Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: The Last Academy by Anne Applegate

Title: The Last Academy
Author: Anne Applegate
Genre: Young Adult, paranormal/mythology
Series: N/A

Hardcover, 320 pages

Publication: April 30, 2013 by Point (Scholastic)

Buy the book

Source: Publicist

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.

I really like the boarding school type YA, so when I heard of The Last Academy…I knew I wanted to read it immediately. I thought the synopsis was pretty vague but not in a bad way. It didn’t give readers clues/or hints to what they can expect from the book beside a student disappearing. I like the mystery factor, and couldn’t wait to find out what was going on at Lethe .

The majority of The Last Academy plays out like a typical boarding school. Our heroine Camden is fourteen-years-old and is in her first year at Lethe Academy. Everything in the book felt like it was happening on fast-forward; Camden made friends, enemies and even found a new crush/love all within the span of an hour being at school. I found that extremely weird and unrealistic, Camden and the other students acted like they known each other for years and not 5 minutes. The majority of the book read like a contemporary novel because nothing was really happening except Camden having school/boy drama. I couldn’t really connect with Camden or any of the other characters either. Everyone may be in high school but they all acted like little immature children. The story didn’t pick up until the last 80 pages…and it wasn’t till I got to page 270 (again, this book only has 320 pages) that I realize this book was a paranormal with Greek mythology elements! Everything started to come together in the end, and I was surprised that I didn’t see it coming at all. The ending totally made up for the first 2/3rd of the book.

While not the best book I’ve ever read, The Last Academy did a good job in keeping me guessing till the very end. I didn’t really enjoy the first half of the book, but overall it was still a good book. I liked reading about all the characters in the end and how they came to be at Lethe, and how the author infused the Greek mythology into the story/characters. Overall, The Last Academy was a fast and easy read, but I suggest anyone interested in reading it to check out a sample chapter/excerpt before reading/or buying.

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