Aug 24, 2012

Review: The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin (+Giveaway)

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin
August 21, 2012 from Razorbill

When Lorelei's old school mysteriously burns down, a new one appears practically overnight: Splendid Academy. Rock-climbing walls on the playground and golden bowls of candy on every desk? Gourmet meals in the cafeteria, served by waiters? Optional homework and two recess periods a day? It's every kids's dream.

But Lorelei and her new friend Andrew are pretty sure it's too good to be true. Together they uncover a sinister mystery, one with their teacher, the beautiful Ms. Morrigan, at the very center.

Then Andrew disappears. Lorelei has to save him, even if that means facing a past she'd like to forget – and taking on a teacher who's a real witch.

What Lorelei and Andrew discover chills their bones – and might even pick them clean!

I am on an MG kick right now! I've been waiting on this book for a long long time. When I got my galley, I wanted others to jump on a chance to read so it made its way around for several months. I kept hearing great things about it and was happy to see it come home for me to read.

Sinister is a book with oodles of mystery, kid friendly horror, and tons of evil women! In the library I am always being asked for a spooky read that isn't too frightening, and now I have a go-to book. There isn't something right about Lorelei's new school. It's too perfect. The teachers are too nice, the food too good, and what the heck is 'candy math?' Lorelei is a smart girl, and from the get-go she knows something isn't right. There is only one other kid in the whole school who seems to notice that something is off, Andrew. The others are far too busy stuffing Skittles in their mouths. Before long, the two begin to unravel the mysteries that Splendid Academy holds. This brings on a whole new set of problems for the two - at home and at school. Lorelei's wretched step-mother gives that poor girl so much grief! I was beyond frustrated with this woman and was hoping someone would whop her upside the head. Joking...maybe. Regardless, when Lorelei and Andrew need the support of their family, they realize they have no one but each other.

Sinister has numerous themes that are all important or familiar with this age group. Loss, friendship, sibling relationships, blended family relationships, love, acceptance, forgiveness, etc. I could go and on. The characters are vivid and believable, the plot is balanced with meaningful and serious tones paired with silly, spooky fun. This little middle grade honestly has it all. Highly recommend!

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You can find Loftin at her website
Come to Loftin's big release party at BookPeople on Saturday, August 25th!

Lucky you, one copy is up for grabs! Feel out the fancy doo-hickey to be officially entered. US only, good luck!
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