Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blog Tour : The Last Academy by Anne Applegate

The Last AcademyTitle: The Last Academy
Author:  Anne Applegate
Publishing Date:  April 30th 2013
Pages: 320
Genre:  YA Paranormal Mystery
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Kindle Version provided by Itching for Books 


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 book caught my eye right away. First with the cover then with the synopsis. I am not one who seeks out boarding school books often but this one pulled me in so I didn't want to turn it down. I was very happy to get on with the blog tour. I did enjoy the book. It wasn't what I expected  but I still liked it. There were a few things I think could have been executed a bit better, like the synopsis and the pacing, but all in all it was still a pretty solid read.

Camden is 14 years old and after a fallout with her long time best fried, she heads off to an elite academy in California. She is hoping for a new start with some new friends. Strange things happen starting with the flight to California when she is approached by a very creepy man. Once she arrives at the academy, weird things continue to happen. The creepy guy is on campus, students disappear, and teachers either lie about it or turn a blind eye to it. She does meet some pretty good friends while she is attending the school, and together they attempt to solve the mystery surrounding the academy. 

It is really hard for me to put my thoughts together for this review. There were so many good things about the book but there were a few things that I did have a hard time with. First, I want to say.. I did enjoy the book. In the end I was left thinking... well that ended up being a pretty darn good story, and the story was good. I liked the plot. It was a very creative idea. I also liked the world building and the mystery. They were both well done. The characters were OK, I didn't attach to them quite as well I like, but they didn't annoy me at all. The pacing is where I had the issue, I was expecting a thriller and it was more of just a mystery. 

I think that the synopsis fooled me a bit. I was expecting more of a thrilling ride and I didn't get it. I do believe that if I would have went in looking for a intriguing mystery, I would have been good with the pacing and of the story. The book was slow for about 2/3 of the book. I mean slow for a thriller.The book kept me plenty interested to the point I needed to keep reading to find out what is going on. The mystery was done really well. I really didn't have any clue to what was going on until right before all the action started. At that point the book got really good. The intensity only lasts for about 5 percent of the book but that was OK. It was really good from that point on. 

The characters were OK. I liked them all, they were very diverse with each one adding something to the story. There were many different characters an the author did an amazing job keeping me straight with who was who. That is usually a struggle for me when there are multiple characters. The only complaint I have about the characters... I just couldn't attach. I felt I was watching them from afar instead of living the story with them. I feel they lacked a bit on their connections to each other too. The relationships were a bit rushed for me. 

The story had a tiny bit of a love story. It was quick and sweet and there for only one reason. It did its job too.  The best relationships happened with the friendships and they were very important to the story too. I did like the friendship between the main character, Camden and Nora. That relationship I felt the most, and it was a very sweet friendship.

The last bit of the book I did get teary eyed. It was a bitter sweet ending and it definitely tugged at my heartstrings. 

Great story, awesome mystery, good characters. It did lack a tiny bit for me but not enough to keep me from enjoying the read. 

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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