Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Released: May 2011
Plot: After the sudden death of her parents Renée Winters is sent by her grandfather to Gottfried Academy, a small exclusive boarding school in Maine where only classical subjects are taught such as Philosophy, Latin and Horticulture. Renée struggles at first to adjust, still unsettled by the mysterious cause to her parents deaths, however as Gottfried Academy's shaded past unveils itself and the mysterious Dante Berlin becomes ever closer to Renée, will she be able to uncover the truth?
Good Points: Okay at first I really liked this book, I liked the idea of including philosophy (something I'm studying currently at college) and Latin together into the fictional plot and Renée's character for the first parts of the book. I also enjoyed the exploration of the unique classes offered at the school and basically I bought the book because of these things. However...
Bad Points: As I've probably already hinted at I didn't like this book. The first parts to the book were okay, the beginning of the plot got me excited and looking forward to reading on however I was thoroughly disappointed when I did. Renée's character becomes the most annoying character I think I have ever read. At first I enjoyed her enquiring mind and I thought she would develop well. Looking back I now think this was just because we didn't know that much about her. Her character becomes vain and a little bit stupid, things stare her blatantly in the face and she ignores them. Also *slightspoiler* she doesn't realise her room mate, yes the person who lives with her is missing for two days! Renée then manages to draw any fact or new evidence back to herself or her own love life with the broody Dante who seriously needs to eat a slice of happy pie. The book at times reminded me of the likes of Harry potter ( detention in the scary woods, weird classes, mysterious deaths around the school which threaten to send the students home) and Twilight ( just the general broodiness of the character Dante) which I hated. Also philosophically I hated it, why oh why did she have to use Descartes?!!?
Try it out for yourself though, Yvonne Woon's second book Life Eternal is out now.