Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: The Last Academy by Anne Applegate

The Last Academy
*Cover and Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

*Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Website

My Review

Camden should be celebrating her last summer with her best friend before she goes off to boarding school, instead they have a huge falling out and she goes to boarding school knowing that she has lost her best friend.  At first everything seems normal, you have your typical cliques, jocks and preppy kids, but something always seems a little off. Then one of Camden's friends disappears without an explanation. The school say's she went home, but Camden knows something is off with their story, she knows something is off, period and that someone, had a hand in her friends disappearance. 

I have to admit, this book was a little slow and a tad bit confusing. The mysterious disappearances and strange happenings seemed to both leave me wanting more and muddle the story. With every strange occurrence I thought, finally, something is going to happen, but every time I was disappointed, but I knew something was going to happen. After all the entire book alluded to the fact that something funny was going on. 

That is why I kept reading. It was like I was Hansel and Gretel following a trail of bread crumbs with every crumb Anne Applegate gave me I knew I was getting closer to the secret of The Last Academy, so I kept reading, collecting my crumbs. And I will say that my crumb collecting paid off. Once the big secret was revealed I understood why Anne Applegate told the story the way she did, why she unveiled things in the manner that she did. If she did it any other way it would have ruined the shock value of the entire story.

And yes I was shocked. There were times when I thought that was what was happening in the story, but I never quite reached the entire truth on my own. 

Despite it's slow pacing I found most of the characters enjoyable and completely relateable, but many I found to be just plain annoying, flat and just not fully developed. They were there, but it was like they were there more for scenery. Upon completion of the entire story I can honestly say that I liked the overall story, that it is worth reading to the end, worth following that trail of bread crumbs and seeing the house made of candy. I say, give it a try, so that you can decide whether or not it is a hit or miss.

"The mind is cleverer than the person: It can both know the truth and obscure it until the person is prepared to face what has happened" (Kindle, loc. 2160).

The reason I chose this moment is because it is a deep moment, and once you reach the end of the bread crumbs this book can be pretty deep. I like how things are summed up and this is just one way things are explained. Of course you have to read the whole thing to really understand this! 

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