YADP Featuring The Last Academy by Anne Applegate

Young Adult Debut Promotions (YADP) is a post I do to help out debut authors, and to get them noticed.  My posts will definitely include a feature of the book, a feature of the author, and a giveaway, with an interview, guest post, or excerpt optional.  If you would like more information about YADP click here and scroll down until you come to the section talking about it.

Today I am featuring...

Anne Applegate
And she will be doing an interview and giveaway!

The Last Academy
by Anne Applegate
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: April 30, 2013
by Point (an imprint of Scholastic)

Goodreads / Purchase

What is this prep school preparing them for?
Camden Fisher arrives at boarding school haunted by a falling-out with her best friend back home. But the manicured grounds of Lethe Academy are like nothing Cam has ever known. There are gorgeous, preppy boys wielding tennis rackets, and circles of girls with secrets to spare. Only . . . something is not quite right. One of Cam's new friends mysteriously disappears, but the teachers don't seem too concerned. Cam wakes up to strangers in her room, who then melt into the night. She is suddenly plagued by odd memories, and senses there might be something dark and terrible brewing. But what? The answer will leave Cam—and readers—stunned and breathless, in this thrilling debut novel.

*A copy was provided by Scholastic for review purposes*

Something dark and terrible is brewing.  But what?  The answer will leave Cam – and readers – stunned and breathless, in this thrilling debut that must be re-read to be believed.

Yep.  That sums it up pretty well.

When I started this book I thought it would be a typical goes-to-boarding-school-people-disappear-because-someone-is-killing-the-kids and I was waiting till the end to decide if I liked how Applegate formed the mystery and chose the culprit…but then I got to the end and it went a completely different way.  I was completely surprised, but very pleased and impressed.  I never, in a million years, saw that ending coming.  The thing I was most impressed with was the staging.  Throughout the book there were events that, at the time, you thought were just events and were there for no reason, but then you get to the end and look back and go like “Oooh, so that’s what that meant.”.  This book is written in a very unique way, in that a ton of hints are dropped in the beginning and middle of the book, but nothing is actually explained until the end.  I’m just amazed that Applegate managed to pull it off.  She managed to keep my attention and pull me into the story.  I loved her humor in the book, and her writing was really good.  I liked the hint of romance in this book as well, even though it didn’t play a huge part in this book.  And, like I said, the ending was amazing.

I really liked the character development in this book.  You really got to know each character very well.  Mark, the love interest, isn’t a huge part of this book, but you still feel like you know him because of his visits to his mom.  You get to learn a bit about him.  I also liked how Applegate developed Brynne and Nora, and how we got to connect with them.  And I also loved getting to know Camden.  She was a very strong character, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her.

What with the awesome staging and story line, jaw-dropping ending, and cute writing, this is a wonderful debut, and I can’t wait to see what Applegate comes up with next.

And I finally get what the title means LOL.

4.5 pink flowers

Favorite Quotes:

#1 Favorite Quote of All Time: Nora got to the doors of Kelser first.  She lay into them without slowing down, arms out to push them open.  Her whole body smacked against them and she crumpled like a swatted fly.  I made a note to remember the doors at Kelser House opened out instead of in.  Nora picked herself up and pulled the door open.
~Page 43-44, uncorrected ARC edition

I glanced at my watch.  7:20 in the morning.  I still had to get back down to my room, make my bed for inspection, brush my teeth, yell at Tamara for having guys in our room last night, and arrive on time for my first class.  It was going to be a busy morning.
~Page 48-49, uncorrected ARC edition

If you ate nothing but old books and dust bunnies, this room would smell like your farts.
~Page 252, uncorrected ARC edition


1. Why did you decide to become a writer?
This question made me laugh out loud. I guess the answer is, “Because I couldn’t help myself.”
I didn’t decide to be a writer any more than I decided to have freckles or a size 8 foot -- it was just part of my life skills grab bag. I imagine this is true for lots of people.  For a long time, I was uncomfortable expressing it.  But you know what?  I’m 38 years old.  I figured it was high time to let my freak flag fly.

