Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Academy by Katie Sise


Frankie loves fashion and has applied to a Fashion Academy without telling her parents.  She is very surprised when, out of the blue, her parents send her to a military academy instead.  Okay, so she did a few things she shouldn't have, but their reaction seems extreme.  Once Frankie gets to the Academy, it's worse than she thought.  There is almost no time to maintain her fashion blog, the classes are much more difficult than her former high school, and forget about the physical training!  But after a few weeks Frankie begins to see the value of some things she is learning at her new school and wonders if she could actually make a go of it there.

Frankie is such a nice character which was such a happy surprise for me as I was expecting this to just be the standard formula of shallow-girl-learns-a-lesson.  Her priorities are a bit messed up as the book begins, but Frankie's heart is in the right place in terms of how she treats people all around her.  She truly believes in the power of fashion and uses her knowledge of it for good and to recognize people for their choices, which made me realize that pretty much every other depiction of fashion-obsessed people shows them as bitchy and shallow.  I became a little frustrated about a third into the book because Frankie had already said that she needed to take things more seriously and follow the rules a few times but then she had that revelation again and it was presented as something new.  But when she actually did get going, it was great - and not totally formulaic.  There was not a montage of her working hard and succeeding at everything she did.  She did well at some things and barely kept her head above water (literally, in one case) at others but her overall improvement was good.  This is a nice, easy story with a surprising dose of patriotism throughout.

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