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The Last Academy

The Last Academy

3.7 18
by Anne Applegate

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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.


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After a disastrous pool party ends 14-year-old Camden Fischer’s friendship with her best friend, she escapes to boarding school in California. Camden struggles to fit in with her new schoolmates, eventually settling into a few uneasy friendships. When one of her new friends disappears, Cam begins to doubt the official story on what happened. Readers familiar with Greek mythology should pick up on the clues about Lethe Academy that debut author Applegate drops like breadcrumbs through her story (unfortunately, the title is a bit of a spoiler, too). For readers who miss those hints, the story offers several horror movie–worthy moments of creepiness, which also serve to tip Applegate’s hand too early, sapping some of the suspense. The author gives Camden a believable ninth-grade voice; inventive turns of phrase lend her narration a fresh, informal quality that serves as a counterpoint to the eerie events that unfold. But most readers will likely be left wondering why it’s taking Camden so long to piece together what they figured out chapters ago. Ages 12–up. Agent: Eddie Gamarra, the Gotham Group. (May)
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
After Camden Fisher has a fallout with her best friend, she heads off to a boarding high school in California. Lethe Academy is nothing like the school of her Midwest hometown. There are the normal classes, and teachers, and drama. However, there are also some strange things happening. Camden's friends start disappearing. She is pretty sure that Barnaby Charon, the owner of the school, has something to do with it. So along with classes and trying to get Mark Elliott to notice her, she is trying to figure out why Barnaby is always around just before the next person disappears. At first this novel seemed like just another paranormal romance with a flair for boarding school drama. But it was not. And the fact that the paranormal element was not quite what was expected makes the book all the more haunting and enjoyable. Applegate has written a book that will please readers who like paranormal stories but are ready for something other than a vampire twist. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
VOYA - Ava Ehde
Attending boarding school in California was not Camden's idea, especially since it meant leaving Minneapolis, along with everyone and everything she knew. The weird guy in the next seat on the flight out only adds to her anxiety and apprehension. When she approaches the grounds of Lethe Academy, the creepy meadow outside the wrought-iron gates appears to be filled with grave markers. Inside, perfectly manicured lawns, expensive buildings, and gorgeous boys and girls are the norm, as are as glimpses of the beautiful ocean. Cam is surprised to make friends quickly with Jessie, Nora, and Brynn after the unhappy end of the relationship with her oldest friend, Lia. She also finds herself falling in love with handsome athlete Mark while her roommate, Tamara, seems intent on waging war against her. Despite the fact that the academy has an orientation, protocols, and an official rule book, there is a deep undercurrent of mischief and secrets. Oddly, none of the teachers seem very concerned when sad Jessie mysteriously disappears one night. This haunting and chilling debut novel is well crafted and intriguing. The cover and suspenseful topics will easily draw in readers, and the story line will keep them turning the pages. Fans of ghost and afterlife stories will appreciate this work of imagination, romance, and loss. The well-written characters and magic tone underscore the promise of this author. Reviewer: Ava Ehde
Kirkus Reviews
Creating a sense of doom is infinitely more difficult in a novel than in a movie; debut author Applegate makes a worthy attempt. Camden arrives as a freshman at Lethe Academy, a boarding school in California. On the plane, she meets a creepy man who coincidentally is a trustee at her new school. Named Barnaby Charon, he creates a lot of misgivings within Camden. At least she makes new friends quickly, like Jessie and Nora, plus the glamorous Brynn. Best of all, there's the charming and completely hot Mark Elliott. Camden might have seemingly random hallucinations, and she doesn't get along with her roommate, but otherwise things are good at Lethe. When Jessie disappears and no one seems to care--and Barnaby Charon is involved--Camden knows she has to take action. But Camden's visions are becoming more disturbing, especially what she sees when she visits Mark's family. For all the questions Camden has, only one person has the answers: Barnaby Charon. At first, unexplained plot events, such as Camden's going to boarding school in the first place and unusual images, may confuse readers. Yet as the tension mounts, the unanswered questions spur them on. Anyone who knows Greek mythology will probably figure out the twist quickly, but this novel is still an enjoyable read. (Suspense. 14 & up)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
HL670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Anne Applegate attended boarding school near Santa Barbara. She later graduated from Tufts University with a degree in psychology, and now lives in California with her husband and three children. You can visit her online at www.anneapplegate.com.

