December 2012 by Arcato Publishing
Amazon + Good Reads
"With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.
When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents' negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.
Only the boys have secrets of their own and they'll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?
Meet Kota, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.
The Academy, ever vigilant."
- Good Reads
Continue after the break for the review...
I seriously can't figure out how I feel about this book - I certainly don't dislike it... but it was 280 pages devoted to exactly what the title says - introductions. I don't think that it was necessary to devote an entire novel to the introductions of the boys. After a while, I found myself becoming frustrated because I wanted to get to the meat of the story which unfortunately, never came. I think that I would have benefited from learning about the boys and experiencing their individual interactions with Sang in the midst of action... rather than reading a novel that felt like a long prologue.
Sang is a teen who lives in an abusive home and after becoming fed up with her parents' stifling household, she decides to run away. After living so tightly under her overbearing mother's thumb, Sang has almost zero exposure to kids her own age - and that shows. During her interactions with the boys, Sang comes off as overly fragile... so much so that I pictured her staring up at the boys with wide and admiring doe eyes. It was pretty hard for me to relate to her because of this. She was overly adoring of the boys, too apologetic and timid, and too quick to assume that she was burdensome to the guys. I don't have any problems with the boys' characters necessarily, but the sheer amount of them felt incredibly overwhelming.
Despite my hesitations about Introductions, Stone set up enough of a story that I am intrigued and I want to continue on with the series. I just want to know what the heck the Academy is!
* * *This book was sent to me for review by the author. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author.