Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: The Academie by Susan Dunlap

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 368
Received: Borrowed from library

Release Date: February 28, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Review:

I love historical fiction books and this one caught my eye because it was different from a lot of the ones I have read in the past. This book deals with the Napoleonic era, which really interested me, I am in love with learning more about the French and everything that happened. This book wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I did enjoy the story.

I liked the writing style that Dunlap has here, you get to see so many different points of view. Usually I am not a fan of this many different POV's because I feel that I can't connect with the characters but it seemed to work well for this story. I found that I got to spend enough time with each character to understand their thoughts and feelings. It was interesting to see how all the characters connected with one another as well. All these characters are from different backgrounds and yet each has something in common.

I was expecting a little more history to come in to play in this book, but sadly there wasn't very much. This story focused more on the girls and their lives at school. Though we did get to see some of Napoleon and his army, I was hoping it would have more of an impact on the story. I was happy to see that some of the French history was incorporated into this story. All these characters were real people which made for an interesting read, I liked knowing that Dunlap had to have done some research, but it would have been nice the story followed history a little more closely than it does.

This was definitely a great coming of age novel during hard times in France. But it was great to see these girls grow up in a time like this. This was a fun read but not as historical as I was expecting.

2 comments:

fakesteph said...

I like that this isn't as historical as you thought it would be. This book sounds really good, but I don't read a lot of historical, becuae it's not really my thing.

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

This one sounds really good! It's probably good for me - someone who hasn't read much historical fiction - so that way I can kind of ease my way into the books that have more history to them.

And I'm with you on the POVs - I don't mind a couple of POVs, but when it gets to be 3 or more it's kind of pushing it. But as long as it's done well, I'll be happy.

Great review, Andrea! I'm looking forward to reading this one!

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