Publisher: Dreamwell Publishing
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Published: October 30, 2012
The students of Green Lane Academy roam their halls unaware that below their manicured campus exists a prestigious school of an entirely different kind . . .
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Pope has enrolled at the Campus Below: a spy academy for shape-shifters hidden deep beneath the grounds of a boarding school whose humans unknowingly protect it. There, thanks to a carefully planned schedule, she leads a double life: spy trainee Below and normal teenager Above.
As if two course loads, concealing a secret power she alone wields, and coping with her father’s recent death weren’t enough, Phoebe finds herself developing major feelings for actor and teen heartthrob Colten Chase, who attends the Campus Above and appears to be majoring in winning Phoebe’s heart. But when officials learn that Phoebe may be at the center of a startling prophecy, she becomes the target of shape-shifting assassins who will stop at nothing to suppress the truth.
Now Phoebe’s lessons about Shaper’s enemies and spycraft take on great importance as a menace stalks the campus, with Phoebe as its target. Meanwhile, what began as an unlikely relationship with Colten, quickly morphs into heartache when she suspects that something sinister lurks beneath this movie star’s glitter and fame. Suddenly, Phoebe’s caught in a mesh of lies, betrayals, and danger where she doesn’t know who to trust, and needs to rely on herself—and her secret power—to get to the truth and to stay alive.
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. It has a couple of illustrations in it, which are my biggest pet peeve in YA books, because they always make people ask you what the heck you're reading and it's weird, and yeah. But, despite that, the story was creative and interesting. At first, I thought it was going to be a cross of Hannah Montana, Vampire Academy, and Starstruck (which it was a bit), but it wasn't all that bad with it, and the Shaper thing was something so totally new that it cancelled out all the comparisons I wanted to make.
The characters were written very well, and I liked reading about them. My favorite wasn't Phoebe, though- it was her BFF Hayley. I do find myself liking the best friend more than the MC pretty often (maybe that says something about me), but Hayley was seriously awesome. She was short, cute, quirky, shameless, dimpled, and overall totally crazy and adorable. She played a big part in the book, and I just enjoyed reading about her! I loved how outgoing and funny she was, and I liked that we got to know about her family and why she was the the school and stuff.
I did like Phoebe, though. She was shy and awkward, but she was also tall and gorgeous- enough that she caught the attention of Colton Chase, the gorgeous teen actor who happened to be going to their school. Phoebe was a little bit of a doormat for some of the book, but she grows and learns to fight for herself, which I liked. Colton was the stereotypical "actor who is really cool and down-to-earth," but I liked him. He was protective and cute and sweet and couldn't grow tomatoes to save his life. He was endeared to me when he admitted his fave band is Arcade Fire (fangirling so hard. I love them and they were mentioned in a book and OMG) and Phoebe liked Vampire Weekend and ahhhh. I liked the music mentions in the book. They were definitely a plus.
Overall, this was a very character-driven book, but I didn't mind it. It had an insta-love bit to it, but I didn't hate it. I'm giving it 4 staches (if only because I love Hayley).
Sounds like your cup of tea? I have a giveaway for you, then!
About the Author:
Nya Jade is a singer-songwriter and author based in San Francisco. Her music videos have aired on the VH1, BET, and MTV networks. USA Today hailed Nya as a “young female troubadour worth keeping your eyes and ears on,” in an entertainment feature on up-and-coming singer-songwriters. “Her cool singing voice recalls Sade,” said the LA Times.
Between writing and performing new music, Nya took a musical sabbatical to focus on writing a novel—an endeavor she found quite daunting, until she began looking at each chapter as a verse in a very long song. Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four is her first novel.
In her free time, Nya enjoys hanging out with family and friends, searching for amazing gluten-free desserts, and bargain hunting for her next pair of funky shoes.
Nya holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Sociology, both from Stanford University.
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook