Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Review: The Academie by Susanne Dunlap

The Academie 
by Susanne Dunlap
Young Adult Historical Fiction
Received for Review from publisher via netgalley
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.58
Pages: 368

Before I get into my review, here's the summary from Goodreads:

Eliza Monroe-daughter of the future president of the United States-is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when-ooh, la-la!-she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister of the famous French general. It doesn't take long for Eliza to figure out that the two French girls are mortal enemies-and that she's about to get caught in the middle of their schemes.

Loosely drawn from history, Eliza Monroe's imagined coming of age provides a scintillating glimpse into the lives, loves, and hopes of three young women during one of the most volatile periods in French history.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, I'd like to thank the publisher and netgalley for allowing me to review this novel. 

Secondly, I've only read one other novel by this author and I loved it. This is an author that I definitely recommend to fans of historical fiction. She blends just the right amount of fiction and historical accuracy to create a very compelling read.

Going into this novel, I wondered if this would live up to my expectations or if I would end up being disappointed. This novel definitely surpassed my expectations and reminded me of why I love this author so much. She has a way with words that leaves you completely entranced by the story. 

My favorite aspect of a Dunlap novel is the characters and their distinct voices. I always feel so connected with the characters and emotionally attached. I cheer for their triumphs, smile when they are happy, and feel tearful when they run into heartbreak.

Dunlap is an incredible writer whom I am quickly coming to love. Her writing is fresh, compelling, and always sincere.

I loved the character Eliza. Her naivete was always amusing. And yet, her desire to help other people was something that I admired.

This novel touched upon issues of race, wealth and class distinctions, and government. And yet it was presented in a neat package that is entertaining and both thought-provoking. Any book that can do that is one I love. I can say with absolutely certainly this won't be the last novel I read by Dunlap.

In Summary: A very imaginative blend of history and fiction into a novel that I absolutely adored and recommend to all fans of historical young adult fiction.

Warnings/Side-notes: Nothing comes to mind. 

The Wrap-Up: A novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I'm definitely excited to read more from this author. In fact, this is a novel that I would even reread and consider purchasing. 


Danica Page

Up Next: A Texan's Honor by Shelley Gray 

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