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Wuthering High (Bard Academy Series #1)

Wuthering High (Bard Academy Series #1)

4.6 21
by Cara Lockwood

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Fifteen-year-old Mia is not exactly thrilled when she gets the news that her parents are shipping her off to boarding school. It's not like she did anything that bad -- all she did was wreck her dad's car and max out her step mum's credit cards. So, off she goes, from Chicago to Bard Academy, an exclusive prep school that treats troubled teenagers with a healthy dose


Fifteen-year-old Mia is not exactly thrilled when she gets the news that her parents are shipping her off to boarding school. It's not like she did anything that bad -- all she did was wreck her dad's car and max out her step mum's credit cards. So, off she goes, from Chicago to Bard Academy, an exclusive prep school that treats troubled teenagers with a healthy dose of higher learning and old-fashioned discipline. But all is not what it seems at this educational institute, and Mia and her classmates soon discover that the teachers are actually ghosts, stuck in limbo, some of them famous authors who died before their time, including Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and Charlotte Bronte. And what's even more disturbing is that not all the ghosts have good intentions. Mia and her friends must stop one evil instructor's plan to bring down the school -- and the entire student body with it.

Editorial Reviews

A new series within a new line of MTV Books, Wuthering High is surprisingly good. What starts out like a potentially empty chick-lit story develops into something more as readers are introduced to Miranda, a semi-spoiled rich girl who ran up her stepmother's credit cards, totalled her father's BMW, and came home drunk the night before her PSAT. Sent to Bard Academy, a boarding school for troubled teens, Miranda must learn to live among those she previously deemed beneath her, including her Satan-worshipping roommate. She needs to do this without her blow dryer, cell phone, or iPod, as no electronics are allowed. The school is eerily cold and Gothic, with all of the teachers known only by a first initial and one teacher leaving a puddle wherever she goes. Shortly after Miranda arrives at the school, bizarre and unexplainable occurrences plague her. She befriends a few students who work with her to uncover the dangerous mysteries that fill Bard Academy. Part chick-lit, part Gothic mystery, part supernatural suspense, and touched with humor, Wuthering High is seemingly genre-resistant and hard to explain without giving away critical plot points. What is easy to say is that it is a page-turner with a satisfying ending leading to what is sure to be a highly anticipated sequel. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Simon & Schuster, MTV, 257p., $9.95.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Stephanie Squicciarini

Product Details

MTV Books
Publication date:
Bard Academy Series , #1
Sold by:
File size:
314 KB
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt


Okay, I confess.

I did, sort of, on purpose, steal Carmen's credit card (Carmen = stepmom, but I refuse to call her anything with "mom" in the title, as she's only twenty-four and can't take care of a pet goldfish, much less be any kind of mother figure). And I did, kind of, intentionally, charge up a thousand dollars' worth of push-up bras. But, technically, my dad said I could use Carmen's credit card for emergencies, and since my social life hinges on my ability to fill out a shirt, it was an emergency. I mean, if I was an SAT analogy, I'd be flat : board; boobs : me.

And yes, it's true that I did total my dad's new BMW convertible. Although "totaled" is a strong word for spilling Diet Coke in my lap and accidentally jumping the curb and running into a tree. I wouldn't have been driving at all (I only have my learner's permit) except that my little sister, Lindsay, called me on my mobile hysterical because she'd pissed off some two-hundred-pound girl bully and needed to be picked up from school since she'd been too scared to ride the bus. Mom couldn't get Lindsay because she was at her standing Botox appointment, and Carmen (Anti-Mom) couldn't be bothered, since she was too busy spending my college fund at Neiman Marcus.

And let's face it, I did Dad a favor. He looked ridiculous driving that cherry-red two-seater BMW. He's bald, for God's sake. He looked like every other pathetic midlife-crisis victim.

And, finally, I'll admit, it is true that I came home drunk the night before my PSAT exam, and overslept the test. This was entirely Tyler's fault (Tyler is a cute but disreputable quarterback of the junior varsity football team who I went with for a brief time before I came to my senses). He's been trying to get into my Paul Frank panties since the summer before freshman year, and he spiked my drink with Everclear in the hopes of robbing me of my virginity. I'd heard the bad rumors about Tyler, but chose to ignore them. I shouldn't have. BTW, he got what he deserved: a front seat full of Redbull and Everclear vomit. It's my hope that he'll be cleaning chunks out of the leather interior of his Toyota Forerunner for weeks. Since him, I've been on a guyatus (hiatus from guys).

