While nothing really happens in this series introduction, we meet some pretty interesting people. Sang, yes, that’s her name, has just moved to a new neighborhood. She’s spent most of her life fairly isolated due to her delusional mother. The book blurb calls her mom agoraphobic, but I think she’s paranoid, abusive, and addicted to painkillers, myself. Sang manages to meet seven (yes, seven!) amazing boys, who take her under their wings. (It is kind of hard to believe that mother so paranoid about rape and murder would let her daughter roam about it the woods alone. That is one of the things that I questioned about the plot line.) Even with the inconsistencies, I enjoyed this book, and I bought the second one. I picked up Introductions after I read The Academy – Thief which has better writing, so I know C.L. Stone has improved from this, her first YA book.
Sang’s story continues in this episode, as she goes to the new school in the company of Kota and the boys. As sheltered as Sang has been she’s pretty clueless when it comes to her behaviors around the boys. It’s a good thing that they are all gentlemen. (Not your typical sophomore high school boys.) More academy mysteries confuse Sang even more as she tries to protect her friendships with the boys, and keep her abusive mother in the dark. (You know this won’t end well.)
The stakes are raised in this third installment as Sang’s mother’s punishments escalate dramatically, causing the boys to increase their protection of Sang. I keep getting fairly frustrated with Sang and then I remember that she’s been “conditioned” by the abuse she’s received. Why the boys and Mr. Blackburn, haven’t gotten this girl into some therapy, I don’t understand. She needs it. I’m still hooked into this series, I keep reading, they’re not expensive, and I’m enjoying them. They don’t take a lot of brain power, but that’s okay. I’d call them a summer read that I’m reading at the end of the school year. (Hurry summer!)
After this book I’ve decided not to buy this series for my high school library. I’ll be finishing the series myself but—Ms. Stone is going to go beyond ménage from the way the romance is going. Sharing – among nine, (9!!) of them. Wow. We’ll see – the characters are young, surely it won’t get explicit. But – the idea is not something I’m comfortable with having in the H.S.
This one does shed some light on events in her other Academy series – The Scarab Beetle, which was fun and clever, as to how Ms. Stone tied the two storylines together, and how the teams interact with each other. It was subtlety done, nice.
It seems like Sang and the boys just can’t catch a break. One drama after another keeps on happening; no one is immune. All the boys want to spend time with Sang and jealousy could be a problem. Sang couldn’t choose one boy now, if she had to – it would break her completely, and for all her toughness she’s still a fragile personality. Now that she’s had companionship and champions, she can never go back to life the way it was. Who would want to anyway? Not me!
So – book six – comes out this June (2014) Books 1-20 TBD. Twenty! I’ll keep tabs on the website.