Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Académie” as Want to Read:
The Académie
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Académie

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  539 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Madame Campan’s Academie Nationale is one of the most celebrated schools in all of France, and her students are equally illustrious. Meet the impetuous Eliza Monroe - la belle Americaine - whose father will one day be named president of the United States. And Hortense de Beauharnais, Josephine Bonaparte’s stunningly beautiful daughter, who has fallen for a man her family w ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 368 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Académie, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Celeste Hmm... that's kinda hard to say... I guess that it would depend on how the maker of the movie decided to make it. But probably PG-13.…moreHmm... that's kinda hard to say... I guess that it would depend on how the maker of the movie decided to make it. But probably PG-13.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  539 ratings  ·  109 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Académie
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
Anne Osterlund
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eliza Monroe came to Paris for adventure. Not so her mother could abandon her at boarding school. But with the Academie’s high-class borders—Hortense de Beauharnais and Caroline Bonaparte among them—this school is a veritable gateway to adventure.

And trouble.

I genuinely enjoy Susanne Dunlap’s historical fiction, and the Academie is no exception. While the story and relationships appear greatly fictionalized, I found the characters intriguing; and the book has made me wish to learn more about the
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
Stephanie Bedell
Feb 13, 2012 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 ho
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
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
Sarah (Catching Books)
Sep 28, 2011 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
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
Trying to give this book a chance as I’m an avid reader and lover of boarding school novels but it’s hard to get into and isn’t the most friendly time period. Don’t think I’ll finish it. Too drawn out. Wrong time period to get enthusiastic about.
"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 gi
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 28, 2012 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
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
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
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
May 08, 2014 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
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
Feb 18, 2012 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.
This review originally appeared here

THE ACADÉMIE has a solid premise, friends, and it takes place during one of the more interesting–and one of my personal favorite–historical periods: Napoleonic France. I LOVE reading about the society and the politics and how basically the Bonapartes sound kind of like a stereotypical mafia family, except with less murder and more political scheming. There’s so much SCANDAL about them, guys, and that makes them JUICY to read about. And for the most part, readi
Agnes S
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical-ya
Reading from the perspective of women with very close ties to Napoleon as he was rising to power kept me interested, but I was frustrated by the fact that none of these girls were particularly friendly or respectful of one another, and by the fact that their primary motivation was boys.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
(Note: Due to GoodReads rating system, I rounded up to 4 stars, but my true rating is 3.5 stars.)

Eliza Monroe, a native of Virginia, has been sent to Paris for a year to attend Saint Germaine, a prestigious boarding school for well-to-do young ladies. There, she is expected to study and learn the fashion and character attributes of the French. She is a bit put-out by her parents' decision until she learns that she is to be associated with Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte,
Spencer Leighton
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Chick book in historical setting. Interesting.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A quick and easy read.
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
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
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.5

Eliza Monroe, the daughter of the future president of the United States, is excited to learn she will be accompanying her mother to Paris until she learns of her mother’s plan to deposit her at a highly prestigious boarding school outside of Paris. Eliza’s spirits rise again, a little, when she realizes two of France’s most well-known young ladies are also in residence: the beautiful Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Joséphine Bonaparte and the cunning Caroline Bonaparte, the young
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
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
Amy Fournier
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I don't really read many historical fiction novels, so I didn't quite know what to expect from this. The synopsis sounded interesting, so I was really excited to read it. It is a slow but steady story that picks up a little as it goes, but to me it was too slow overall. It is told in three different PoV's and I really like how they tie together in the end. I never felt confused at all. It was a well done multi-PoV.

We first meet Eliza, who is the American girl who is pretty much dumped off at thi
This review appears on my blog, Starting the Next Chapter.

Having long been fascinated by Paris as a literary setting, I pounced upon the chance to read The Académie, as I enjoy both the particular point in history during which the story takes place and the little intrigues likely to take place in such a novel. This novel held many high points, as well as low points that made it fall a little short of expectations. However, as I will explain, it made for an interesting read that was able to fully
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Betrothed (The Betrothed, #1)
  • Havenfall (Havenfall, #1)
  • The Sound of Stars
  • Want (Want, #1)
  • Rogue Wave (Waterfire Saga, #2)
  • Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)
  • The Willoughbys
  • Stuart Little
  • A Dress for the Wicked
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor
  • Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)
  • Ruse (Want, #2)
  • Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
  • My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies, #3)
  • Nameless Queen
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Calpurnia Tate, #1)
  • Passenger (Passenger, #1)
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
See similar books…
Susanne Dunlap is the author of ten works of historical fiction. A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, five step- ...more

Related Articles

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
7 likes · 0 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“No disrespect' is a world away from respect--and admiration.” 1 likes
“I want to create, not kill.” 1 likes
More quotes…