So -- given the mitigating circumstances -- you'd think that I would be given a little slack. After all, I'm fifteen. Aren't I supposed to be making mistakes? Isn't that what the teen years are for? I can't be perfect all the time.

So what do my parents do? They don't ground me. No. That would be me getting off too easy, Dad says. And even when I try to pit Mom against Dad (for the last five years since their divorce, I've gotten very, very good at this), it doesn't work. For the first time in my parents' lives, they actually agree on something.

They're going to send me to a school for juvenile delinquents.

Me! I've barely done anything wrong, and I'm going to be going to school with a bunch of drug-using degenerates. How did this happen? I think Mom has been watching too many episodes of Ricki Lake, where drill sergeants yell at pregnant teenagers.

It's ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous.

I am not a delinquent. I've had very bad luck, but I'm not bad. At least, not yet. Everyone knows that when good people go to prison they end up becoming bad while they're there. Either that, or they get stabbed with a homemade knife in the shower. I'm not that innocent. I've seen episodes of Prison Break.

Granted, I'm not going to prison.

I'm going to a place called Bard Academy in some Nowheresville Island off the coast of Maine. I don't care if that is where great lobsters come from. I don't want to live there. The brochure for Bard Academy says, and I quote, "a home for troubled and misguided teens set on its own private island, guarded by the Atlantic Ocean, and accessible only by ferry, where our students probe the classics in a solid academic tradition."

I am not troubled, nor misguided. If anyone needs to go to delinquent boarding school, it's my dad. He changes wives more often than he changes shoes. And don't get me started on Mom. She's a total basket case. She doesn't date. She doesn't even go out, so I'm not quite sure why she's obsessed with looking young, except that I fear she's holding on to some vague hope that Dad will take her back. Why she would want that, I have no idea.

So, I'm being exiled to some form of Alcatraz for juveniles in the Atlantic. This is what I get for saving my dad from getting a melanoma on his scalp and for coming to the rescue of my ungrateful sister. It's the last time I do a good deed.

"You hate me, don't you? You do. You hate me," Mom says, as she stands in my bedroom watching me pack. I'm taking my time folding my clothes because a) I don't want to go, and b) I want to wring the last bit of anxiety out of the moment for Mom's sake. If I draw this out, then she's liable to start feeling sadness and regret, and she might just decide I shouldn't go. At this point, breaking Mom might be my only chance of salvation.

I can tell that Mom is feeling guilty, even though she's just had a Botox injection, so the only expression she can convey with her numbed face is slight confusion. It's a little unnerving. Sort of like talking to a mannequin.

"I don't hate you," I say, trying to be calm and composed. I'm the adult here, after all, even if I am the one who's being sent off to a school one thousand miles away. I was the shoulder Mom cried on when Dad left her five years ago for his secretary. He's divorced and remarried since then, and Mom has been on maybe two dates. I love Mom, I do. But her neediness sometimes is a bit scary.

"It was your dad's idea," Mom pleads with me. Of course it's Dad's doing. Mom would never have had the guts to send me off, but Dad's a different story. He's been trying to disown me pretty much since I started talking and could talk back to him.

"Well, we both know Dad makes bad decisions. Why do you still let him boss you around?"

"I don't let him boss me," she says.

"You didn't even ask him if he'd pay for your Botox. You should. He gave you those worry lines."

Mom reflexively touches her face.

"You're right," she says.

I'm just about to reel Mom in, when we're interrupted by the appearance of my little sister, Lindsay. She's wearing a pair of jeans and her new purple push-up bra from Victoria's Secret.

Lindsay, age thirteen, is a 34B, which is a full cup size bigger than me, since I barely fill out an A cup. It's a bit embarrassing when your younger sister wears a bigger bra than you do. I'm not sure what my chest is waiting for, perhaps an engraved invitation. Apparently, my breasts are like diva pop stars and like to be fashionably late. When they arrive, I imagine they'll also come with a list of outrageous demands, like that they'll only tolerate blessed Kabbalah water, white Bentleys, and green M&M's.