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The Last Academy 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
ChiKittie More than 1 year ago
The Last Academy might very well be one of the hardest book for me to review. Here's why. 1. The reader will not understand ANYTHING about what's going on until about 3/4 of the book is already done.  Me: "Wait, what?" - "Umm... that made no sense" - "How is the world is that even possible?!?" 2. I don't and will not spoil the ending! Nope, not going to do it! 3. Finally, THIS BOOK IS EPIC!!!!!!! (and sadly I can't say why) So here what I can tell you.... After Camden Fisher (or Cam) has a huge falling out with her long time best friend, Lia at a pool party. She decides to try to forget Lia and focus on packing her things for Boarding School. Cam is determined to start a new life, with new friends, and somehow forgot Lia. Before she even arrives to Lethe Academy strange things begin to happen. Now there, she is taken back but how perfect everything is seems to be. Cam wants to fit in, make friends (even a boyfriend), and focus on her schooling.   As Cam meets the students (and the hot boys), teachers, and takes in her new surrounding that is when the weird things all start to happen. Late night visitors (who nobody sees), students go missing; never to return. Cam swears she sees things that just ain't there. She has so many unanswered questions.... What really is Lethe Academy? Why are all these weird, unexplained things happening to her? And where do her missing friends really go after they leave? The answer will not only shock Cam but the readers of the book as well.  *True story: I was sitting in a Barnes & Noble reading the last 60 pages of this book, while my best friend was sitting across from me eating. When I finally found out the why all of these odd things keep happening to Cam my mouth dropped. (literally) I mean like, OMG!!!! My friend is looking at me like "WHAT THE??!". I swear people around me are giving me a look like, is she is crazy? * I have never ever, ever, EVER had a book give me head to toe goose bumps while reading. I not only was stocked by the ending, I just loved how everything just seemed to fit into place which literally left me breathless. I was so engrossed in reading the end I forgot I had to breathe to survive. haha (true story) Now to be completely honest when I was half way through, a good 180 in I was planning on giving The Last Academy a 3 STAR rating. But the ending.....*shivers* makes this book!!! The story was such a enthralling thriller that had me on the edge of my seat long after the last page. Anne Applegate is a beyond brilliant author. This book made me mad, excited, happy, crying and above all else FREAKED ME OUT! But in the best possible way. Now while I am focusing lot of this review on the ending of the book, when you read it you will see why. I can't tell you more about the other area but let me say EVERYTHING about the story is just WOW!  I most definitely recommend The last Academy to my readers and to anything who loves a good thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SPOILER ALERT: The Last Academy is a book that will knock your socks off.... Good luck getting them back on. (reference The Big Bang Theory). WARNING: The book is definitely unexpected. It's not your average "sparkly vegetarian vampire" tale and I don't think everyone will get it, particularly if your threshold for weird is low. Makes me wonder if it has the makings of a cult classic. It's emotional and not easily forgotten. MY THOUGHTS: This book kept me up late into the night reading. The writer's voice was strikingly refreshing and unusual. The main character, Camden, has a perspective on the world that is at times hilarious, sarcastic, and self-effacing, which is an interesting contrast to a plot line that becomes progressively darker. It captures the awkward, uncoolness of the high school experience in a way that is raw and at times frankly uncomfortable, but it's real. Camden is a somewhat tragic heroine because she is decidedly imperfect and not always in a cutesy way (i.e. its not "Bella trips all the time what a lovable flaw!"). While the stereotypical prom queen may not be able to relate, for the rest of us that experienced a few awkward moments in high school (okay, its possible it was more than a "few" :) ) its enjoyable rooting for the underdog. Camden learns that the only way to move past the mistakes she's made is to admit she's made them. She finds out that people are flawed and decides to love them anyway. Ultimately it's about finding redemption... and surviving high school. BOOK QUOTE: "In that same instant, Barnaby Charon turned in his chair and stared right at me. All around, three hundred other students chatted in some parallel universe I was no longer in. I held my breath. It was like having the Great Sphinx in Egypt turn and give you the old sand eyeball." (pg. 34)
