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The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,901 ratings  ·  239 reviews
Spooky twists and soaring prose make this foodie update on Hansel and Gretel an unforgettable must-read

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy—Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei's favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, t
...more
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Razorbill
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Mini I haven't read this BUT I'd just like to say that there is no such thing. Some boys may like "girl books" and vice versa which destroys the whole…moreI haven't read this BUT I'd just like to say that there is no such thing. Some boys may like "girl books" and vice versa which destroys the whole idea. There's no such thing as that - there is only each to their own.(less)
Khonza Hanifa I think so. But there's concept of life and death here, death of loved ones, how we deal with grief, and if u okay with that for your 6th grader it…moreI think so. But there's concept of life and death here, death of loved ones, how we deal with grief, and if u okay with that for your 6th grader it would be just fine(less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Sandra
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb said something about this book was a Hansel and Gretel retelling. But I believe, that I got more than that.

This book was so good plot wise and character wise. I just had a little problem with how perfectly it ended up, how easy it was. But other than that, this book is highly enjoyable and on some parts, hilarious.

Full review to follow.
Leah
http://theprettygoodgatsby.wordpress....

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 t
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Claire Legrand
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started Nikki Loftin's THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY on Saturday and would have read it all in one sitting were it not for, you know, real life. As it was, I finished it in a veritable reading FRENZY both last night and this morning. I just could not put it down!

This book is, like all the best fairy tales, wildly imaginative and bone-chillingly gruesome. There were moments when my heart started pounding with the suspense of what was going to happen next! And the heroin
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Samantha Clark
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick confession, I got an early copy of this book by begging the author, who thankfully lent me one of her ARCs. How much did I like it? I can't wait until it's in stores so I can buy a copy for myself.

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is the kind of middle grade book that's a fun adventure, bringing readers into a world we'd like to inhabit, even if there is some spooky stuff there.

But like all good stories, this novel also tells a deeper emotional tale of a gi
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Sarvenaz Tash
The sinister sweetness of Roald Dahl lives on (and I do not say that lightly) in this extraordinary book that combines fairy tale folklore with streaks of effortless originality all its own. The story is delightfully dark and deep: perfect for kids (and adults) who suspect that sometimes adults really have no idea what's going on and that it's up to kids to see the magic (and evil) right in front of them.
Paul  Hankins
Ask any middle grade reader about school and you might get a response along the lines of "School is tough."

But Splendid Academy is not like any other school. Here, students and faculty meet for breakfast each day, students are allowed to run from place to place, and candy dishes that never seem to empty are to be found in every desk in every room.

Education reform aside, most would agree that this would be a fantastic school to attend.

And the noun form of fantastic?

Fanta
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Jessica
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
A deliciously creepy take on Hansel and Gretel with elements of The Witches, The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is a solid debut novel from author Nikki Loftin. She provides middle-grade readers a story with well-developed characters, a plot that's full of surprises, and strong friendships.

Lorelei has dealt with a lot the past year: the death of her mother, her father's remarriage to her evil stepmother Molly, and now her school has burnt down. But just before she's forced to
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DAYADEW
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

First I was "eh."

Then I was "whoa!"

At the end, I was ".... Mmmmmmmeh."

It's not even that it was middle grade, and I am clearly not the target audience. I'd just finished another middle grade a few days ago, and it was fantastic! Wasn't afraid to dig deep. This one's a pretty shallow read imo.

And this is about as literate as I can get with my review.
Nafiza
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is a middle grade novel which restructures fairy tale elements in a contemporary urban setting. When Lorelei, who has lost a mother and gained a stepmother, finds that a school has risen almost overnight in her neighborhood, she is intrigued. Then when her old school burns down under mysterious circumstances and she has a chance to go to the amazing school with its even more amazing playground, she is thrilled. Missing her mother and not understanding h ...more
Erica
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I heard about this book ages ago, I have been SO excited for The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy. I love middle grade - it is a growing love of mine. I keep finding more and more fantastic middle grade, which is awesome. I am happy to say that The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy did not disappoint in the least and I have found a new favorite.

With all the elements of a good fairy tale, Nikki Loftin has woven a tale that is filled with the trials of friendship and a
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Bonnie
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tagged as 'Coraline' meets 'Hansel and Gretel' but this also reminded me a lot of 'The Witches' by Roald Dahl (in a good way!)

