Today WinterHaven Books has the wonderful opportunity to review, The Last Academy by Anne Applegate. Special thanks to Itching for Books for hosting this blog tour as well as allowing us to participate.
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
Release-April 30th 2013
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.My Thoughts:
Camden Fisher was at a last-hurrah party at her best friend Lia's house before they set off to high school, but Camden and Lia had a falling out and five days later Camden was leaving Minneapolis to go to a boarding school in California called Lethe Academy.
Despite a frightful and creepy encounter on the plane with a unusual man, Camden's new school looked beautiful, sunny and inviting. Everyone smiling, playing Frisbee surrounded by tennis courts and swimming pools. Camden thought that she may fit in here after all.
But soon enough strange events started to unfold around her. One of her friends is missing, dark shadows are in her room and the creepy guy from the plane is even at her school and yet no one seems to do anything about it. Camden doesn't know what to think or even do. Just what kind of place is Lethe Academy?
Wow, okay, I'm not even sure where to begin. The Last Academy wasn't exactly what I had in mind and apart of me kinda can't help but be disappointed since it was one of my most anticipated, but then another part of me is so taken over with that ending I'm not even sure what to think.
The story line, the writing and it's characters seem to all blend together during this reading experience.
I'm not even sure how to describe this, my only comparison would be like being in the middle of one of those crazy horror/thriller type movies and I'm watching this girl at a new school and at first everyone she meets seems to be okay, friendly, normal, with the occasional mean girl or guy here and there. But then slowly the story line and it's characters seem to get strange, withdrawn, spooky and dealing with their own personal...issues.
As we get in further into the story it starts to jump from strange to down right bizarre with random events starting to take shape around Camden with no really rhyme or reason to it.
...Now at this point I'm not sure if this book is even for me. I'm confused, I'm frustrated and apart of me kinda wants to just walk away, but I'm oddly compelled to figure out what's going on, with absolutely zero clues as to what it could be.
So anyways, I'm a little more then half way in and still in the middle of strange and crazy land and then we get to the point where the big reveal happens. Everything starts to click in place like a slap in the face and I'm left sitting there, stunned and utterly floored, asking if all that just really happened?!? I don't think I could have possible ever have guessed that particular twist. It was actually remarkably well done, even brilliant, if I go back and think about everything before that moment, actually changing how I feel about it overall. It made the process of trying to figure out what the hell was going on worth the frustration and exasperation. And while this may not be a favorite and may not even be for everyone, I have to give kudos to Anne Applegate for writing such a gusty debut, sparking genuine madness, curiosity and in the end, heartfelt emotion. I'm really glad that I had the chance to experience this peculiar little story and would have to agree completely with that blurb. The Last Academy really will leave readers shocked and breathless once it's all said and done. I'm looking forward to seeing what Applegate has in store for us next!
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.
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