2. Who were your biggest influences?
In college, I hardly took any courses that weren’t mandatory. Classes are expensive, yo. It never crossed my mind to try anything beyond the list I needed to graduate.  As it turned out, Creative Writing 101 filled a requirement.
I expected textbooks and a heavy reading load, similar to my other classes.  Instructions like:  Write a 15 page essay on what makes a good story, pop quizzes will count as 15% of your final grade.  But there was only one assignment.  Write thirty pages of fiction, and read them in front of your classmates.
I was in love from the first day.  That fumbling, awkward love that makes you stumble all over yourself, uncaring, because you’re so pink-cheeked giddy, thinking about it all the time.  I adored everything – listening to other people’s writing, talking about the stories, reading my own stuff out loud.  The teacher had this great vibe that made his classroom a safe place.  It’s a true and rare talent to be able to do that for someone else. 
When the semester ended, I was completely moped. There was only that one creative writing class listed in the course catalog, and I’d used it up.  Desperate, I went to the teacher’s office and pretty much begged him to help me find a way to take another.  He must have thought I was a huge dope, but he just smiled and said, “All you need to do is fill out Creative Writing 102 at the registrar’s.” 
I took another semester, guilty for taking a class that didn’t count towards graduation, but unable to turn the opportunity down.  When the second semester was over, I told myself it was time to get serious about my education and went back to my major.  I never took another writing class in college.  That professor gave me such a great gift, and I don’t even remember his name.

3. Where do you like to write?
I love my writing desk, but it’s not pretty.  Nobody wonders if they’ve stepped into a Pottery Barn store when they see it, what with the mismatched junk décor.  But give me a cup of coffee and some headphones, and you’ll have to shuck me like an oyster to get me out of there.  Lots of times, I’ll get inspired by song lyrics or quotes.  I’ll scrawl them on sheets of paper and tape them to the wall.  It makes the place look a little like a madwoman’s cell.  My favorite right now is one that says, “Tell the truth and run.”  It’s helping me get through this interview! J

4. Do you have a special routine you like to do before you write?
If I’m stuck, I’ll wake up early in the morning.  At four o’clock, I’ll slip downstairs and write before my brain gets a chance to turn on.   There’s something fragile about that hour, half the time I feel like I could cry from the shivers.  At the same time, all these crazy good ideas slip past my filters and onto the paper, and I’m too tired to delete them. 

5. When and how did you get the idea for The Last Academy?
At the time, I was a stay-at-home mother with two young kids, preparing to have a third.  It felt like my whole life was diapers, Dr. Suess, sleepless nights, and making about a million peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  Moms know what I’m talking about – 2:40 in the morning and a kid wakes up?  Time to mom.  Trying to make dinner?  Momming.  Sneaking into the kitchen to call someone on the phone?  That’s usually when moms are needed most. 

Now, I have to confess that I love the life.  I love the play dough and the play dates and the mom friends and the Mommy & Me classes. But after five years on the job, I’d come to a place where I also needed to do something not parenting related. 

“Join a book club,” a friend suggested in the park one afternoon.  “Read ANNA KARENINA, meet up at someone’s house, have a cup of tea, and gossip about made up people,”

I had time to retort, “Like I have time to read a whole book in a month,” before rushing over to stop my kid from eating park sand. 

But the fantasy – adults!  Tea! Talking in a normal pitched voice!  I kept turning it around in my mind, trying to make it work.  Finally, it came to me.  I’d join a writing group.  I had no intention of actually writing.  But I’d get out of the house for a couple hours a week and have someone else read to me.  Pretty brilliant, right?  I found a group and signed up.

As it turned out, I was the youngest person in the group by thirty years.  I walked in, took one look, and thought, well, this is not for me.  But I didn’t want to be rude, so I sat down. 

