Leah's Reviews > The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin
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's review
Aug 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fairy-tales-retellings, 2012, america, fantasy, mythology, middle-grade
Read from April 13 to 15, 2012


2012 is the year of retellings and until now, I can't think of any other retelling of Hansel and Gretel. The moment I heard about this book, I desperately needed to read it. Luckily I was provided with an ARC (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!) and were it not for work - and, trust me, I was seriously tempted to call off - I would have finished The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy in one sitting.

Lorelei Robinson is an eleven year old girl harboring a terrible secret. Since the death of her mother a year earlier, she's felt alone and ignored by her older brother and father. And her new stepmother Molly is an absolute terror.

When her school burns down, there's talk of where to send the now-schooless children. Over the weekend a new school suddenly is built and the only one who seems to notice just how quickly it appeared is Lorelei. Despite the costs of a private school, Lorelei's father agrees to check it out (much to the dismay of Molly; she'd much rather spend that money on herself).

Splendid Academy is unlike any other school. Not only does it have a pretty fantastic playground, but there are hardly any rules and it's nearly impossible to get in trouble. Students are free to wander the halls or leave their classroom if a particular lesson doesn't interest them. There are bowls of candy on every desk. Multiple recesses a day. Feel like playing with your phone instead of learning math? Go right ahead!

Even with these unbelievable perks, Splendid Academy's claim to fame is the food. Oh, that food. Students are encouraged to eat as much as they'd like and upon touring the school, they were asked about their favorite foods. In many cases, students eat better at school than they do at home.

The only one who seems to suspect something strange is going on is Andrew, a boy in Lorelei's class. Andrew is overweight and over the summer his mother had sent him off to camp. It was there he learned about controlling his eating and how to avoid cravings. While all the other students are stuffing their faces with plate after plate of food, Andrew is able to fight the temptation - and winds up dealing with the repercussions of going against the plans the school has for him.

Without giving too much away - although, given this book is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, what do you think will happen? - The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is a dark, delightful tale. I tore through this book, not just because of the quick pace, but because it was seriously that good. This book is described as Hansel and Gretel meets Coraline and that alone should send readers running to preorder it.

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is the reason I love Middle Grade. :)
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Reading Progress

04/13/2012 page 18
5.9% "AAAAAHHHHH!!! Yay yay yay"
04/13/2012 page 62
20.33% "I could finish this in one sitting if I didn't have to be up early tomorrow"
04/14/2012 page 125
40.98% "What a detestable teacher"

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Gina (My Precious Blog) Just curious why you didn't give it five stars. I rated it a four because I was yearning for more fantasy and a little less social issues.

message 2: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret You should probably count the 'retelling of H & G' in the first paragraph of your review a spoiler.

Leah Margaret wrote: "You should probably count the 'retelling of H & G' in the first paragraph of your review a spoiler."

That's how the book was marketed.

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