May 3, 2013

Blog Tour: The Last Academy by Anne Applegate Review, Excerpt + Giveaway

The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Point; 320 pages
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.

The story itself, I really enjoyed; some of the characters and their relationships? Not so much. I should also say that after reading this book I went and checked out other reviews before writing this. Not something I normally do but I wanted to see why with only so many reviews the rating for this book wasn’t too high. I think I found the problem, I’m not a big Greek Mythology fan – though I enjoyed that lesson back in middle school it was never anything that stuck with me and that may be why I enjoyed this book a lot more than someone who is really in to that. Something to take in to consideration, I guess. I will also say that having read other reviews is not going to sway my opinion on the book or my review.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book. The ending completely threw me and I’m excited to say I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I should have, who knows but that’s not the point. The point is, I didn’t. I love reading books and not seeing something so huge (like an ending) happen before it happens. It’s refreshing and definitely takes how I feel about the book up a few notches.

The main character, Camden, isn’t bad. She’s young, 14 years old so her voice throughout the book is what’s expected of someone so young. Someone going through the change from middle to high school. My big issue with her was her choice in friends. I don’t know about you but I like to see the heroine of the story have a good group of supportive friends. Instead we meet Lia, right off the bat, who is anything but. Once she gets to her new school she’s drawn to Brynn, who is a lot like Lia – basically a carbon copy. It breaks my heart to see. She does make other friends with Jessie and Nora – I really loved Nora. I do believe she’s the closest thing Cam has to a best friend though I also know Brynn redeems herself by the end. It just breaks my heart to see girls choose the wrong friends and suffer because of it.

Mark Elliott. If you don’t remember his full name by the end of the book then shame on you. It’s repeated so many times it has to be drilled in to your head; I actually found it amusing. Her crush on him is something fierce, even if he’s a senior and she’s a freshman. We’ve all had those crushes at some point in our lives, right? Especially just going in to high school – seniors are just so much better than the guys are own age, right? He’s a great guy, very big in to sports.

The one thing that ties all of these characters together is their family issues. All of them are here because their homes lives just aren’t ideal. Whether their parents didn’t want them or things are just rough, it’s the reason they’re all there. It breaks your heart, it really does. This book was just fun to read, in a weird way. I will have to say, the ending had me bawling but maybe it was on a personal level. *highlight to view spoiler* When she called Lia at the end, to get Lia to forgive herself for being the cause of Camden’s death, it broke my heart. It opened up something in me. I lost my best friend four years ago and just thinking about getting one last opportunity to talk to her again, make sure she’s okay; what I wouldn’t give for that. Not that I’m responsible for her death or anything, since she passed from an asthma attack but just getting that chance to let her know how I felt and to say goodbye, properly. Wow, it definitely had an effect on me. *end spoiler*

Thank you so much to Shane from Itching for Books and Scholastic for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review & to be a part of the this blog tour!

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. |
"Hi," Mark Elliott 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.

Brynn looked ready to get her flirt on, but before she could, Beau's smile went mischievous. "You ladies know what time it is?" He pointed to the big clock in the hallway. It read 9:59. Jessie gasped and bolted for the doors. We were going to be late for check-in.

We raced back to Kelser as fast as we could. Jessie and I were in the back, and tennis champ Brynn had a good lead on us, but Nora must have had a fifth gear in those legs, because she was way ahead and making it look easy. Out on the lawn, it was dark and everything smelled like mown grass and marine layer. It felt good to run.

Nora got to the doors of Kelser first. She lay into them without slowing down, arms out to push them open. Her whole body smacked against them and she crumpled like a swatted fly. I made a note to remember that the doors at Kelser House opened out instead of in. Nora picked herself up and pulled the door open. We all piled in behind her, desperate to have at least one foot across the threshold, when Miss Anderson, the dorm head, saw us. I don't know how she could have missed us, though. She was right there.

Miss Anderson looked pointedly at her watch. "Get to your rooms. Now," she said, in an irritated tone. We disappeared.

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  1. Good review & excerpt. Thanks for participating.

  2. Awesome post! I also didn't see the ending of this book coming! I thought it was just going to br a typical boarding-school mystery but it ended up being so much more! And yes I always reffer to Mark as Mark Elliott lol

    And I just died laughing from your quotes! !!

    Emily from Instagram

    Blog: Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

  3. Great review! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you! Thank YOU for having amazing tours! :)

  5. I'm so glad I'm not alone. I was reading through a lot of reviews and a lot of people were saying it was obvious to them. But it's really MarkElliott - all one word LOL!

    Thanks for stopping by, btw! :)

  6. Judging by reviews I guess I was really the only one that
    figured out what the twisted was going to be from the end of the first chapter
    (Which really made the book boring for me because I figured out how it was
    going to end before I had barely even started). And also the constant use of
    the word OK got on my nerves so much I just wanted throw the book against the


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