Mon, April 9, 2012

The Academie Susanne Dunlap Book Review

The Academie by Susanne Dunlap book cover

The Academie
By Susanne Dunlap
Publication date: Feb. 28, 2012
loomsbury USA Childrens, 368 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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.

— Goodreads.com description

I haven’t read historical fiction in ages, and The Academie by Susanne Dunlap was just the book to remind me to read it more often.

I know little to nothing about France under Napoleon’s reign, but discovering it through the eyes of these characters was fascinating. There’s mystery, romance, politics, intrigue…everything you’d want in a good piece of historical fiction. Plus, at the end, there’s an author’s note tying everything together, explaining what’s accurate, what’s fiction, and so on. Thanks goodness, because I was about to have to Wikipedia the heck out of every character mentioned.

The only snag for me was that The Academie is told from four different points of view. I prefer books with one narrator and getting insanely invested in their story and thoughts. To me, four narrators is a little difficult to follow. I found myself loving Eliza and Hortense’s stories, so I sort of shuffled through the other two girls’ chapters a little quickly.

All in all, The Academie by Susanne Dunlap a great read for fans of historical fiction. This author really impressed with her balance of fun and “real stuff,” and she’s clearly done her research.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: historical, susanne dunlap
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7 Comments

  1. April Books & Wine said:

    I like historical fiction, but alas The Academie was not the book for me. :-/

    I am glad you enjoyed it though! Just goes to show, there are books for everyone 😀

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 9, 2012

  2. Jac @ For Love and Books said:

    The four points of view kind of had me nervous, and that was the one thing I actually enjoyed. The rest of it just wasn’t for me, but I’m glad you really liked it. (It seems like I was definitely in the minority!)

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 9, 2012

  3. sarah@catchingbooks said:

    Great review and I totally agree!! Having the four different points of view was a little bit confusing for me!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 9, 2012

  4. VeganYANerds said:

    I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction but I read one other review of this that put the book on my radar and now you liked it as well, I think I’ll have to give this a go!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 9, 2012

  5. heidi said:

    I’ve read a few reviews for this one, but I’m not sure anyone else mentioned the four different points of view! I’m glad you did, I dislike this as well, and am getting more and more sick of the head jumping the more it appears. Still may read this one though!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 9, 2012

  6. Jennifer aka YA Book Nerd said:

    oh good, I have this on my bookshelf at home. I really liked her previous book!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 9, 2012

  7. Susanne Dunlap said:

    Thanks so much for the great review! I’m really glad you liked my book.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, April 9, 2012

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