Published by Point on April 30, 2013
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.
When I reached the 85% point of the book, BOOM! All of my notes went out the window. A nice twist, but then I remembered the Goodreads synopsis. It’s right there! WHY, Scholastic? That one sentence is going to spoil the book for many readers. Fortunately, I read the intriguing synopsis some time prior to requesting the book from NetGalley, so I had pretty much forgotten about it by the time I began to read the book. I’m afraid this won’t be the case for many people. (I’ve omitted the sentence from the synopsis above.)
Note – Even though the GR synopsis contains the spoiler, I’m going to dance around it in the next paragraph. But if you glossed over the synopsis like I did, I may highlight something that didn’t really stand out to you, so proceed with caution. (I’m going to include a suggestion to Scholastic in my NG feedback, so hopefully they will delete the spoiler. Incidentally, the Amazon synopsis does not include the spoiler.) [Edit: I don’t know if it was due to my e-mail, but that spoiler sentence was FINALLY removed from the GR synopsis.]
It is impossible not to compare this book to the film to which The Last Academy synopsis compares itself. In that case, the twist worked magnificently. In The Last Academy, the twist was not as successful. While there were no major plot holes, I had to plod through a great majority of the book to get to this point. And when I finally reached it, a character had to explain everything (and I mean, EVERYTHING) in order to make the twist work. So, the last 15% of the book essentially re-summarized the entire book, with the added perspective of the twist. This was not necessary in the film, and I was left feeling that I could have just picked up the book at the 85% point without missing anything. This makes me wonder if the twist was even necessary; perhaps I would have liked the book more if I knew from the beginning where it was headed, and it could have explored these points in more length and depth. There were some interesting insights and moving moments, but it’s unfortunate that they came too little and too late.
Disclosure: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.
Review posted at Goodreads