Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

Title: Academy 7
Author: Anne Osterlund
Published: May 2009 (Puffin)
Rating: 4/5
Summary: With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin - son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance - consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship - and romance - begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . .

My Review: My sister gave me this book to read, and since we usually have pretty similar taste, I trusted her judgment.  The premise sounded good enough.  Plus, look at the pretty cover!  It turns out that I was right to trust her; I enjoyed this book a lot!

Academy 7 was so cute!  It was a fast read, but it wasn't super light.  It had substance, an interesting premise with good execution, and a decent plot.  In fact, if anything, I would have liked to see some things fleshed out more, specifically the ending, which was a little abrupt.  Regardless, it was still a pleasurable read.  I particularly enjoyed the original world Osterlund had created.  I am...strange when it comes to sci-fi.  I am not usually a fan unless it is a background for a romance, and even then, I'm picky.  But this worked for me.  And it was so nice to actually have a story in a different universe that  -- *gasp* -- wasn't part of a series.  Now, don't get me wrong; I love a good series.  I also happen to be impatient, though, and I hate waiting in between the books.  Plus, I am always worried that I will forget the details and it won't be as great of an experience as reading the books back-to-back.  Which is true to some extent, although I have started to get over that.  There are just too many things I'm dying to read that are the first in a series; I know I will cave on at least some of them.  But I digress.

The main thing I loved about this book was the development of the relationship between the two main characters.  Aerin is so hesitant about everything at first, including actually having a friend in Dane.  She just broke my heart and made me want to hug her.  But the way they naturally develop from strangers (with some animosity on one side) to friends to, eventually, more was so realistic and beautiful.  It grew naturally, and the way their feelings were portrayed was perfect.

Oh, and there was sparring!  Which always makes me happy.

This was a cute, satisfying read that left me with a smile on my face -- the perfect way to spend my Friday morning.

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