As of late, Middle-Grade books seem to be popping up everywhere but there have been some amazingly good ones that I never would have thought I'd be able to enjoy. This is one those stories that is perfectly suited for the younger crowd but are still a fun adventure for adults as well. Highly recommended!

This debut novel was extremely well-written and will keep any reader entranced till the end.
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Elizabeth Meadows
Wow! This was a fantastic book. Not only was it exciting, suspenseful, and "sinister," it covered several other topics that are relevant to middle grade readers and people of all ages. One of the underlying themes was mental health and being able to forgive yourself for something horrible. Another theme was obesity. I thought the author did a great job of showing the reality of how overweight students are treated by peers. The main character was able to display appropriate ways of dealing with i ...more
Gabrielle Carolina
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bir12


I positively devoured this middle grade debut over a few hours and suggest you do the same when it is released.

Those with a sweet tooth for sweet treats and a sweet tooth for sweet books, this is the tale for you!

I would also like to mention how clean this ARC was! It really says something about both the author an editor- and I always appreciate the effort as a reviewer.
Irene Carracher Kistler
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Third to Eighth Grade
Recommended to Irene by: Wacky Jackie
My class adored this book! As a read aloud, it is so much fun. The witch voices are fun to create and I loved pointing the "wand" at kids as I read the final chapter. They giggled and shrieked, so you know they loved it!
Heidi
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my mom was alive, she read me stories every night. ”Use your imagination, Lorelei,” she’d say, “and your whole life can be a fairy tale.” I wanted that to be true. But I should have paid more attention to the fairy tales.

Because not all of the children in them come out alive. And sometimes there are witches hiding in the woods.


These are the first lines of Nikki Loftin’s The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, and all that it took me to be sold on Lorelei’s story. Lorelei
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Khai
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book, a real page-turner. The story, the characters, the darker elements, the deeper themes - all very well crafted. Reminiscent of Roald Dahl's works.

It may be a bit of a harder read for those who struggle with disordered eating, just as a head's up/trigger warning. However, I felt like that sensitive subject was handled fairly well in this particular book and context.
YA Reads Book Reviews
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nichole
Originally posted on www.yareads.com, reviewed by Nichole

A deliciously spooky middle-grade debut that’s Coraline meets Hansel and Gretel

Lorelei is bowled over by Splendid Academy–Principal Trapp encourages the students to run in the hallways, the classrooms are stocked with candy dishes, and the cafeteria serves lavish meals featuring all Lorelei’s favorite foods. But the more time she spends at school, the more suspicious she becomes. Why are her classmates growing so chubby? And why do
...more
Merin
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I will say upfront that if you call something a fairy tale retelling, I am probably going to read it. My love of fairy tales really knows no bounds, and I am always especially intrigued when an author sets the retelling in modern times. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is indeed set in modern times, and is one of those books where hardly anyone realizes just what's happening and how odd (or magical) the occurrences are. The narrator is a fifth grade girl named Lorelai, who is still reeling fr ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fairy tale lovers, mg fans
Originally posted at A Reader of Fictions.

Middle grade fiction is my new favorite thing. I still haven't read that much, but I have yet to be seriously disappointed by any of the ones I've picked up. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy is incredibly delightful, one of my favorites thus far. Full of dark humor and classic fairy tale plot elements, it's a story that delighted me from beginning to end, giving me a perverse desire to eat everything.

If you pay attention to my littl
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Bethany Ainsworth
I think this book was amazing.

I don't know if it's horror or not, but I marked it as such.

(view spoiler)

That's pretty horrifying right there.

The abusive stepmother
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Lexie
This book helped remind me why I still adore middlegrade.

