Book Review: The Academie by Suzanne Dunlap

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.

Release Date: February 28, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: NetGalley

This was a really neat book.  I loved the glimpse into the lives of three prominent young women during Napolean Bonaparte's rise to power.  I didn't think I would like the book at first, and in fact almost gave up on it, but in the end I decided to keep going and I'm glad I did.  

The Academie was slow to start, but once I figured how who everyone was and got their family members straight, I really got into the story.  I liked how each chapter was narrated by a different character, and how all four main characters' stories were interwoven (even though they didn't seem like they would be at first).  There were things I liked and disliked about each girl, and in fact, I had no favorite character.  This is rare for me, especially with a multiple first-person narrative.   

I love stories that provide an inside look into the machinations of those in power.  That is one reason why I like Philippa Gregory so much.  In fact, now that I say that, The Academie is sort of like Philippa Gregory for a younger audience.  Maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much!  I got the intrigue I wanted in a fast, easy YA read.  

I would recommend The Academie to fans of YA and fans of historical fiction.  According to Goodreads, Susanne Dunlap has written quite a few other books, and I plan to read more of her work in the future. 

1 comment:

  1. I don't know why but I really like the spelling og the title... weird right?


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