by Christine Grabowski
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 12th 2018
The Wild Rose Press, Inc
This school may be her dream come true…or her worst nightmare.
Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.
Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.
When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?
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This was such a refreshing novel! I loved the setting, I loved our main character and her decision to succeed. There are so many interesting things happening here, but the most important of all, we see a young teenager develop. That’s what captured me.
In a world where we now lose sight of how to create a moral support for our kids, we have a book about a girl who only wants to succeed and be great in school. Yes, she has a strict family and yes, this is a book in which things can happen as the author imagines them. But Christine Grabowski managed to create a character that should inspire our young generations. Autumn Mattison is starting Dickensen Academy, a boarding school that is out of the ordinary. The school has secrets and its students help nurture them. Autumn must be special in order to be fully accepted. She needs to have some special skills or abilities to be able to rise to the school standards. So she pushes herself harder and harder.
The action is very interesting, easy to follow and with twists and unforeseen events. But what mostly captured my attention was Autumn and her relationship with her family, with her new friends and with herself. She experiences a deeper connection with Ben, a friendship that may turn into more. She becomes a more matured version of herself. The academy has shaped her well, as it should have.
As sated a bit earlier in my review, we live in a world where technology dictates. Our kids (generally speaking, as mine are not born yet) spend more time with a video game than face to face interactions and we, as adults, need to guide them to the right direction and teach them how to never give up their dreams and always fight to achieve them. That’s the beauty in this book. I would have wanted to see more from the other characters but all in all, I’m giving it a 4.5 star rating. Beautiful writing, I’ve flown through it. I hope you’ll like it as well J
About the Author
Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.
When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.
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