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The Académie

3.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  438 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Eliza Monroe-daughter of the future president of the United States-is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when-ooh, la-la!-she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 368 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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The Académie reimagines a history where James Monroe’s daughter Eliza went to the same school at the same time as Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister, Caroline, and his stepdaughter (Josephine’s daughter) Hortense de Beauharnais. The school was run by Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan, who was mistress to the bedchamber of Marie Antoinette. In actuality, there wasn’t a time that all three girls were in attendance together so the author fabricated Eliza’s presence at the school in 1799 to create a plausible ...more
Stephanie Bedell
Feb 13, 2012 Stephanie Bedell rated it liked it
This review was first available at
Bottom Line Book Reviews

The year is 1799 and Eliza Monroe has just been unceremoniously deposited by her mother at a prestigious boarding school in France. Instead of the Parisian holiday she expected, Eliza must now undertake the difficult task of befriending members of the young French upper class, including Caroline Bonaparte, sister to the great Napoleon, and Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon’s wife. Eliza was hop
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
The Académie is a historical novel set in Paris right after the French Revolution. It's a re-imagined history, intentionally fudging dates and ages, to put Hortense de Beauharnais (daughter of Josephine), Carolyn Bonaparte (sister of Napoleon) and Eliza Monroe (daughter of James Monroe) at L'Académie Nationale a SaintGermain at the same time. It's a fun little book set against the backdrop of a struggling France.

Eliza is naive and young, but it's more endearing than obnoxious. Carolyn is cunning
Sarah (Catching Books)
Feb 29, 2012 Sarah (Catching Books) rated it really liked it
What a really fun read!! I haven't really read any historical novels in a while so it was really fun reading something from a different time period! One of the first things that caught my eye about this novel was the setting/location. It was really interesting to see what France was like right after the revolution, especially from a teenager's perspective. Susanne Dunlap does a really great job of describing the setting and making the reader really able to imagine France during this time.

One of
Sierra Abrams
The Academie by Susanne Dunlap
Pages: 368
Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Date Read: 2012, March 4th-11th
Received: ARC via NetGalley
Rating: 3/5 stars
Recommended to: +12

Eliza Monroe - daughter of America, innocent and young, desiring romance and handsome generals, wanting to be accepted.
Hortense de Beauharnais - daughter of Josephine Bonaparte, beautiful young woman, one who loves deeply, one who has a secret she cannot deny, but must try to escape from.
Madeleine - actress in the Comedie
To say that "The Académie" disappointed me would be a gross understatement. It's not that I dislike historical fiction in the vein of YA - I love them, actually, especially when they have wonderful characters and emotional resonance that stay with me long after I finish the book. It's not even that I dislike speculative retellings or alternate interpretations of various historical figures. Probably my favorite retelling in the vein of French history would be the Japanese manga "Rose of Versaille ...more
I suppose I should start off with the fact that this is fiction based VERY loosely on historical figures and events; the story is made up, but the names are real. Considering how frequently I air my (occasionally annoying) thoughts pertaining to accuracy in details as they apply to persons, places, and events that were real, it will probably come as a surprise that - though Dunlap played fast and loose with her fiction and fact - it didn't really bother me. (Are you shocked? I was.) Maybe it is ...more
Sigh. Sometimes when you read a book’s summary, you think WOW it sounds like this book and I are MEANT TO BE. And then you read the book and have a deep soul connection. Other times, you read the book and unfortunately end up disappointed. Friends, I did not experience a deep soul connection with The Académie by Susanne Dunlap.

Read the rest of my review here
Sep 25, 2015 Ellie rated it it was ok
Don't bother. There are so many other books you could be reading.

When I read the synopsis I was interested and looking forward to reading it. I like historical fiction. Or that is, I like good historical fiction... I'm sorry to say that this book was not one of them.

I'm going to try to keep this short. My main issues were

1. The first person - every chapter switches between Madeleine, Eliza and Hortense. The latter two are often interchangeable and it made keeping track of the characters dif
"Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité- République française"

Setting:Paris and Saint=Germain-en-Laye; 1799

Coverly Love?:No; why on Earth did they decide not to show her face. If I hadn't' known any better or not read the synopsis, I would have thought it was a teenage erotica read. I do like the pink background though.

