26 January 2016

{Book Review} The Last Academy by Anne Applegate

By: Me My Shelf And I | 26 January 2016 at 9:44 AM | | | | | | | |

16043626The Last Academy
Author: Anne Applegate
Pages: 320
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Point
Rating: 3 Birds

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.

This past weekend I was in the mood for a short read. On our bookshelf, I found my roommate’s copy of THE LAST ACADEMY. A 300ish page book about a creepy boarding school? Sounded perfect.

It opens with Cam’s best friend throwing a pool party to celebrate the last day of summer before high school begins. In stereotypical early teen fashion, catty drama builds a wall between the friends. And next thing we know, Cam is packing for boarding school. The transitions and writing definitely felt disjointed in these early pages, but smoothed out later in the book.

On her flight to Lethe Academy, she encounters a very strange man. I was ready for the weirdness to start ramping up, but it disappeared as quickly as it arrived. While Cam’s first few days at Lethe were not uneventful, it was mostly filled with what seemed like unwarranted drama. Can you tell I’m a person who doesn’t like petty drama? Cause I don’t. Going in with a thriller mindset, I was disheartened by this slow beginning and nearly stopped reading.

And then the weird truly descended and left a creepy vibe over everything. Cam started to hear and see things that weren’t there, people disappeared, and the teachers were hiding secrets. Silly drama mostly left the building, and the drama that remained stemmed from the odd happenings on campus. I was intrigued once more and really wanted to uncover the mystery.

I loved the twist ending of THE LAST ACADEMY. My suspicions were on the right track, but I didn’t put it all together until the moment the author wanted me to. There were a few clues in the form of Greek based names, however, which picked at the back of my mind. I couldn’t remember what they referenced (and successfully abstained from Google), so the twist stayed hazy until the end. Anyone with a particular affinity to Greek mythology will find the ending much less surprising.

The concept of THE LAST ACADEMY is really amazing. The end is what truly makes this book work. It’s poignant and gives strong messages about some really tough topics in a positive, yet melancholy, light. I can’t really say much without ruining it. If I was rating just the story concept, easy 5 Birds. I just wished that it had captivated me from the beginning instead of dwelling on drama, but maybe that’s what helps connect this story to the kids who need it most.

FIND ANNE APPLEGATE
WEBSITE | TWITTER

Reviewed byKatie

2 comments:

  1. Glad to hear the book picked up. I was starting to get a lil worried there because it sounded like such a great read... and then not so much. Glad the author was able to pull through at the end.

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  2. I'm not a big fan of petty drama either so I feel like the beginning would've been slow for me as well. I'm happy that the creepiness factor ramped up though and that you ended up enjoying the middle to end. I do know a lot about Greek names and mythology so I'm not sure if I'd pick up on surprise. Great review!

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