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Friday, August 15, 2014

BookClub: The Academy Book 1- Introductions

So first of all, I have found a new website called*** where you can sign up for free daily emails that will give you a list of recommended e-books and give them to you at a free or discounted price.  Now originally I thought that had to only be books that nobody's heard of or crap books, but so far I've read some pretty good ones! 

Now BookBub doesn't actually sell you the books, they just alert you for what comes up on popular book store sites like Barnes & Noble, Apple, Amazon & Kindle among others and puts all the great deals you can get together in one place!
 Which is pretty awesome since I go through two or three books in a week.

I decided I would start reviewing some the books here for you all, cause... well why the hell not? I will start with a basic summary & follow with my own thoughts... If you are not interested in the summary which can possibly contain spoilers then just go ahead & skip forward to the "In My Opinion" section of this post. If you do skip the summary because you are going to read the book yourself, please feel free to come back here and share your thoughts! I've always liked the idea of a book club.. :)

The first book I read, is called 
The Academy, Book 1 - Introductions 
by C. L. Stone. 

It's the beginning to The Ghost Bird Series. 

In Introductions you met the main character Sang, a young teenage girl just looking for moment of escape from the shut-it life her family forces on her. Her mother, a slightly aggressive & abusive agoraphobe & a father less than interested. When they move into a new neighborhood Sand takes to daily explorations on her own through the woods around her home. During her trips she realizes one of the houses on the street is vacant and gets an idea. One night, Just one night. If she could sneak out of her house and break in to that vacant house, she could have just one free night. So she plans, packs and is ready to go. Successfully sneaks out but is deterred by pouring rain and her mothers words of the world cruelty casting doubt on her choice. Feeling like she's gone this far, with no turning back she sets out towards the vacant house down the street only to be bombarded by a neighbor dog who knocks her to the ground. Sang meets the dog's owner, Kota as he comes to her rescue. She is struck by his kindness and friendliness along with his handsome looks... Along the next few days she meets his large group of good looking friends whom he seems to be leader of the pack:
Victor- impatient and distant but artistic 
Silas- a big Teddy bear
Nathan- the sporty active one 
Gabriel- Very fashionable & witty
Luke- a happy prankster 
North- bad boy with a soft side

While realizing the boys have some kind of secret connection none of them will tell her about, she notices they all become very protective of her. Being very self conscious she assumes the we worst in every situation, feeling their protectiveness is out of pity or guilt. While the boys do their best to involve her in the group and make her feel as one of them, Sang pushes them away. 

When Silas calls her home one night to check on her, the phone call triggers her mothers paranoia since Sang has done everything possible to keep her friendships with the boys a secret. Even though Sang does her best to convince her mother that it was a call from the new school, her mother feels she still needs to punish Sang, to make her understand she must not have men calling her. In punishment, she forces Sang to drink a vinegar and lemon juice concoction, burning Sang's throat so she can't speak for the next few days. 

Finding out what happens the boys become furious, feeling the need to protect Sang from something like this ever happening again. The boys (mostly Kota) help Sang sign up for her new classes at school, making sure that at least one (if not more than one) of the boys is in each of them. While signing up for the classes Sang gets separated from the boys and meets Dr. Green. He seems nice enough and very willing to help. Taking her back to his office to finalize her classes he introduces her to Mr. Blackbourne. Both teachers seem to take a keen interest in the fact that Sang knows Kota and don't seem happy about it. Though Mr. Blackbourne doesn't seem happy about anything. He's more cold and not interested in Sang until he realizes she likes the violin, an interest he shares. When she finally leaves to find the boys she has 3 AP classes including Japanese (which she shouldn't be allowed until the following year) and a seventh class of Violin with Mr. Blackbourne instead of a study class like everyone else. She finds the boys but misunderstands what she overhears them saying and takes it again as them seeing her as a charity case. She returns home without talking to them and refuses to talk to them for days.

When Kota is finally able to get Sang to talk to him, he calms her down and explains that it was not how they felt about her at all. That they all really cared about Sang and hoped that she would continue to be their friend. But along with their friendship Kota explained that he really needed her to understand that they had secrets they couldn't quite share with her... yet. All of the boys are apart of another school called "The Academy" and are sworn to secrecy. It's not that he doesn't want to tell her, but he can't. He just needs Sang to trust them. After thinking about it and realizing that she has her own things she is not willing to share with the boys about her own life quite yet, she realizes she can live with not knowing their secrets as well. And now she has friends.. exactly what she never knew she wanted until she had it! Now the question is how long will she be okay not knowing...

In My Opinion:

I really liked this book a lot more than I thought I would!
 I realize that essentially the book was just a set-up for the rest of the series, with no real story line.. but I was okay with it. The detailed meeting of the characters got me invested into each one individually before introducing them as a group. Showing each personality on its own before showing the "pack dynamic." When together, the group is exciting and always moving, flowing to and fro almost seamlessly. I worry that Sang might be moving from one form of over control to another, but I don't feel that the latter will be as unhealthy or unsafe as the first. More I feel the boys will be solace, a saving grace for Sang. I will have to keep reading to see...

The next book:
The Academy, Book 2 - First Days
by C. L. Stone.

*** All the Views and opinions expressed here are solely my own. 
I was not asked or compensated in any way to write this post.

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