Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: The Academy: Introductions by C.L. Stone

The Academy: Introductions
C.L. Stone

From Goodreads...
With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.

When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents’ negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.

Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?

Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.
The Academy, ever vigilant.

Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Publication Date: December 24, 2013


Kat's Review

This novel starts with the reader getting to know Sang, a teen girl with an overprotective mother who tries to keep her indoors and away from other people as much as possible. When she sneaks out one night and runs into a new boy she doesn't know, Kota, her life begins to change. Kota befriends her, introducing her one by one to his small group of friends.

As the story progresses, it becomes obvious that Sang's mom is more than just weirdly overprotective; she's also abusive. The more Sang pushes her luck by sneaking out the boys, the harsher her punishments are when her mother worries about her whereabouts. Only this isn't just a story about a girl finding new friends. Kota and his friends are hiding a secret, and although that secret only plays a very small role in this particular book, it seems almost certainly destined to take a more central role as the series progresses.

There is a lot of relationship-building in this book. There are several important characters, and the author is trying to weave together Sang's story line with each of the boys she befriends, which takes time. If you're looking for a fast-paced read, this may be a bit slow for your tastes. If you're willing to be patient, I have the feeling that this series is just getting started, and my interest in the story grew as the book progressed. It's about family, friends, finding one's place, and the secrets that could tear everything apart.

Kat's Rating: Worth a Look

I can see this book appealing to teens more than any other demographic, although I also enjoyed it. While there is the normal human relationship element present, there's also something more lurking just out of reach, and I think that it's the something more that will elevate this series in subsequent books.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

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