To make matters worse, Lindsay spreads her arms wide and cries, "Tah-dah!," as if she just pulled her boobs out of a black magician's hat. Show off.

"My baby's first Victoria's Secret bra," Mom cries, turning her attention to Lindsay. "My baby is all grown up."

Although Mom's face doesn't change expression, I hear a slight crack in her voice, the telltale sign of an impending emotional breakdown.

Mom is going through the early stages of meno-pause and is extremely emotional these days. I recently caught her crying in front of a Cingular One ad. It's embarrassing.

"Lindsay, put some clothes on," I say. Seriously, sometimes I feel like the only responsible adult around here. What is Mom thinking? "Since when is it okay to parade around in your underwear?"

"Miranda -- this is a revolutionary new bra," Lindsay informs me. "The patent is pending!"

"You don't even know what a patent is," I snap.

Lindsay sticks her tongue out at me. I glance down at Lindsay's jeans and notice the strap of a matching purple thong sticking out from her jeans.

"A thong!" I cry.

Mom didn't let me wear one of those until a month ago. And that was only after I wrote a two-page essay on the devastating effects of panty lines on my self-esteem. "She's too young to wear a thong!"

"You wear them all the time," Lindsay points out.

"I'm two years older. Mom? Really." I cross my arms to show my disapproval. Mom just wipes a tear from her eye and then tries to hug us both. I squirm away. With Premenopausal Mom, you never know when you're going to be blindsided with a hug. Last week, she wanted a hug in public in the middle of the cereal aisle at the grocery store. Thanks to my quick reflexes, I avoided PPDA (Parental Public Display of Affection), and Mom got an armful of Special K.

Lindsay, however, isn't as quick as I am, and she gets the full force of Mom's bear hug. I smirk at her, while she makes a face over Mom's shoulder. There are some benefits to being older. Better reflexes.

Besides, it's about time Lindsay took one for the team. She's benefited from all my hard lobbying efforts to house-train the 'rents. Case in point: my hunger strike to wear lip gloss in eighth grade, the protracted negotiations to let us watch the TBS version of Sex and the City, and now the thong essays. At this rate, Lindsay will never have to learn to do anything for herself, since I'm always doing all the work. She doesn't even have to work to have cleavage like I do. I need two rolls of Charmin's double ply to get the hint of cleavage. Lindsay just went to sleep one night and woke up the next morning as Pamela Anderson. Life is not fair.

Lindsay sticks her tongue out at me behind Mom's back. I squint at her. She's gloating over the fact that she's ruined my last reprieve. She'll live to regret it. With me gone, there will be no one to blame when she does something bad, like breaking another of Mom's Staffordshire dogs. Besides, one week alone with hug-crazy Mom and Lindsay will be begging her to let me come home.

Since Lindsay ruins my chances of a night-before reprieve, I set Plan B into motion. Plan B involves me dredging out the waterworks on the car ride to the airport, which I know Mom won't be able to resist. I put some Visine in my purse for a quick-change act.

Plan B is thwarted, however, when Dad and Carmen (Secretary #2 who became Wife #3 -- my dad doesn't even bother to be creative with his adultery) show up the next morning in their new black Range Rover. With Dad alone I might have had a chance. But Carmen is immune to tears, and even so, I'd never cry in front of her. It would be like admitting defeat.

They emerge from the car arguing about whose fault it is that they're late. They've only been married two months and they're already fighting. I would be gloating, except for the fact that I'm about to be sent off to Siberia and no one seems to care. Mom is dry-eyed when she hugs me. Lindsay smiles and points down at her feet. She's wearing a pair of my Steve Maddens. She's going to stretch them out with her extra-wide Fred Flintstone feet.

"Stay out of my closet," I mouth to her as I duck into Dad's backseat. She just sticks out her tongue at me in defiance and then mouths, "Try and stop me," as Dad backs out of the driveway.

