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Secret Lives (Darke Academy #1)

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,161 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
You'll be dying to join the chosen Few...

The Darke Academy is a school like no other. An élite establishment that moves to an exotic new city every term, its students are impossibly beautiful, sophisticated and rich. And the more new scholarship girl Cassie Bell learns about the Academy, the more curious she becomes.

What sinister secrets are guarded by the Few — the sele
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 6th 2009 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I think the best part of this book were the words I picked up including:
- guff
- comestible

I mean, come on - guff?! I will officially be trying to slip that into every one of my conversations. NEW YEARS RESOLUTION PEOPLES!!

Overall, this book was (on a scale of 'ugh' to 'squeal'): meh. For those of you not fluent in fangirl, 'meh' is an expression used to convey indecision. The book was founded on some amazing, and original, ideas and concepts. Although I do have to stress the annoying quality i
Inês Montenegro
Jun 24, 2013 Inês Montenegro rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasia, romance
Beautiful, intelligent, “spiritual”, “strong” scholarship girl with rare and wonderful eyes color, liked by most and bearing a sad past (aka Mary Sue) as protagonist: check.
Said protagonist is a judgmental complaining bitch, equal to all others, but apparently better than them because she’s poor and they are rich (also, she’s the protagonist and they are not): check.
Stereotype “good poor” girl versus bad “rich and beautiful” people: check.
Poor vocabulary and not so original storyline: check. Thi
Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi
I found this at library few days ago. Didn't know it was translated. Although, I must say translation was really bad. It was full of archaisms, I just wonder why. I mean this book was published few years ago.

About the book. Well just typical teen, paranormal book. I guess that girls who start reading paranormal would like this. Most interesting thing is those spirits, ghosts or whatever they are. That was interesting. All in all, interesting story but really really bad translation (mislim ko jo
Dec 03, 2009 Sally rated it did not like it
What the actual fuck. If I had to make a list of Worst Five Books Ever (That I Actually Finished), this is so nabbing one of the top spots.
Nov 30, 2012 Lucinda rated it really liked it
A fantastic start to a promising trilogy that I found as captivating as Hogwarts life with a bloodthirsty twist & dark secrets!

Darke Academy is a singular school that harbors many hidden secrets, as it moves from place to place, each term so as to avoid catching the eyes of those suspicious few. The elite establishment has impossibly beautiful, striking students who seem if anything almost unreal, which are both extremely wealthy and sophisticated in manner. It all seems too good to be true
Leigh Hunt
Aug 19, 2013 Leigh Hunt rated it it was amazing
I smashed through this book in one day. It was an easy read. A slow start, but it quickly picked up.

What I liked the most?
* The opening scene is of a girl getting hunted through the forest in Phnom Phen, in Cambodia. That was creepy. Seriously. I could almost taste her fear. I love a book that shows me that primal fear.

* The whole YA 'Love-interest/Obsession' thing doesn't feature in this as a driving force behind the storyline, it's a lot darker and more sinister than that. Bravo! **claps**

Despite barely showing anything approaching intelligence, a judgmental and jumped up eavesdropper from a poor background wins a scholarship to a prestigious but ridiculous school, The Darke Academy, where nobody learns anything because the teachers are too busy being intimidated by the clique of beautiful, blatant moustache-twirlers that lord it over the rest of the student body. Despite hating and looking down on the group, Cassie (our asshole-ish eavesdropper) is desperate to become one of the
Cassie's had a pretty hard life -- her mother couldn't cope with her, so she's spent most of her life growing up in Cranlake Crescent children's home, under the bullying eye of care manager Jilly. Her future looked bleak -- until she won a scholarship to Darke Academy, an elite school which travels to a different city every term.

She almost immediately becomes involved with The Few. But when Cassie finds herself wandering the corridors at night, avoiding her snoring roommate, she finds something
Mar 08, 2013 Nicola rated it liked it
Starting at a prestigious boarding school as a scholarship student already has Cassie Bell feeling like an outsider, but when she starts to uncover the secrets of the exclusive Darke Academy, she starts to feel even more lost at sea.

I found this a difficult one to review, because I have mixed emotions about this book. I neither loved it nor hated it, but there was something compelling about it. The plotline was something I've seen before, but there were definitely elements which I hadn't seen, w
Marya Morevna
Jul 02, 2012 Marya Morevna rated it really liked it
I'm actually quite surprised at the low reviewers rating. Read it quite a while back and so it in a local bookshop today and so I'd thought I'd write a review. When I first saw this book the first thing thought was 'Okay the few are definitely vampires or werewolves and Cassie is probably going to fall in love with one of them and blah blah blah' I had these thoughts because I read this book during the vampires and wolf hyped and so when I was reading it I always thinking 'omg this guys a vampir ...more
Aug 19, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
After reading the reviews for Darke Academy here on Goodreads I didn't really have much hope for it. How wrong was I. What fantastic start to a series, witty, mysterious and well written, quite an intelligent read for a YA novel. The plot is fairly good and runs quite smoothly, perhaps with a few overused themes, but that's common in almost every genre of book. The lead protagonist is your usual vexing fumbling innocent heroine but she's endearing enough, the male characters are razor sharp and ...more
I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one. I read it in one sitting because I was really curious about what was going on at the school. However, we don't find out until the end, and it's not explained very well. I also don't understand why Cassie took it so completely in her stride- it didn't feel like a normal reaction to what had happened. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, and it took me until the end of the book to understand who everybody was. That said, there was something ...more
Mikka Gottstein
Jan 09, 2016 Mikka Gottstein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erstmal ein Hinweis: leider ist die Reihe auf deutsch nur noch gebraucht erhältlich, und dann auch nur die ersten drei Bände, da der vierte anscheinend nie übersetzt wurde! Auf englisch sind aber alle vier Bände der Reihe noch als Taschenbuch oder eBook verfügbar.

