen to and around her. After a bad break-up with her best friend, Lia, she is off to California to begin her freshman year at Lethe Academy. Her room mate Tammara turns out to be a nightmare but Camden makes friends with next door roomies Nora and Jess and soon crushes on senior Mark Elliot. There are some odd things happening at Lethe and the mysteries begin to increase when her friend Jess disappears. Students whisper one thing, teachers say another. Camden seeks out her own answers with the help of Nora and popular girl Brynn. Freshman year has gotten interesting.
The premise for this story is so interesting that I was looking forward to reading this book. I really don't like it when summaries reveal too much. Why do that to readers? To help sell more books? But what about the reading experience and the element of surprise? The story itself was slow paced and while events unfurled, they didn't occur with any element of surprise. I didn't feel tension until close to the end. Each character was described and acted accordingly to make them stand-out as individuals, from main characters to secondary ones--and this is hard to do successfully. The author did a wonderful job filling the cast with various characters I could immediately identify.
So many questions arose as I read, some answered by the end, others not. The story was well written and flowed but I wished there was more action. As for Camden's crush on Mark, I really liked his character. He was a nice guy and genuinely liked Camden. As much as I liked the characters, I did not feel any connection to any of them, even Camden. There was this sense of disconnect throughout the book and I wondered if this was done on purpose since the story had this dreamy surreal feel to it. At times I tried to figure out exactly what was going on, especially with the things Camden was seeing in her mind as opposed to what was actually before her.
The Last Academy picked up in the last quarter and my eyes soaked up the words on the pages. When revelations about Barnaby and other things were made (I wasn't surprised though from seeing the subtle references to Greek mythology) the pacing seemed to pick up and things made sense. I liked the premise, wasn't happy with the summary, but I did like the author's writing and would be interested in reading what she writes next. Readers who enjoy younger YA books may want to check this title out.
I like the purple and the school gates but the silhouette of the four students is too vague and boring.