"Nice car," I say to Dad, meaning the opposite. The leather interior smells so strongly of new car, I feel a little nauseous. I can't believe Dad bought a Range Rover when just three months ago he told Mom he wanted to reduce his child-support payments. "I thought that Consumer Reports ranked Range Rovers as the car that breaks down the most."

I don't know if this is true, but I remember Tyler saying something about it. Back when I cared what he said, before he assaulted me.

Dad's eyes flick to mine in the rearview mirror. He frowns at me. "You're the reason I had to buy a new car in the first place."

I scoff. "How about a Honda? Mom has an Accord that's ten years old."

Dad turns a little red. He doesn't like it when I point out that we're poor. "Young lady, this is why you're on your way to Bard Academy," he says.

"Why? Because I tell you the truth?"

"I can't believe you let her talk to you like that," Carmen says, as if it's any of her business.

At the airport, Carmen stays in the car. She's still not talking to me because of the credit card incident. She says she hasn't lived down the embarrassment of having her credit card denied at Saks Fifth Avenue. Never mind that she charged ten thousand dollars' worth of purchases the month before, which meant that my one grand put the card over its maximum.

But, naturally, I'm the bad guy. I get it.

Dad, whose parenting skills have pretty much been limited to giving me lectures whenever I do something wrong, starts in on his "this hurts me more than it hurts you" lecture, the one he's been using since I was four and he'd sit me in the corner for time-outs. I can almost repeat it, word for word.

"Now, I know you think we're punishing you. But this is for your own good," Dad says as we're standing together inside the lobby of the airport. Carmen is outside in the car, pouting. Dad will probably have to buy her a few more thousand dollars' worth of Tiffany jewelry for him to be back in her good graces. Probably only a semester's worth of tuition or so.

"One day you'll realize that we're doing this because we care about you. This hurts us more than it hurts you."

This would be a moving speech, except that Dad is looking at his watch while he makes it. He's late for his tee time at the club. Honestly, I don't get any respect around here. This is my life we're talking about, and Dad is worried about getting to the putting green.

Dad is the opposite of Mom. Where Mom will blindside you with PPDA in the grocery store, Dad goes to great lengths to avoid PPDA in any context. The closest he'll get to actually hugging you is grabbing you in a side hug that he'll quickly turn into a headlock. As if he is saying, "I didn't mean to hug you -- I want to wrestle," which is somehow less embarrassing, he thinks. I hate it, though. He always manages to mess up my hair.

He does this now, in fact. He puts his hand on my head and gives it a rough rub, like I'm a dog.

"You'll do great there, kiddo. I know you will," he says.

I walk toward the metal detectors and the security line. I turn around to see if Dad is still there, but he's already gone.

It's official. My life blows.

Copyright © 2006 by Cara Lockwood

Meet the Author

Cara Lockwood is also the author of I Do (But I Don't), which was made into a Lifetime movie, as well as Pink Slip Party and Dixieland Sushi, and Every Demon Has His Day, all available from Downtown Press. She was born in Dallas, Texas, and earned a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked as a journalist in Austin, and is now married and living in Chicago. Her husband is not a rock star, but he does play the guitar -- poorly.

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Wuthering High (Bard Academy Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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For those that have read and loved Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, you'll surely enjoy this novel. I think the originality is great and the writing is humorous. This is a great book for anyone who is looking for something funny, nostalgic, and a little bit of teen romance. Oh, and let's not forget dead classic writers.
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
WUTHERING HIGH is a novel by Cara Lockwood published by MTV Books, and I must say, the MTV Books are certainly much better than readers might expect from a name known mostly for reality television. In fact, these books are fabulous, no matter what you're expecting, and Cara Lockwood's story is no exception. In WUTHERING HIGH, Miranda Tate is a spoiled but still likeable character who, after a few mistakes involving her Dad's car and stepmother's credit card, is sent off to Bard Academy, a boarding school for misbehaving teenagers.

At Bard Academy, a few things happen that Miranda didn't exactly expect from what she thinks she knows about reform schools. She's having terrifying nightmares involving Kate Shaw, a girl who went missing from the school fifteen years earlier. When she tries to escape through the woods, she finds herself going in circles. One of her teachers, Ms. W., always leaves wet footprints. As if those little oddities aren't odd enough, there are some eerie coincidences concerning classics such as DRACULA, JANE EYRE, and WUTHERING HEIGHTS. For instance, there's Heathcliff, remarkably similar to the character in WUTHERING HEIGHTS, who seems to think that Miranda is really Cathy, another character from the novel. Something weird is most certainly going on, and Miranda and her new friends Hana, Samir, and Blade have to find out what it is--fast.