"Dark Academy", leuchtend rote Augen auf dem Cover...

Das weckt beim Leser direkt gewisse Erwartungen, und so habe ich mir von dem Buch nicht mehr und nicht weniger versprochen als das, was in der Beschreibung auf diversen Webseiten ang
Laura Holland
Apr 19, 2013 Laura Holland rated it it was amazing
Well I was pleasantly surprised with this book...In a very good way I might add.
I didn't know what to expect but I thoroughly enjoyed every word.
I especially love the way she has written the male characters, I found I was constantly questioning who was the good guy and who was the bad...And even at the end it still leaves questions! Which I loved!
Onto the second book I go!!!!
Jan 03, 2015 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(4.5 Stars)
Being a high school English teacher I'm always on the lookout for YA books I can recommend to my students. They love the paranormal genre and so do I; but, I always look for a plot that has a different twist and I definitely found that and more with "Darke Academy: Secret Lives."

Cassandra, aka 'Cassie' Bell has been in the foster care system for awhile. She has experienced first-hand the cruelty that can manifest itself in people with power; yet, she has also experienced kindness like
christine danielle (Bibliophilic Madness)
 photo bun3_zpsa210610d.jpg

Darke Academy

Cover: 4
Plot: 3
Characters: 3


 photo 2_zpswnw7ar5f.png

Darke Academy is a book unlike any other and I don't know if I mean it in a good way.

Cassandra "Cassie" Bell was given a scholarship to the prestigious school Darke Academy. With a few mysteries in it too. The more she stay there, the more curious she gets. But after knowing their secret would she still feel like staying?

Cassandra Bell was a bit of a bitch in some parts of the
Apr 14, 2010 Christina rated it it was ok
Shelves: uf-ya
2.5 stars.
This was an entertaining read.

I really liked the smart, spunky heroine, who was portrayed very vividly and provided a touch of sarcasm very much needed in the story.I could almost hear her voice.
As for the supernatural element,it was an original twist,a creepy and disturbing notion that I found on equal parts both repulsive and fascinating.

Sadly, the whole thing felt too much like a prologue, even for a first in the series. The action reaches its peak abruptly towards the end of the b
Burçak Kılıç
Apr 27, 2012 Burçak Kılıç rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sevdim güzel kitaptı.. Aşk üzerine kurulu bir ergen kitabı olmaması hoşuma gitti :)) gece evi gibi bişeyle karşılaşacağım diye korkarak başladım açıkcası :P Ama kitabımız gotik, korkunç ve gizemli bir kitaptı.. Arka kapak kitap hakkında pek bilgi vermiyor bu yüzden ben vereyim ^^

Hiç kimsesi olmayan Cassandra (Cassie) girdiği bir sınav sonucu Darke akademisinde burslu olmaya hak kazanır. Ama akademinin geçmişinde gizemli ölümler vardır ve kendilerine Azınlık diyen bir grup öğrenci okulu tam anlam
Jan 05, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
So far life has been tough for Cassie, she has spent most of her life in a children's home since she was abandoned by a mother who couldn't cope. When she wins a scholarship to the elite Darke Academy she is determined to make a fresh start of it but she knows it won't be easy to fit in with the wealthy students. Arriving at her new school she finds herself ignored by most of the other students, in particular by a group who call themselves the Few. Students in the Few seem to run the school, ski ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Pankti rated it did not like it
Ho ho ho....I don't know where to start. I tried this particular book....I really did but it did not work out.I and this book are NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER!!!! I did not effing expect such a pathetic writing and story line.... The previous ratings said that this was a good book.... Come on!!! The book overall has four and a half rating so it was expected to give the readers some little satisfaction!!!!! Oh come on!!! Please send earth to hell in a hand casket!!!! Totally overrated ...more
Jun 04, 2011 Bex rated it liked it
Shelves: own
So far life has been tough for Cassie, she has spent most of her life in a children's home since she was abandoned by a mother who couldn't cope. When she wins a scholarship to the elite Darke Academy she is determined to make a fresh start of it but she knows it won't be easy to fit in with the wealthy students. Arriving at her new school she finds herself ignored by most of the other students, in particular by a group who call themselves the Few. Students in the Few seem to run the school, ski ...more
Mary M
Dec 30, 2012 Mary M rated it it was amazing
WARNING!!! This review is very bi-polar, passionate and a little crazy!!! Hope you love it!!!

