Saturday, January 31, 2015

REVIEW: Strange Academy by Teresa Wilde

***This book was originally reviewed for GraveTells.***


Determined to uncover the secret behind her eccentric aunt's mysterious death, Sadie Strange, a quirky substitute teacher with a Master’s degree in comic book superheroes, takes a job at isolated private school Strange Academy. Her biggest obstacle? Haughty hottie Lorde Gray, the chemistry teacher who looks down his Roman nose at her as he tries to get her fired.

Undercover demon hunter Gray vows to use his spell-brewing powers to protect Strange Academy's true purpose—educating extraordinary children with paranormal gifts. If the world knew the school's secret, it would start a war that would destroy humanity. Gray won't let a feisty mortal threaten that, no matter how much she swishes her heart-shaped butt.

When fate throws them together, strange allies Sadie and Gray seek to uncover the hidden forces behind her aunt's death before they destroy Sadie—and the school. But when the demon hunter forbidden from associating with mortals and the mortal woman who can't trust her own judgment around alpha males find themselves falling for each other, love is going to get a little strange...


Other than the tension and romance between Sadie and Gray, the biggest element in this book is the mystery. The mystery starts on the very first page and builds to hold you riveted until all the questions are answered and loose ends tied up. I was never at any point bored with the story and it kept my guessing which I greatly appreciate (since I feel like it happens so seldom).

Because of the way the author builds the world and the sets up the atmosphere for the school, it has a very distinct Harry Potter meets X-Men feel, but manages not to feel like a cheesy copy of either. There’s all kinds of magic involved, such as spells and potions and the like, (occasionally becoming a little confusing, but easy enough to keep up with) and everybody has their own unique “talent” – aka power or ability. You’ve got your vampires, shifters, mages, mutants, psychics – you name it! It leaves a lot of opportunity for the story to go anywhere, or even plenty of room for a series if the author so chose.

Naturally however, no matter how much I enjoyed the mystery and paranormal elements, it’s the romance that holds my attention the most. Gray and Sadie clash hardcore and it makes for spectacular sparks. They made me laugh, they made me blush, and they ultimately just had me glued to the page. I only have two complaints about them though. Sadie stays blinds to the goings on around her when I feel like she should have clued in, but I suppose there’s a reason for that too (even if I still grumbled about it). Gray though was my biggest obstacle. There were times that I didn’t like him at all, but flaws do make a hero more relatable and endearing (especially when they have to grovel to make up for them).

The secondary characters also make up a good portion of this book. Sterling in particular, because he plays a big part in bringing Sadie and Gray together, as well as making Gray that much more lovable. Between the three of them, this story is about more than just magic, mystery, and romance, but about family and self discovery. If it weren’t for the sex scenes, I’d say the message contained within this story is good for young adults to read, but either way it’s really a very sweet read.

This unique book kept me awake into the early hours of morning because its sensuality and mostly light hearted tone left me unable to put it down. Invoking a wide range of emotions that include laughter, anger, and fear, and driving you deeper into the story with compelling characters and nail biting plot lines, Strange Academy is a must read!

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