This is a book that is definitely worth reading! Ms. Lockwood's characters are interesting, well done, and realistic, and readers will be able to relate to Miranda's situations with her parents and friends (although perhaps not teachers). The character of Miranda also shows realistic character development instead of being the same slightly bratty fifteen-year-old throughout the book. Aside from her great characters, the story in WUTHERING HIGH is entertaining and original. It's better than just another overused idea with a few differences in details and characters. This novel is one that will keep readers hooked from the very first page to the end, and eagerly awaiting the next novel from Cara Lockwood about Bard Academy.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book on a whim and I ended really enjoying it. It's a great, quick read for anyone who loves literature and supernatural all rolled into one. The writing was good and the characters were well thought out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, overall it was awesome, and well-executed... but it was a total cliffhanger at the end, like the set up at the end of Pirates of the Carribean 2. It was a smart tactic, but it really did not need it. Was it because the writer was not confident? I'm going too far. Fantastic plotline, something I look for. I know good writers when I read their books, so I hope this one keeps on. I'm excited about semester two!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, I must say that I did completely fall in love with Blade/Jill the instant I 'met' her... and I think Samir is soooo into her! I am excited about some kind of sequel... I mean, there's still another semester to go, isn't there!?! This was a fun read, and Lockwood did a marvelous job with the entire plot. Bravo, and encore! ps- The end is the best cliffhanger ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was great, i can't wait for the next one to come out!! i really liked heathcliff, i hope she ends up with him
Guest More than 1 year ago
...'REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT' should be plastered all over this book. This book is one of suspense, mystery, and for all the lovesick girls out there, a little romance. Wuthering High reveals the life of a spunky teen who finds herself living at Bard Academy, a place for 'misguided' teens. The main character, Miranda, learns she is battling fictional characters from books written by the greats: Emily Bronte, Earnest Hemmingway, and many others. While having to focus on school work and avoid her Satin-worshipping dorm mate, she has to worry about her love life. She falls for a fictional character known as Heathcliff and yet is entranced by the schools newest reform student- Ryan Kent - A gorgeous guy from her old school, where not everyone is 'different'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this story kept me interested the whole way through. i got creeped out a couple of times, but i scare easily. I bought it around 8 o'clock last night and i couldnt put it down! i read it all in one night, i finished it around 2 AM this morning. It was one of my candy books, as my mom calls them, a fairly easy read but one i didnt regret! Cara Lockwood has spun an interesting tale, and i wouldnt mind going to bard myself. I cant wait for the sequel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After maxing out her hated step-mother¿s credit card and stealing and crashing her father¿s BMW, both her mother and dad decide to send her to a school that deals with behavior problems. Bard Academy, located on Nowheresville Island off Maine is a dark and foreboding place, gothic architecture with gargoyles on every buildings give it a creepy atmosphere. Miranda knows she is going to hate it when she meets her roommate who has pictures of Satan on her wall and believes in vampires.----------------------- Strange things happen in Bard Academy starting with the light turning on in her closet with her and her roommate in their beds. A boy name Heathcliffe is fixated on her and calls her Cathy and rescue hers whenever a fire breaks out which happens when she hears a cackling laugh. Her school counselor is always wearing wet clothes and drips water wherever she goes. When Miranda learns the truth about what is happening at the school, she and her friends find themselves in danger.------------------ Miranda is angry at her father for abandoning her mother and marrying a bimbo nine years older than she is. Her misbehavior is a way to gain attention from her father who ignores her. The lessons at Bard Academy helps her accept her life as it is not as she would like it to be. She also learns that the only person she can change is herself. Cara Lockwood has written a charming fantasy that sends important messages to teens who will understand them because Miranda, using asides, explains them to herself. This reviewer wood love to see a sequel to WUTHERING HIGH.--------------- Harriet Klausner