The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
Published by Point (4.30.2013)
eARC, 320 pages
Source: NetGalley (for tour)
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.
I blame the beautiful cover for drawing me in, much like a poor and unsuspecting fly to a venus flytrap.
The main issue I had with this one was that everything was absolutely ridiculous. The interactions didn’t make any sense and the writing was just plain awkward.
The guy on the airplane reminded me of Mummy Girl. Like he’d been into arsenic suntan lotion. It was kind of beautiful, I guess. I mean, if you are into expensive-luggage skin or whatever.
Um….you mean like, leathery? Expensive luggage skin. Lolol. She was completely freaked out by the guy for seemingly no reason (unless she just wasn’t sure if she should talk to him or stuff him under her seat as a carry on?).
“Hey,” Brynn said to me. You could tell she was from the South right away, even hearing that one word. It came out sounding like what horses eat.
Grass? Barley? Ohh, you mean HAY. You couldn’t have just said something like, She said ‘Hey,’ but it came out more like ‘Hay,’ due to her Southern drawl? Wouldn’t that have sounded much less….cumbersome? Then Camden goes around the dorm, peeking into other people’s rooms without asking and barging in.
The door was closed. I heard voices inside, so I knocked and opened the door right away. I wasn’t into waiting to see if they wanted to talk to me.
Jeez, rude much? Did you ever think that maybe it was closed for a reason? Like, I dunno, privacy? Imagine that.
Jessie started laughing. Or crying. Or something.
You know – little giggly sobs and nose sniffles that turned into brays and barks. Like someone rolling the radio knob back and forth between stations.
Nope, sorry, I don’t know. I’ve never heard anyone sound like a mixture between dog and radio static before. And even the scenes that were supposed to be funny, I had absolutely no reaction. Not even a twitch of the lips. Calling someone ‘Skinny Butt’ and ‘snot waffle’ and hanging underwear out on the porch – are you 12?
“Skinny Butt?” I asked.
“Jessie doesn’t even know his name!” Nora cackled. Someone farted. Jessie turned purple. All fingers zeroed in on her. Tears streamed down her face. Nora fell off the bed with a thump. I howled.
“Skin. Nee. Butt!” Nora wheezed.
Brynn squirted water in her mouth from a bottle, swished it around, and spit it out. I was a little grossed out. She usually seemed so…I dunno. Southern. It was like watching Scarlett O’Hara scratch her armpit.
Just because she’s Southern, she has to be a perfect lady? She probably would have had an aneurysm if the Brynn had farted.
He kept walking toward me. It was hard to think with the guy getting so close. Less than three feet now. He slowed down. A foot and a half. Then he was right there. He smelled good. Salty. I know that probably sounds gross, but the way the guy smelled was heaven. And he was so close. I didn’t feel like my right self. I had an insane urge to lean over and…I dunno. Lick the sweat off Mark Elliot’s neck, right by his collarbone. It was shocking to think that. Shocking and super-uber fantastically unbelievably gross. It wasn’t even a kiss, was the thing. It was madness to think of something like that. Insane licking madness. I bit down on my tongue.
From the same girl who freaked because a female spit out water? How the hell does a sweaty dude smell good? Clearly the writer has never actually smelled a sweaty dude. And see what I mean about the writing? It’s so choppy and awkward!
What a waste of makeup. What a waste of a secret room where I could go kiss someone. I was going to be a dateless wonder the rest of my life.
Because one boy didn’t notice that you wore makeup? Really? She overreacted too much. Then in another scene, she gets called a ‘Squealer’ (so insulting! Gasp!) and was completely humiliated, wondering how things had gotten messed up so fast. Then when her roommate leaves the room crying (I don’t even remember what for, honestly):
Stupid jerk roommate. Stupid Brynn. Stupid school. I hated everything, the whole campus, all of Nueva Vista. Throw in the whole state of California for good measure.
I couldn’t bring myself to give a crap about anything that happened to her, or anything she said, because she seriously overreacted about everything. I don’t even know what she was upset about!
After 30%, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I skipped to the last 20% of the book, which is one big info dump that tells basically the whole story. So I found out the entire point of the book without even reading it all. The sad part is, the idea was actually kind of cool. If the prose hadn’t been a train wreck, and the character interactions not so absurd, it may have been a good story.
Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Published by Margaret K. McElderry (5.7.2013)
eARC, 336 pages
Source: Edelweiss (for tour)
Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.
“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.
When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.
Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…
Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.
It wasn’t that this book was bad, I just couldn’t get into it. At all. Which is kinda sad because almost everyone else enjoyed it. Maybe it’s just my nasty aversion to anything even remotely historical, but it bored me to tears! I forced myself through about 40% and just couldn’t make it any farther. Paint drying would have been more interesting and I kinda just wanted to spoon my eyes out. In fact, I was so bored with this book that literally EVERY time I picked it up I fell asleep on it. So, I gave up. There’s plenty of other fish…er, books…in the sea. Er, library.
Maybe someday I’ll try again, when there’s nothing better to read.