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The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Jack Carlson is dreading a class presentation when he suddenly finds himself transported to the Hadley Academy, a secret institution that tracks teens with unlikely gifts and trains them to protect the world from an unseen squad of killers. But Jack isn't the only one who doesn't know what he's doing at Hadley. Despite indications that he is the one prophesied to end the a ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  181 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Michelle Kenneth -
This book is absolutely AMAZING!

It is Divergent, Maze Runner, Harry Potter, Rick Riordan's stories, the X-Men, Deadly Class, The Walking Dead, and every awesome YA book out there wrapped up into one. The adventure starts early and doesn't stop. The constant twists and turns will leave you guessing until the end.

I cannot stress enough how great this book is. This is one of those gems you find that you know is something special that everyone should be obsessing over. As I read this book, jam pack
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thirteen-year-old Jack is always a little embarrassed by his best friend, Freddie, who is constantly going on about the most ridiculous conspiracy theories. His latest is about a school, the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted where children with special talents are taken to train for a war to save humanity against an enemy called the Reapers. So after Freddie presents this latest 'theory' to the entire class, Jack makes an excuse to leave. As he heads for the washroom, he is accosted by th ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss, fantasy
An amazing story full of amazing characters and with an excellent world building.
I loved it and I read it as fast as I could.
It's engrossing and entertaining and the world building is excellent.
I hope to read soon another instalment in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story this was the way this book was written was art. The main character Jack definitely underestimates his worth in this book. Along with his friend he somehow manages to really step up to the plate. Its such a great read, and the world its set in makes you want to dive in and be apart of it. Its one of those books where you read it once and you reread it over and over again. If you looking for a book with a world of possibility's this is the book for you. My rating for this boo ...more
Kristen Gwen Johnson
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I did not want to stop ready The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted by Conor Grennan. As I was reading, there were so many moments of, “That’s so awesome!” and, “Wait. What?!” and, “I can’t believe it! No way.” When I had to put the book down, the characters were often in my thoughts as I wondered what was going to happen to them next.

Jack Carlson just wants to pass eighth grade. Preferably without the embarrassment of his best friend, Freddy’s, conspiracy theories. But when a strange scho
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book!

When I received an advanced copy of The Hadley Academy, I thought it would be a fun book for all of the people in my family to read and discuss (boys: 13, 11. girl: 8). Turns out that was a great call as we all found a ton to enjoy about this one. The boys enjoyed the awkward school kids stuff and then later on, everyone really enjoyed talking about spades and what category they themselves would fall into and the action and set pieces.

For me: I just enjoyed the story. The necessary wo
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/4 stars.

A fast paced action mystery, a prophecy that needs to come to pass and a group of misfits forced to bond under immense pressure.

Fans of X-Men, The Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy this book immensely.

If I had anything negative to say, I feel that the story feels a little rushed. More time could have been spent on the characters, their interactions, how their connections form and grow.

This is certainly
Lucas Agulla
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m 12 years old, and I absolutely loved it. There are so many small details that make every page and chapter so interesting. It has a perfect balance of mystery and action. The whole book is so satisfying to the reader. I highly recommend reading it. I was super into it the entire time! The Hadley Academy is kind of like a mix of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. It’s amazing, and it’s perfect for anyone from about 9 years old on.
Heather Huston
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fab new middle grade read from NYT's best selling author, Conor Grennan. His first book, "Little Princes," was a memoir about saving kids from trafficking and civil war in a far away land. I've heard the author say...this is the "superhero version." Hadley Academy is a fantasy novel that follows a boy's unlikely journey to save the world. Meet a group of kids who are whisked out of the only world they know to become trained fighters working to combat the "reapers" who are a secret ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, arc
4.5 stars

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for free by an imprint of Harper Collins Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

This book was a wonderful and amazing read full of complex characters and an intricate and quick plot that will keep you up at night!

When Jack Carlson watches his best friend Freddy present to the class about a secret and magical military academy called "The Hadley Academy," he doesn't know what to think. But he hardly has time to clear his head before he is whisked
Kim Carbonelli Tingler
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in the past decade. I loved every page. This action-packed adventure of good versus evil, in a story of identity and ultimate sacrifice, had me completely engaged from beginning to end. I literally could not put it down – and read it in 5 days. Connor Grennan is masterful at creating complex characters, a layered plot, and enough descriptive detail that The Hadley Academy came to life before my eyes.

If you, or anyone you know, has ever struggled with feelings of
Stacia | stacialovestoread
I’m not sure what it is but this book just didn’t hold my interest. I love a good sci-fi/conspiracy book as the next gal but ....this ain’t it.
The character who is the conspiracy theorist isn’t the one that gets selected. The one who is selected doesn’t believe in the conspiracy in the first place.

Having previously read Grennan’s nonfiction work I wasn’t sure what to expect with his first fiction attempt. I think that this piece could definitely use a bit of editing
Lara Lillibridge
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Harry Potter" meets "A Wrinkle in Time." Fans of the secret magic boarding school will love this modern take on the genre. An imaginative tale with diverse characters, Grennan incorporated many of children's favorite aspects of novels--epic battles for good and evil, impossible--I mean improbable--odds, the help of a good group of friends, and even a dragon or two. The plot is complex without becoming convoluted--a bit of a trick with so much going on. Face-paced, without seeming rushed.

