REVIEW: The Last Academy by Anne Applegate

lastacademyThe Last Academy by Anne Applegate
Point, 2013
[Goodreads] [Amazon]

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.

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I have to admit that I was sort of afraid to read The Last Academy, due to some not-so-positive reviews that were populating the blogosphere. Luckily, I went ahead and took the plunge, because I am definitely one of those in the minority who really enjoyed this book. Don’t get me wrong – I can see why it would strike some as weird or “bad” – but for me, the atmosphere and use of mythology were enough to keep me fully engaged in the characters and plot and eagerly turning the pages until the end.

Camden was an interesting main character. She’s having to deal with a fallout with her best friend, Lia, as well as adjusting to a new school clear across the country from where she grew up. While she did strike me as a bit younger than she was supposed to be, I still ultimately liked how she took the steps necessary to come to terms with her life and the strange occurrences that happen at the school. I don’t want to spoil anything, because part of this book’s draw for me personally was the way the suspense was written. While I figured out what was going on fairly early on, I still enjoyed watching Camden’s journey into the truth and how it impacts her future.

One thing that was done incredibly well in this story was the way the setting was written. You get a definite spooky vibe from the school and its faculty, and the way the author involved the paranormal aspects into the plot were first-rate. Camden is well aware that there’s something not right with her new school, and I liked the way she continued to delve into the students’ stories and try to figure out what was going on with her classmates and herself. Again, it becomes pretty apparent early on what the ultimate truth is going to be, but I still found plenty within the pages to keep me invested in her story.

The Last Academy was a good mix of suspense, mythology, and paranormal. It’s a quick read that ultimately left me quite satisfied, not only with the plot but also with Camden’s personal journey. If you like spooky reads full of atmosphere, and don’t mind figuring out the “twist” before the main character does, then I think you’ll like this one quite a bit. I know I did!

4stars

An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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14 Responses to REVIEW: The Last Academy by Anne Applegate

  1. Amber H. says:

    thanks for the review. I am definitely gonna give it a chance just like you are. the cover alone dragged me into the book. I hope I am one that enjoys it too :)

    • Merin says:

      I hope so, too! It really had a fabulous atmosphere and air of eeriness to it. :) If you think about it, and decide to review it, please link me so I can read it!

  2. This one sounds really cool!

  3. Quinn says:

    Oooo, I’m intrigued. I LOVE spooky books. Great review. I just have to say again how much I love your new design. I contacted Nancy to see if she can work her magic on my blog, too!

  4. Oh yeah I’ve also been seeing the not so positives on this one lately and it’s not really getting me in the mood to read it so it’s good to see that it does have some good qualities. I like when books like this have a rich setting especially a creepy boarding school! Which more often than not become favorites of mine! :) Great review, Merin!

  5. Lucy says:

    I just started seeing this book pop up, and the cover/title remind me so much of Vampire Academy for some reason.Glad you were pleasantly surprised by this one. I may have to give it a shot.
    Gorgeous new blog design!

  6. Huh! I had not realized this incorporated mythology elements! That’s very good to know beforehand. I’m glad the boarding school was done well—I’m a total sucker for school stories, especially spooky/creepy ones. This is actually the first review I’ve managed to read for this, but I’ll have to go and look for some of the negative ones you mentioned. I’m really happy you liked it though, even if you’re in the minority!

    • Merin says:

      Oh, yes. It definitely does. That’s part of the reason why you figure out what’s going on early on, or at least I did. But that may just be my love of mythology showing through. :)

  7. Molli says:

    Girl, I am right there with you on the atmosphere. It just sounds so spooky, and spine-tingling. I’m a HUGE fan of that sort of thing, so I’ll probably check out this one for that alone. Happy you liked this one, and the characters!

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  8. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves #49 | Read and Reviewed

  9. I’m overjoyed that you liked this one Merin! I really want to read this but was wondering if it was going to be a waste of time due to the reviews. I’ll definitely be reading it now :) I always figure out the twists early on so that’s not going to be an issue lol.

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