The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy- Nikki Loftin
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 the teachers seem so sinister?
It’s up to Lorelei and her new friend Andrew to figure out what secret this supposedly splendid school is hiding. What they discover chills their bones–and might even pick them clean!
Mix one part magic, one part mystery, and just a dash of Grimm, and you’ve got the recipe for a cozy-creepy read that kids will gobble up like candy.
Lorelei’s life has been turned upside down after her mother died in a tragic (and secret) accident. Now Lorelei’s father is remarrying a wicked witch (figuratively) of a woman, and Lorelei feels like nothing could get much worse. Boy, was she wrong.
Before Lorelei knows it, her school burns down to a crisp and a new school, Splendid Academy, is built overnight. Splendid Academy is like every kids dream. At Splendid Academy you can eat whatever you want, do whatever you want. It’s acceptable to run in the hallways and miss class. Heck, you even get candy dishes to munch on during class! Deep inside, Lorelei knows that it’s strange that her school burnt down and this new school was built overnight, but why pass up something that seems so perfect?
With the help of her new pal Andrew, Lorelei soon finds out that Splendid Academy isn’t so splendid after all. As it turns outs, the new faculty is full of witches! And they’re trying to fatten all the kids up for a big feast! Lorelei and Andrew must race to save the day. If not, they might just be a midnight snack for one very hungry witch.
While I do not read middle grade books very often, I find a sweet sort of comfort in relaxing down with one. As soon I saw the cover for The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy (my cover is different than the finished copy), I knew that I just had to read this book. Just by looking at the cover, I felt that it would have a similar feel to the Lemony Snicket books. The books ended up being completely different, but I found myself tearing through the pages, as they were addicting and relaxing all at the same time.
Although I did enjoy The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the main character, Lorelei. I found her to be very whiney. However, I did keep reminding myself that this is a middle grade novel. Children at Lorelei’s age are supposed to be whiney. On the other hand, I loved the character of Andrew. I had a serious soft spot in my heart for him. Heavy children are picked on relentlessly and that really came across nicely in this book. I thought that it was an excellent thing to show reality in a paranormal book.
The ending of this book was pretty predictable, but I found that that didn’t bother me. As I said before, there’s something very relaxing about reading middle grade books. I may have known what was going to happen next, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to read it for myself.
I had a huge problem with the characters of Lorelei’s father and stepmother. I’m often very judgmental about parenting and what was going on really disturbed me. I know it’s just a book. I do, but I just wanted to reach into the book and smack Lorelei’s father. I felt that it was very unclassy of him to expect his children to respect, appreciate and acknowledge the new woman in his life as their mother. I know it’s just a personal issue, but I had a really hard time reading the book when those characters made appearances.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. I think that it would appeal more to younger teenagers, but adults who occasionaly read middle grade book should be pleased with the outcome of this book. I know that I will be keeping my eye out for more books by Nikki Loftin.
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Teaser Quote: “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.”