Van_shortandsweetreviews More than 1 year ago
I really like the boarding school type YA, so when I heard of The Last Academy...I knew I wanted to read it immediately. I thought the synopsis was pretty vague but not in a bad way. It didn't give readers clues/or hints to what they can expect from the book beside a student disappearing. I like the mystery factor, and couldn't wait to find out what was going on at Lethe . The majority of The Last Academy plays out like a typical boarding school. Our heroine Camden is fourteen-years-old and is in her first year at Lethe Academy. Everything in the book felt like it was happening on fast-forward; Camden made friends, enemies and even found a new crush/love all within the span of an hour being at school. I found that extremely weird and unrealistic, Camden and the other students acted like they known each other for years and not 5 minutes. The majority of the book read like a contemporary novel because nothing was really happening except Camden having school/boy drama. I couldn't really connect with Camden or any of the other characters either. Everyone may be in high school but they all acted like little immature children. The story didn't pick up until the last 80 pages...and it wasn't till I got to page 270 (again, this book only has 320 pages) that I realize this book was a paranormal with Greek mythology elements! Everything started to come together in the end, and I was surprised that I didn't see it coming at all. The ending totally made up for the first 2/3rd of the book. While not the best book I've ever read, The Last Academy did a good job in keeping me guessing till the very end. I didn't really enjoy the first half of the book, but overall it was still a good book. I liked reading about all the characters in the end and how they came to be at Lethe, and how the author infused the Greek mythology into the story/characters. Overall, The Last Academy was a fast and easy read, but I suggest anyone interested in reading it to check out a sample chapter/excerpt before reading/or buying. disclaimer: book provided by publisher for an honest review
Tiff2ful More than 1 year ago
Camden has just flown to California to her new boarding school. She had a falling out with her best friend and just wants to start over. When she gets there, it is like any other boarding school, curfews and strict rules. Camden is fine following the rules, until her friend and others start to go missing and the weird thing is, all the teachers act like its no big deal. Camden just can’t let it go and she will find out what’s going on one way or another. The thing is will Camden be able to handle the truth when she finds out? So I had to wait awhile before I could write this review because my thoughts were all over the place. I can start of by saying that this book is not going to be for everyone. Why? Well some pretty weird stuff happens and nothing really starts to happen until the end of the book. It kept me interested though and I wanted to know why all these kids were going missing. When I got around to page 253 I finally figured everything out and was like, what the heck. Everything that had happened so far started to make sense to me. There was a lot of foreshadowing, but I just ignored it. Also, even though Camden was only 14 she seemed a little older to me. I guess she was wise for her years. As you read the book, you are thinking it’s just a typical girl that moves to a new town and gets on the bad side of a snobby girl. Well it isn’t. Yes that happens, but it’s not what the book is about and it all just leads up to the ending. Overall: A hauntingly good book that will give you chills. Camden: She is just a 14 year old year girl trying to fit into a new school. She is what you would call a follower instead of a leader. She does come out of her shell and finally stands up for herself. With all that’s going on she keeps a cool head, where as I would be freaking out. Nora: She is tall, super smart, and confident. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, but she does care about what they say about her friends. She is not going to let someone step all over her friends and I loved that about her. Brynn: She is the attention hog in the book. She always wants to be in the spotlight and she doesn’t care who has to get hurt in the process. Mike: is a hunk of a tennis player, but he does have some baggage. He is really sweet and he is one of those guys that don't know how cute they are. :D 4 STARS!!!!!!!!!!