It was one of the funniest groups of people I had ever met.  By the end of the 90 minutes, I wanted to be adopted.  The leader turned to me and said, “Do you have something in mind to share?”  When I said no, she threw some flinty eyed appraisal my way.  “Well, you can’t join this group unless you bring something to read. Every time.”  

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  I’d been reading the same chapter in a Sookie Stackhouse novel for three weeks (in fifteen minute segments, in the bathroom, while watching over small bubble bathers).  (Don’t judge.)  There was no way I could write three pages worth of coherent thoughts in two weeks. I mean, might as well send me home with NASA blueprints and ask me to come back with a spaceship.

But I really wanted to join this group, where no one had even once mentioned Dora the Explorer.  I went home and started writing what turned into The Last Academy.  So yeah – diapers and desperation to join a sixty-something clique was basically my inspiration for writing this book.


1. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Milk chocolate.

2. Cats or dogs?
Dogs!  Slightly allergic to cats, which makes them beautiful from afar and sneezy up close.

3. Hardcover, paperback or ebook?
Paperback, because I’ve got a Velveteen Rabbit relationship with books. I fold their pages, hold them one-handed, bending them so far open the binding breaks.  If their content is scary or annoying, I throw them across the room.  I take them into a bubble bath or the beach. I use them as coasters.  It ain’t pretty being a book in Chez Applegate.


1. Movie?
Pulp Fiction

2. Ice cream flavor?
Cherry Garcia

3. Animal?
Does Animal from The Muppets count? (*Yes he does lol*)

4. Fictional character?
Severus Snape

Thank you, Emily, for hosting!  These questions have been a lot of fun to answer.  -Anne



The Rules:

~There will be 1 winner
~Giveaway ends on May 20, 2013 @ 12:00 A.M.
~This giveaway is US/CAN
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get to know Anne Applegate:


Anne Applegate is the author of THE LAST ACADEMY as well as this little blurb right here. She always thought writing about herself in third person would feel pretentious and weird, but it turns out she kind of enjoys it.




  1. This book looks really interesting!!! I totally want to read it now...it's so mysterious and now that I know there is a mystery I'll break my brain trying to solve it when I read the book :P And probably fail. (mwah-waah-waaahhh)
    The interview was great! I really enjoy learning more about the author and I loved the idea of a writing club type deal and I sooo want to take that college class :) It sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Have you ever read a book because the author sounds cool? This would be one of this cases. ["The Last Academy" does sound pretty cool on its own though.]

    "It ain’t pretty being a book in Chez Applegate." LOL!

  3. The book cover is AMAZING! I was sold on the book just by the cover it's self. Then when I read the book description I was HOOKED! Great giveaway, thanks! :)

  4. Wow! I can't WAIT to read this! I love that cover, too ; )
    I wonder what kind of events or people inspired the author while writing this book!?
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  5. That interview was hilarious. And yes, the exact moment you sneak away to use the phone or have a moment to yourself is EXACTLY the moment your kid needs you the most! I have never understood that! :)

    "I love my writing desk, but it’s not pretty. Nobody wonders if they’ve stepped into a Pottery Barn store when they see it, what with the mismatched junk décor."

    Haha! I love this! That's kinda how I feel about my stuff. I also like to get up really early some mornings, but no to write, because I am no good at that. I like to read - and I can do so uninterrupted and think clearly because the rest of my house is asleep!

    Anyway, great interview and I can't wait to read your book. Loved the review, and I have been looking forward to this book! Fingers crossed hard that I win - I am WAY too broke to buy even one book right now.

  6. Great interview!!! Thank you for sharing and the giveaway too!!!

  7. I love her relationship with books. They are our friends and part of our life and we will use them accordingly, I think she would find many sympathizers.

  8. This sounds like a fun read!! Glad to hear there is actual character development. That seems to be lacking lately. Sounds like a promising start to a new series.

  9. To tell you the truth i've never read "The Last Academy" before. But now that i have im doing it for my book report. its an awesome, amazing, interesting, and etc. its also one of my kinds of style. :)
    love the book called, "The Last Academy!" :)


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