Friday, September 5, 2014

Alice Acadamy (Book One) by Riley Y. J. Jensen

   Lunar Graves is a problem child.  She has been in fights, suspended, expelled, and more.  When she was a child, her father left, never to return.  And her mother wanted nothing to do with her.  So she has family issues that leaked into her school life.  The principal from her current school shows up one day on her front step to tell her she has been expelled from the school and that he would recommend she be sent to a special military school.  Her mom readily signs the papers and sends her off to the new school.  When Lunar arrives, she sees massive fences with barbed wire on top and gets a cryptic message from the bus driver that this new school of hers wasn't what it seemed.  Even walking through the gates she meets a guy named Ash who is trying to escape (again) and he tells her she needs to leave while she can.  It turns out that Ash has powers.  He is one of just a few Elements that are alive on Earth and he is the Fire Element.  Turns out that Lunar has powers too; she just doesn't know what they are yet.  These kids here at the special school are what they call Godchildren.  Their powers come from Alice, or known to most as Eve, mother of all.
   Alice Acadamy is unlike any school Lunar has ever seen or even heard of, and she had seen her fair share of schools.  It was basically a training ground for the Godchildren the government were trying to hide.  Most of the teachers and administrators were human and mostly scared of their pupils.  Some however, like the weapons teacher, weren't nice and didn't mind humiliating the new girl.  Ash occasionally steps in to help her, but it's Kestrel that is usually the one sticking up for her.  He's a shifter that saved her on her first day when Lunar ran into the woods and was almost eaten by a wild animal.  Kestrel turns into a huge wolf and has a particularly soft spot for Lunar.  Ash just seems to be self-destructive, but, if possible, even more so than Lunar ever was.  Staying alive in this new school is difficult.  Kids get hurt on a regular basis and even dying isn't all that unusual.  After all, with their healing powers, they can pull you back from death itself if it hasn't been too long.  Once Lunar finds out what she is, things get even more difficult for her.  She has to keep her head down and try not to cause too much trouble, or it will be bad for all of them.  What she doesn't know for quite a while is just how bad it already is for Ash.  He is enduring unimaginable horrors at the hands of a Godchild who is on staff.  His name?  Lucifer.  For once, Lunar is trying to take care of others, and for once, Ash actually cares about someone else (although it is hard to tell most of the time).  Now if Lunar can just keep everyone alive.

   There is just a hint of a love interest in this story, but mostly a lot of action and story line about a very complicated girl and guy, and a rather uncomplicated shifter who has feelings for this girl.  I am thinking a love triangle is kind of starting to form, but it's early to say for sure.  I can say that even though this is definitely for younger readers than me (yeah haha I'm not telling how old I am either), I found it a very fascinating read and would recommend it for any teens who are into paranormal/fantasy novels.  It is a rather clean book with very little cussing and no "intimacy scenes".  One little thing you probably won't notice so I will point it out is the A in the title word Alice.  It has a particular shape to it and you will find out why in the book.  I thought it was a particularly nice touch to the cover.  

And now an introduction to the author:  Riley Y. J. Jensen

Riley is a very talented young author who wrote this book when she was 12.  You heard it.  12!!  I couldn't believe it myself.  It is hard for me to imagine writing a full length novel at such a young age.  I have always loved to write, but novel-length works daunt me even now.  She wrote the entire Alice Acadamy Series between the ages of 12 and 14.  She is now a senior in high school and has two pets: a guinea pig named Kydd and a golden retriever named Tanner.  She's also a big movie lover.  All of the illustrations, photography, and design are done by Riley.  She developed her desire to write when she wasn't satisfied with how she couldn't control the stories she read.  Riley doesn't currently have a blog, but you can find her on Facebook or by email at  

(If you are interested in purchasing one of Riley's books, contact her on Facebook or by email!)

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