Plot:Madame Campan's Academie Nationale is the France's most exclusive girls boarding school. If your anybody who's somebody, you go to that school. Such is the case for three lucky girl
Posted on Book Chelle.

Susan Dunlap’s The Académie is a historical tale that takes place after the French Revolution. While Dunlap has taken creative license to the events that take place, The Académie has many similarities to reality. Set in 1779 France, Dunlap writes about lives of four young women – Eliza Monroe, the daughter of soon-to-be President Monroe, Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais, Caroline Bonaparte, sister to Napoleon Bonaparte, and Madeline, a daughter
Feb 11, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I love reading historical fiction, and this book didn't disappoint me. I started reading it and I couldn't stop. It's not full of action and drama, but it was interesting to me. I learned more from this book than I did in my grade 11 history class (my teacher did pretty much nothing). It's a good look into how an all girls school might have been in that era.

The story is told from three points of view. There is Eliza, the American; Hortense, Josephine's daughter; and Madeline, the daughter of an
Cover Blurb: While I love the color scheme - soft, blushing pink and emerald-green dress - and the title’s font, I don’t like the girl. Her position and emphasis on the lips screams GIRL READ! The cover doesn’t like - this is a girl read, but it also isn’t as bad of one as the cover may indicate. If it was on a paperback, I would almost assume that it’s one of those cheap romances that little old ladies are always reading (except the girl does have her clothes on).

What I Liked: The setup - a pos
Jennifer Ellision
Posted to Almost Grown-up:

In the aftermath of the French Revolution, The Academie draws children of influential people across the world, including Eliza Monroe, the daughter of the future president, Hortense de Beauharnais, stepdaughter of Napoleon Bonaparte, and Caroline Bonaparte, sister of the very same– the original short man with short man syndrome.

On the fringes of society, Madeline, a Creole actress at the Comedie Francaise, lives abused by her mother and head-over-heels in love with Hort
Amber at Fall Into Books
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book didn't impress me as much as I was hoping it would. The descriptions of the setting were fantastic, and I couldn't help but feel that I was in Enlightenment Era France. The plot was decent, and the pacing was quick moving for the first half, but the last half dragged a bit. The characters, on the other hand, were not so great.

The character of Eliza, who was one of the three narrators, was extremely an
I really wanted to love this one because I am such a history geek about anything to do with the Bonapartes, but I just couldn't bring myself to give it more than three stars. The Academie started out strong and I loved all the characters but I couldn't get into the romance part much because I knew how history would play out for the three girls. I agree along with some of the other reviewers that there were some plot holes that lead to a confusing ending. I had high hopes for The Academie but fou ...more
Lindsay Heller
This book wasn't bad, per se, I was a little harsh in my rating, but it was definitely too young for me. I read a lot of YA, but not being a YA person it's probably not surprise that I prefer the YA that's well written and interestingly thought out. This book had some good ideas, but unfortunately tried so very very hard to please the audience it was geared towards. If that's a bad thing. That's up to you.

I was attracted to this because I always like hearing stories about the people who are jus
Feb 27, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting historical fiction read about four girls in France during the time of Napoleon Bonaparte. Each chapter is written by one of the girls telling the story from their perspective through the course of the year. It has a little bit of action and romance as well. If you like historical fiction you will enjoy this book.
I can't finish this book. The voices blend into one, even though there's three narrators. I read sixty pages, and there still was nothing contributing to the plot, nothing hooking me. Which is such a shame, since this book sounded amazing. Just not for me.
In The Academie, Susanne Dunlap has taken real people (and a few imagined characters) and married real events and imagined events - this story is loosely based on actual history. What we have is an American girl that arrives at a French boarding school to find that two of her fellow students are closely connected to Napoleon Bonaparte - one is his sister, one is his stepdaughter - during a time of big political tension in France. As the girls become friends and as the American girl learns the re ...more
Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading)
This was a really neat book. I loved the glimpse into the lives of three prominent young women during Napolean Bonaparte's rise to power. I didn't think I would like the book at first, and in fact almost gave up on it, but in the end I decided to keep going and I'm glad I did.