This book is amazing, it's like a breath of fresh air. In the past two months I've read a lot of books, but i haven't been really too excited about reading them, i liked them, but they were just a little bland. Some of the books, not all. I really liked it, it was short and to the point, it didn't feel like it was going on and on; house of night series. Love suspense, but they kill me. That's one of the
I really thought they would turn into vampires *sigh*........but this sorta reminds me of Evernight and Vampire Academy, I mean they both are academys and all that but the whole idea of..........I still don't know what they're called I think I missed that bit let me just call the poltergiest for now but Ranjit how cool is he how mysterious is he, how the hell did he even like jess. That was really shocking for me I mean wtf and Estelle,Richard and the fact that ther is another being inside them ...more
May 02, 2012 Domčo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keby ste dostali štipendium na obľúbenej škole, odolali by ste? Určite by sa väčšina z nás natešene rozbehla a postavila do radu. Cassie však nevie, do čoho ide. Dostávame sa do temnej, Darkovej akadémie plnej tajomstiev a ešte tajomnejších Vyvolených. Vo svete to tak býva – vždy existujú ľudia, ktorí sú nad nami, o level vyššie a ktorí majú svojich podriadených. V tejto knihe sú zobrazení veľmi dobre, bez zbytočných opisov. Po dočítaní knižky som ostal príjemne prekvapený. Aj táto, navonok útla ...more
Emma (BelleBooks)
May 02, 2011 Emma (BelleBooks) rated it really liked it
This is the first book in the Darke Academy series by Gabrielle Poole (Gillian Phillips under a pen name).

I loved this book from start to finish, the book centres around Cassie Bell from England who has been offered a full scholarship to the elite Darke Academy boarding school.

Within the school are some of the most brightest and gifted students the world has to offer, and there are the Few. An elite chosen group of students who run their own little secret society.

But nothing is quite always as i
Abby Van Purandy
Nov 08, 2015 Abby Van Purandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nope, own, series
Ich habe - glaube ich- noch nie ein Buch gelesen, bei denen die Charaktere so langweilig sind, wie hier. man erfährt nichts über die Personen , weder Charakter noch Hintergründe und genau das selbe kann man auch über den Schauplatz, die Akademie sagen... was mich ein klein wenig mehr nervte war aber dieses hin und her. das eine sagen, das andere machen. das eine planen, alles über Bord werfen nur weil ein Junge lächelt.... wtf???
Mar 30, 2010 ~Tina~ rated it really liked it
Shelves: bite-me, read-2010
These are definitely me books!
While Secret Lives (Darke Academy) aren't anything new or uniquely written for this paranormal, I still get my thrill of entertainment when I read books like this. While this series may not be for everyone, I think any die-hard Vamp fan would like them.
It took a bit to get use to the style of writing and get the voices of the characters straight in my head, but once you get there it becomes a easy, fast paced read. The plot is fun and feisty and the characters are b
Sep 05, 2011 Kirsti rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of this paranormal genre for teens, and although no longer a teen myself, I find myself picking them up time and time again. Once again, the storyline and world created overshadows the main character, who is a typical (AKA boring teen) but the circumstances she finds herself in are intriguing and keep you reading (despite the fact that you can guess what's happening long before Cassandra does, who seems essentially clueless) A definite must read for anyone who is a fan of this ge ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Silke rated it did not like it
Ugh...I just couldn't finish, I had to stop after page 40 because I was too frustrated to continue!
The writing is too shallow and simple, I cannot understand that this book still received such high ratings, it has zero depth and I can't imagine that I would feel differently if I had finished reading this book.
As for the main character: I actually dislike her and feel no sympathy whatsoever towards her, she infuriates me, and I kept waiting for her to become ... well... someone else.

No, sorry, re
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Nothing But Readi...: Poole, Gabriella - Secret Lives - Informal Buddy Read; Start: November 6, 2014 22 154 Nov 11, 2014 06:22AM  
Help! 4 26 Feb 15, 2013 10:43PM  
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Gabriella Poole is a pseudonym used by Gillian Philip.

I live in the north-east highlands of Scotland, with one husband, two children, three dogs (Cluny, Milo and Otto), two psychotic cats (the Ghost and the Darkness), a slayer hamster (Buffy), three chickens (Mapp, Lucia and Mrs Norris) and a lot of nervous fish. I have taken a solemn vow not to get any more pets. I will probably break this vow.

More about Gabriella Poole...

Other Books in the Series

Darke Academy (4 books)
  • Blood Ties (Darke Academy, #2)
  • Divided Souls (Darke Academy, #3)
  • Lost Spirits (Darke Academy, #4)

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“Oh, get down from your high horse before you fall off.” 14 likes
“That boy will be horribly deformed by the time he leaves this school."
"He will?" said Cassie.
"From being twisted round Katerina's little finger so often.”
More quotes…