The Last Academy by Anne Applegate.
Curtis Sittenfeld’s PREP meets THE SIXTH SENSE in this spine-tingling, unforgettable debut.
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. (Synopsis from Goodreads).
General Overview (No Spoilers)
First of all the cover is beautiful, it’s menacing yet inviting. It’s what drew me in despite a few bad reviews, it had a few good ones too, so thought it was worth a shot. When I started it, it was great, was enjoying the set up of the story. Then it just went no-where, they was strange goings-on but no explanation. A few things did not make sense. I was getting frustrated with it, not sure if I wanted to carry on. I had heard the ending was the worst part, but I hate not finishing books and I so wanted to love this, I carried on. I am glad I did, the ending was amazing. Almost everything made sense, it was such a intense ending that i could not look away, I was racing to the finish, soaking in every word. The end made the story great but the execution of the middle lacked for me. Also quite a few gaps in the plot. It was not bad just not great.
3 stars out of 5
Step by Step Overview (Spoilers)
0% – Sounds like a typical YA novel with a twist of the paranormal. I have heard some terrible reviews about this book, but also some good ones. It is expensive for the kindle for a debut author at £6.99, just hoping it’s worth it.
10% – Starts in a very typical YA style, for some reason a kid is sent to boarding school, in this case she is glad to go because she has fallen out with her best friend.
“The designs were abstract, with nothing that might look like a cross or as crescent or a star anywhere.” – I have no idea why this is in there, there is no mention of why she might suspect a star of or a crescent is there? It is about a chapel so I can understand the cross but the other two? It’s a little out of the blue.
“Her tone implied I had asked her to stick her finger in a pot of honey and go slap a bear.” –I had to reread this comment four times to make sure I had read it right, it’s funny and without a doubt, original.
So there’s a pervert on campus? It’s different at least for paranormal YA, but since it is YA there’s a very thin line and I hope it is not crossed.
“It came out sounding like what horses eat.” – This was odd for me, how else is it pronounced? It’s always said like that. Confused.
20%- Could Brynn’s absent roommate be the girl from the plane and did the landlord do something to her? So I am guessing Tamara can teleport or stop time or something. So far the story is fine but the details are a little messy. Also not a fan of Brynn.
30%- I think skinny butt is Mark. Honestly have no clue about what is going on, there is a strange room where some people hear voices and others see past hairstyles of the other people in the room? Huh?
40% – I still have no clue as to what is going on. Does that mean students are going missing? Is Jessie dead or missing or gone home?
50% – Could Alan be an ally or is he just a bully too? Has something happened to Mark? There has been no mention of him for a while?
60% – Eh? What on earth was that phone call about?
70% – Why is Mr Cooper telling her personal secrets about all the other teachers?
80% – I now think all the students are dead and the creepy guy gives them coins to “move on” when they are ready. That’s why their parents don’t want them phoning because they are haunting them. It’s a wild idea but would explain quite a few things. The more I read the more I am positive that I am right about that theory. Maybe the random images Camden keeps seeing is how the other children died?
90% – I have actually been loving the last 10% or so, it’s much better written and things are making sense now. Did Camden die in the pool after her friend pushed her in?
100% – Lovely ending. Understand why certain things happened now. Was worth the read but the middle could do with some more work in my opinion. If the rest of the book had been as good as the ending it would have been 5 stars.
Who would I recommend this book to?
Anyone who likes YA paranormal. But does not mind filtering through a few things that do not quite make sense. The ending did make it worth it for me though.