I assu
Ryan Burnham
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted was a story that connected the mysterious and magical with the reality of the insecurities and fears common to man. Ultimately, you see destiny and identity unfold amidst a group of friends through a captivating and engaging storyline. I loved every bit of it and honestly read it through in 24 hours. I couldn't put it down!
Misty Wilson read.fine.print
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I met Connor Grennan on the interwebs and we share some common goals as authors. One was a goal to get published, and he has reached his excellently!(Maybe 2020 will be my year!😂)

I enjoyed this book a lot! It’s about Jack Carlson’s new life in the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted. There’s a war going on that he knew nothing about, and he’s not sure if he can help. Is he improbably gifted? If so, how can he find his gift?

The characters really shine. Their personalities, and the many unp
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is easily one of the best I’ve read in a while. It’s extremely funny and had me laughing out loud every couple of pages. The story is also very well written and has many twists and turns that I could have never seen coming, it wasn’t predictable at all. I would love to see a sequel (and maybe a full series) so I can continue to follow these great characters on their journey.
Sara Snow
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonder, imagination and whimsy are at the heart of this fantastic novel. I loved it and can’t wait for my 9 year old to be ready to read it.
Dec 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Didn't finish. Couldn't connect to the characters or story. Guess I am tired of the chosen one plot.
Rosie Rizk
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Kids with powers fighting to prevent the zombie apocalypse.

This reminded me vaguely of Holly Black's magisterium series. We have kids with magic like abilities, who need to prevent a great evil from taking over. There's another reason I found it so similar, but that would be a spoiler.

The magic abilities were great, and the characters were engaging. The book had a great premise, plot, and lots of potential, but it felt like everything was forced to fit into one book, probably with a word count,
Amanda Arkans -
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Make yourself comfortable when you pick up The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted because this book is hard to put down once you get started. With creatively crafted characters and a fast-paced story line, you will want to just keep reading, and then when it's over, you will beg for more!

Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This book starts out with an intriguing premise: Jack's conspiracy theorist friend Freddy spins wild yarns about an invisible island and a secret battle between good and evil — which turns out to be true! The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted brings together teenagers who manifest a gift and are then trained to fight the evil Reapers. It's a little bit like a teen version of the X-Men. Except Jack apparently has no gift and we are left to puzzle out why he's been recruited. Some sinister ...more
Becky B
There is a secret war going on all over the world that most people don’t know about and never will. Reapers look like humans to most people but they are creatures that freeze people to death. The only ones keeping people safe from these assassins are operatives from the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted, people whose spades - special abilities – have awoken and are trained to take out Reapers. Jack knows nothing about Reapers or Hadley Academy when he is rescued from a Reaper by a man nam ...more
Sara Lawson
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted was one of the most exceptional books I've read this year. It does check all the boxes of my favorite categories: Middle Grade, Christian, fantasy/science fiction. Several other reviewers wrote that this was Hunger Games, Divergent, X-Men, and Harry Potter all rolled into one. It is definitely a book for anyone who loves those, but simultaneously so different from any of them.

The intrigue began on the first page when Jack sits through his best friend'
books are love
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received in exchange for a honest review.

The description of the book interested me right away. It wasn’t like what we have been seeing in middle/ya books lately. It is but isn’t. When you read it you are thinging maybe a little Harry Potter meets Izombie thoughts but it isn’t. This si far from that. We have prophecies, the living being taken over, dragons, talent that is similar to a power but not magic. It works of elements some of them but not all of the talents do. WE have believers and those
Mark Buxton
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
My name is Jack, and Superior Blue believes I'm the Guardian prophesied by the monks who founded the Hadley Academy. He even created a thirteenth team of recruits and found three more dormants to join me. However, dormants are powerless, and we were only given three days to weaponize the abilities we hadn't discovered yet. Impossible? No, Freddy, Asha, and Voss did it, so they became improbables. But the Dome still wouldn't allow us to enter for a simulation, since I was still dormant. Then some ...more
A fun read!
Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read and review The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted by Conor Grennan!
Jack and his best friend Freddy are on scholarship at a boarding school. Freddy has a tendency to believe conspiracy theories and go down the rabbit holes of each of these theories. He presents in history class on a military academy that’s secret to the world, The Hadley Academy. No one believes Freddy and he gets a failing grade on his presentatio
Jenna R
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
**I received an electronic ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

In Conor Grennan's new novel, The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted, there is a military academy for gifted kids somewhere off the coast of Maine. The gifted students, called improbables, defend civilians against secret beings called reapers.

Let me begin by saying that I am not in the intended age range for this book. However, I still found the book to
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was looking for authors of books preteens would like when I saw this. When I saw it was published by Thomas Nelson I quickly requested for it and I am glad I did. I liked the story. Jack finds himself transported to a world he did not know existed and whilst there finds he is believed to be the Guardian that will save the world. Problem is Jack has no special skills and has been given three days to prove himself or he risks having his mind scraped of som ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michele Jennifer
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Nitty-Gritty:
This fast-paced story is begging to be a movie. One part Percy Jackson, one part Divergent, one part Harry Potter, and two parts something all its own, this book is action-packed and vibrantly written. We’ve got the chosen-one trope, a magic school hidden from the rest of the world, and the discovery of a group of people with specialized improbable powers. It’s everything you know you love, all with a cast of main characters firmly in that middle-school age range that seems to b
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Conor Grennan is a citizen of the US and Ireland. He grew up in Poughkeepsie NY and Jersey City, NJ. He spent eight years at the EastWest Institute (EWI), both in Prague and the EU Office in Brussels, focusing on peace and reconciliation in the Balkans. He left EWI in 2004 to travel and volunteer in Nepal, where he ultimately started Next Generation Nepal (NGN), an organization dedicated to reconn ...more

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