It managed to be cute, sweet, genuinely emotional, and creepy, sometimes all within the span of a few pages. In a YA novel, that'd be almost bizarre; but in here? Not in the slightest. Children have such a fantastic array of emotions, and are so very capricious. They can switch from delighted to horrified to curious within the span of minutes. And they have this honest, black and white view of the world that has always fascinat
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Laura Jennings
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think the thing that struck me the most about about this book was how fun it was. It was ridiculously fun, in a way that adults far too often disregard when writing for children. When you're a kid, adults are strange gods and weird tyrants, especially in landscapes twisted by emotional turmoil and social doubt. Far too many authors forget that kids still hanker for whimsy, and accept the ludicrous, because to kids, the ludicrousness of adults who ignore you, are emotionally distant, or don't b ...more
Elizabeth
Sinister Sweetness had some charm to it; I liked the overall concept and I enjoyed the fairytale references. I liked Andrew and I wished he had a bigger role to play, especially as the book went on and Lorelei began to be more annoying. Boy, was she annoying. She kept flipflopping between angst and arrogance (which I suppose is pretty accurate for that age group) and I stopped cheering for her as the protagonist and wished the book would end so that I could stop being in her head.

Als
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Sarah
"Use your imagination, Lorelei, and your whole life can be a fairy tale."
I've read Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy back in August. I know my review is splendidly late and my memory of the details in this book are blurry at most, but I could tell you that Sinister Sweetness is a unique, entertaining read.

Actually, what stuck to me was the sand. Oh, of course the never ending Skittles supplies and any candy imaginable was quite sumptuous and heavenly to think about, but what I most
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Reading is my Escape
Creepy reimagining of Hansel & Gretel  
 
This book is creepy. I mean, I'm an adult and I was scared for Lorelei. She is a girl facing a great deal of sadness and guilt. We learn early on that her mother died last year and for some reason, Lorelei feels guilty about this.
 
When a beautiful new school with an amazing playground suddenly appears, and their old school mysteriously burns down, Lorelei and her brother are enrolled at Splendid Academy. This school is unlike an
...more
Meredith Burton
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a voracious devourer of fairy tale retellings, and since Hansel and Gretel is one of my favorite tales, I decided to give this book a chance. The lush food imagery had me salivating, (and the school is a children's paradise!) Well, seemingly so, anyhow.

Lorelei is wracked by guilt. She blames herself for her mother's death, and her father and brother are so very distant. When Lorelei's father remarries and the school where she and Bryan attend mysteriously burns down, Lorelei is
...more
P.J.
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit I've been in a bit of a slump when it comes to middle grade reading. Maybe I've gotten pickier? Maybe I just haven't found the right books? But when I managed to snag an ARC of fellow-Austinite Nikki Loftin's debut novel, I started it and fell absolutely in love! And as it turns out, today is Nikki's release day, so please help me offer up congratulations for her and her amazing novel!

THE SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY by Nikki Loftin (Razorbill , August 21, 2012)<
...more
WTF Are You Reading?
This may be a middle grade read, but it is a tale with real bite.
It seems as though life has not been going very well for Lorelie Robinson; with the death of her mother, her father's remarriage to "Molly", and her school mysteriously burning down. Just when she thinks that things are strictly downhill, along comes Principal Trapp and Splendid Academy.

With a playground straight out of a fairytale and a curriculum that seems to be focused on friends, feeding, and fun rather than read
...more
tarawrawr
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review originally posted http://bookalicious.org/2012/08/revie...

The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin was a fun and engaging, and incredibly magical, middle grade story from the get-go. It had so many elements of my favourite middle grade story – magical settings, mystery and intrigue, and an awesome protagonist.

This might be slightly off topic, but first of all, I LOVE the title – The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy. I think it does a great job of setting up the tone of the book and i
...more
Ashley
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I'm not one who just throws out 5 star ratings. Most of the time I really do find something that I don't quite like about a book or wish they did more of. So by giving this book a top rating I'm hoping more classrooms or people in general will take a look at this one.

A current problem that many kids are having to face today is bulling or hazing. And while there are many pieces of literature out there about this topic, I feel that many of those books go by the wast side. Not because t
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Nikki Loftin is the author of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, which Publishers Weekly called "mesmerizing," and Kirkus called "irresistible," and Nightingale's Nest, which received a starred review from Kirkus. She lives with her Scottish photographer husband just outside Austin, Texas, surrounded by dogs, goats, and small, loud boys.

Nikki is a graduate of the University of Texas at
...more
“When my mom was alive, she read me stories every night. ”Use your imagination, Lorelei,” she’d say, “and your whole life can be a fairy tale.” I wanted that to be true. But I should have paid more attention to the fairy tales.” 10 likes
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