StephWard More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars 'The Last Academy' is an exciting young adult paranormal mystery novel that follows main character Camden "Cam" Fisher as she begins her high school years at a new boarding school in California - far away from her home, her old friends, and her family. Cam loves her new school - she's making new friends, crushing on a gorgeous upperclassman, and a beautiful campus. When one of Cam's new friends at school goes missing, she begins to notice that everything at the school isn't quite right and things are getting stranger by the minute. There are weird people in her room in the middle of the night who then mysteriously disappear, strange memories that she doesn't remember happening, and a creepy man who is on the board for the school. Cam knows that something isn't right at Lethe Academy and that something dark and terrible is going to happen. She doesn't know what it is or how to stop it - will she be able to figure it out in time? This was a thrilling mystery novel that had me guessing for almost the entire book. The plot was an interesting one - I liked the premise and the twists and turns throughout the story definitely had me reading as fast as I could to see what would happen next. The characters were written well, although some felt a bit stereotypical - there was the gorgeous upperclassman who our leading character had a crush on, the beautiful "sort of" friend who had secrets, the dorky yet kind friend, etc. Cam was a good main character for the book. She was smart, friendly, and easy to identify with for the reader. The writing itself was well done, although some of the phrasing and conversations felt awkward or forced, which threw the rhythm of the story off a bit for me. Otherwise, it was a great mystery with a fast pace and easy flow to the plot. Like I mentioned, the mystery part of the plot was really intriguing and I loved trying to guess what was really going on and I enjoyed all the twists and turns the plot took on. Overall, this was a fun and interesting paranormal mystery that fans of the YA genre will definitely want to get their hands on. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
JessabellaReviews More than 1 year ago
The Last Academy was pretty middle of the road for me. I felt that the characters were not very deeply developed. The main character Camden was likable enough, though there were some points where things she said or did got under my skin a bit. For example, when she gets to Lethe Academy, she refers to a group of girls as her "friends", after only having one or two interactions with them. To me, that seemed odd. Also, there were quite a few boarding school cliches in the book, and some of the situations between the students were a little too obvious and predictable for my taste. That being said, the plot itself was fast-paced and exciting enough to keep the me turning the pages. I read the book in one sitting. I will admit that I was surprised when I finally learned what was really going on at Lethe, and the mystery and suspense leading up to the reveal was quite spooky at times. I really enjoyed racing along with Camden as she tries to figure out what is happening at the school. I do feel that some of the flaws I found in the book might not bother a younger reader quite so much. I just didn't quite connect with the whole boarding school experience and social situations. I did connect with the deeper emotional aspects of the book, but to tell you what they were would be a spoiler. I will say that there are some really deep parts to this book if you can overlook some of the more superficial character flaws. While reading, I found quite a few things annoying; but after turning the last page, I felt as though I had learned something important and profound. (If that makes any sense.) All in all, The Last Academy was an enjoyable read. It was suspenseful, thrilling, and the end had my heart in my throat! I would suggest that if the blurb catches your interest, then go on and pick this one up. It is a fast paced thriller that will keep you on your toes and turning the pages late into the night!
MAMABookasaurus 25 days ago
4.5 stars - REVIEW: I found this a thought provoking book that had a good set of traction to it. For a debut novel, I thought it exceptional. It took me a couple chapters to get into it, but I felt the author did a great service to its young main character by sticking to what that age's typical reactions would be and troubles with friends. Many of us... older... and hopefully... wiser, may baulk at this, but I felt it lent to the authenticity of the characters. It had a dose of mythology mixed in, but wasn't explained until the later half of the book. For those who aren't familiar with certain mythologies (I don't want to spoil it) it could be confusing. Some writing seemed a bit forced, trying to write in poetic proise where it seemed awkward, but overall it had suspense, thought provoking philosophical concepts and compelling characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an awesome read! It will keep you guessing until the very end! which is great, because for someone like me who can guess what will happen 1/2 way into the book, will not know the ending. A lot of the book you will have no idea what is going on. This doesn't make it bad at all, because you eventually figure it out and then it all makes sense! I would recommend this book to anyone! I will not spoil the ending! 
Y311er More than 1 year ago
Camden should be celebrating her last summer with her best friend before she goes off to boarding school, instead they have a huge falling out and she goes to boarding school knowing that she has lost her best friend.  At first everything seems normal, you have your typical cliques, jocks and preppy kids, but something always seems a little off. Then one of Camden's friends disappears without an explanation. The school say's she went home, but Camden knows something is off with their story, she knows something is off, period and that someone, had a hand in her friends disappearance.  I have to admit, this book was a little slow and a tad bit confusing. The mysterious disappearances and strange happenings seemed to both leave me wanting more and muddle the story. With every strange occurrence I thought, finally, something is going to happen, but every time I was disappointed, but I knew something was going to happen. After all the entire book alluded to the fact that something funny was going on.  