The Academie was slow to start, but once I figured how who everyone was and got their family members straight, I really got into the story. I liked how each chapter was narrated by a different character, and how all four m
Page (One Book At A Time)
I love historical fiction and while I've never read anything else by this author, that fact alone was enough for me to want to read it. Sadly this book did not live up to my expectations.

I was excited about the fact that this contained characters who were connected to some very powerful men. What were their lives like? Maybe I need to remind myself that in all honesty, they are teenage girls. But they came across as so petty and self absorbed in this book. They pay no attention to how their act
Mar 05, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
I got 70 pages in and I gave up. My attention was grabbed by the synopsis, but it wasn't kept with the writing. I thought this was going to be a good book, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

The cover describes the book perfectly. This cover is exactly what the book is about. It shows how the girl really are.

I didn't get very far, but the plot was sort of boring. I wasn't interested in the story line. It just seemed like nothing was going to happen in the 300-something
Mar 17, 2012 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it
Four teenage girls in post-revolutionary France have personal plans for their own liberty, happiness and love. Eliza Monroe, the daughter of a future US president, Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Josephine and step-daughter of Napoleon, Caroline Bonaparte, the sister of the future emperor, and Madeleine, the daughter of a beautiful but deranged former slave, are living in a era of great transition. King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette have been deposed and beheaded, aristocratic ti ...more
I was taken with the cover for this book and requested it without even looking at the synopsis. It looked like French historical fiction and that sounded promising enough to me. After reading April at Good Books and Good Wine's review though, my enthusiasm waned. I had the sinking feeling that I would agree with her thoughts on the characters.

But she was not wrong, in my case. I do adore books with multiple narrators but in this case I could not really connect with any of them. First is Eliza M
Jun 13, 2012 Kris added it
Shelves: review-copy
The Academie starts with a good historical premise. Three girls, all related to powerful historical figures, thrown together at a school for young women? It makes you wonder what will happen, especially as the events of the novel take place soon after the French Revolution and right around the time that Napoleon Bonaparte plotted to overthrow the Directoire. Big changes are brewing in France at the same time that the girls play a game of politics with one another, each girl acting with her best ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Justin rated it really liked it
I had really high hopes for The Academie, I love Historical Fiction especially if it's YA and based around French history. This story takes place in the Fall of 1799, and there is a lot going on in France during this time. It's right after the French Revolution, and right before Napoleon took over. Which is something we all learn about at some point in History class. I really liked how historically accurate Susanne kept some of the information in The Academie, and then sculpted an entire story a ...more
Mar 19, 2012 ephrielle rated it liked it
Young and full of her own importance, Eliza Monroe finds herself in an academy for young ladies. Although, Her mother hopes she will make some influential connections, it isn't long before she has embroiled herself in a tangled mess. Everyone has a secret, and for some, their secrets could be disastrous.
Don't you love this green dress? I think she looks very secretive. It turns out that the lives of the people in this book are nowhere near as pretty as the cover.
The idea for this story was take
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I love the cover (how much do I want that dress?!?!), but it didn't immediately say historical fiction to me. My first thought was high class school, only modern. Further study revealed the old-fashioned necklace and the sleeves on the dress. Either way, pretty! Given how much I am drawn to book covers, I was, of course, super excited to read this book, because, obviously, I judge solely by appearances.

The story is told from the perspectives of three different girls, Eliza, Hortense, and Madelei
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 17, 2015 11:00AM  
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  • Violins of Autumn
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  • Spy for the Queen of Scots
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  • Interrupted: Life Beyond Words
  • Magic Under Stone (Magic Under, #2)
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Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for the adult market (Emilie's Voice and Liszt's Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Three are for the young adult market (The Musician's Daughter, Anastasia's Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and the forthcoming The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in ...more
More about Susanne Dunlap...

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