The Last Academy
by Anne Applegate
Summary: 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.
Source: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Last Academy is a difficult book to review because I didn’t really enjoy it the whole time I was reading it, but the ending was awesome and really brought all the elements of the story together. As much as I loved the ending, I feel like it wasn’t enough to warrant a high review or a stellar recommendation. And I can’t really say much about the story because the only things worth mentioning are incredible spoilers. If you read The Last Academy knowing how it ends, it would be a waste of your time. If you don’t know the end, you’ll only feel like it’s wasting your time until the end brings the story together.
Honestly, I don’t know that I can review the book properly or provide a decent synopsis because anything worth highlighting can ruin the story for people who are fairly good at predicting twists.
Camden arrived at boarding school sort of unexpectedly. She basically adjusted to her life there and dealt with the possibility that her parents might not want her around. Most of the kids had some sort of similar feelings, too, which I imagined was common for boarding school students. For most of the story, Camden attempted to fit in, win the affections of a popular boy, and make friends while avoiding making the same kinds of friends she had at home. And all the while, weird things start to happen and Camden unravels the mystery of her new home.
The majority of the book was slow and uninteresting to me. I didn’t care for Camden, I thought her crush on Mark was stupid because it was based on nothing and they had nothing in common. I didn’t like most of Camden’s friends, aside from Nora, but I didn’t feel like Camden was really learning her lesson after the summer incident back home. Until the twist, I was just waiting for the story to end. The twist in the story was brilliant, intelligent, and quite interesting, but I feel like the book was poorly executed overall. I’m not sure how it could have been done differently, but something about the execution missed the mark for me.
I don’t know that I’d recommend the book, although the overall themes were great. I suppose it would just depend on how fast of a reader the person is and how much time they are willing to spend on a book. If you can make it to the end, it’s a book that can be appreciated. It’s probably a great book club book so readers can discuss the ending and the themes.
Labels: Review, YA