That is why I kept reading. It was like I was Hansel and Gretel following a trail of bread crumbs with every crumb Anne Applegate gave me I knew I was getting closer to the secret of The Last Academy, so I kept reading, collecting my crumbs. And I will say that my crumb collecting paid off. Once the big secret was revealed I understood why Anne Applegate told the story the way she did, why she unveiled things in the manner that she did. If she did it any other way it would have ruined the shock value of the entire story. And yes I was shocked. There were times when I thought that was what was happening in the story, but I never quite reached the entire truth on my own.  Despite it's slow pacing I found most of the characters enjoyable and completely relateable, but many I found to be just plain annoying, flat and just not fully developed. They were there, but it was like they were there more for scenery. Upon completion of the entire story I can honestly say that I liked the overall story, that it is worth reading to the end, worth following that trail of bread crumbs and seeing the house made of candy. I say, give it a try, so that you can decide whether or not it is a hit or miss. *Received free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
xCynyx More than 1 year ago
I can't really decide how I want to start this review, so I'm going to go right to it. Camden is a 14-year-old girl that is sent to a boarding school to start high school. Away from home and alone in the other side of the country, she soon finds some new friends and new enemies. Her roommate Tamara, hates her on the spot and then she has frenemies relationship with the popular girl. I really enjoyed the characters in the Last Academy, each and everyone of them is unique and has a very well defined voice and at the same time, they have something in common and pulls them together and apart at the same time. Cam is a great main character. She's strong and brave even when she's scared. She's loyal to her friends and she's willing to do anything to keep them safe. The plot is intriguing. It catches you, even when the book may go slow in a few parts. Life in the academy has a dark, hunting feel to it that contrast with the care free way the teachers and students act at points. But living under the same roof may do that to you and Ms. Applegate brings life on campus in great detail to life in The Last Academy's pages. I really loved the idea behind the plot. It was well developed. I think, my biggest problem with this was the spoiler that used to be in the summary. While yes, there's hints at what's going on through the book, I think that bit was just too much. Or maybe there were too many hints earlier, but having an idea of how it's going to end is no fun... however it really depends on the reader's knowledge whether you catch them or not.  While there's some romance, is not the main focus on the story, or for me it doesn't, but Cam and Mark Elliot's relationship is sweet, innocent and works amazingly with the rest of the book. You really fall in love with him. I wanted to hug him and never let go. The last chapter had me teary eyed. It's probably my favorite part of the book. It full with raw emotion and a great ending for the story. I absolutely loved it. The Last Academy is a great debut novel and I'm really looking forward to Anne Applegate's future books. **I received a complementary copy in exchange of an honest review**
Some_Reading_Required More than 1 year ago
When it comes to books, I’m an instant sucker for pretty covers and/or mentions of  an “academy”. Therefore, the decision to read The Last Academy, was pretty much inevitable. The minute I saw the blog tour sign-up – I applied. Although, The Last Academy didn’t end up making my all-time favorites list, the ending was nothing short of spectacular. I’m going to keep this review short and sweet. Pros - Ballsy main character. There’s a lot of spooky incidents and sketchy people running about Lethe Academy. If I was at this academy and like Camden, begun witnessing the extra-creepy that goes down, I’d probably be permanently attached to the underside of my mattress.  Even though she practically faints at the sight of her crush, Camden always managed to keep it together when it counted the most. When she felt like her friends were in danger, she fearlessly ran towards and stood-up to whatever or whomever was the cause. Amazing supernatural twist. So I’m kind of spoiling the fact that there is a supernatural aspect… but I won’t divulge any exacts. I will say however, that the ending was totally mind-boggling!!! I’m pretty good at guessing the big reveal, but not when it came to The Last Academy. My theories were not even close! Major props to Applegate for adding some new spice to the YA mix. She proves that there is still new material out there to work with. Cons - A dragging storyline. Like I said, there was a lot of spooky bits to The Last Academy. Being personally freaked out a time or two, I was constantly begging for the big reveal – or heck even a tiny one – while reading. The ending was outstanding, but the beginning and middle included nothing near-as stellar. This book could have easily been cut in half and still have been a decent story.   Instant love. Nuff’ said.   Overall, The Last Academy was an enjoyable couple hours. Sure, a lot of aspects frustrated me, but the ending left me with more positive than negative feelings which means I definitely look into future Applegate books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Woke up hey peoples
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has a beautiful ending, even if it's not the one readers are expecting. Finishing this just moments ago, I can tell everyone that this book is a must read. It nearly kills me not to speak of the plot twist, because it will throw any one through an emotional whirl. Good luck not re-thinking your entire exsistance.
SeriousBlueEyes More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting twist that leaves the jaws dropping! Unlike a lot of ratings I am not going to give you the brief rundown of the book or repeat the overview. This book allows your mind to unlock the secrets for itself versus "2+2=4" explanations. I was quite entranced with the characters and their own backstories and the research into the history portion of it all. I do hope there is a sequel because it would be nice to follow another character or a new character as well.