Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Series: The Jane Austen Academy #4
Author: Cecilia Gray
Publication Date: May 7th 2013
Format: Mobi/Kindle provided by author for review
Fanny doesn't want to be at The Jane Austen Academy. She intends to lay low until graduation when she can try out for the Olympic track team. She doesn't need friends or love. She only needs her running. But The Academy is in danger. In an effort to save it, Fanny joins forces with the friends she never knew she wanted. Suddenly, Fanny finds herself center stage in the middle of the Academy's biggest love triangle as the lead in the school play...only this track star can't afford to break a leg. The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down… The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beachside California boarding school.
Lately YA hasn't really been my thing but Suddenly You was actually a cute little Young Adult coming of age/finding yourself kind of story. I didn't think I would get into the it because looking at the cover I didn't think I would have anything in common with two Asian kids but I quickly found out there was more to this story than the cover.
The story revolves around young Fanny Sato and her arrival at the Jane Austen Academy against her wishes. She wants to become an Olympic athlete and had the chance to go to a better school but her mother sent her to the JAA on a full scholarship. She's a little shy and a bit of a goody goody but when she meets Tran, with his tattoos and tongue ring she recruits him to help her break into the car of the school's headmistress. She finds information within the car that the academy has been sold and then enlists the help of her friends to try and save it. While trying to balance saving the school, track and the lead in the school play she ends up catching the eye of Josh, the teen heartthrob movie star going there. She isn't interested in Josh because she wants Tran but he is seeing another student named Lucy. Her and Josh grow closer as they spend more time together causing several misunderstandings that further keep Tran and Fanny apart while Fanny and her friends orchestrate a media blitz in hopes of saving the school.
I didn't fall head over heels for this one but I did enjoy it once I got into it a little bit. It was cute and romantic and had a little teenage angst in it which is to be expected in a YA book. Fanny was aggravating at times because she wouldn't just come out and say what was on her heart and mind and let things that she wanted slip by. I loved her determination though in following her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. Being the good girl I didn't think she would break out of her shell much but her wonderful group of friends rallied and helped her shed that shy persona a little bit. I enjoyed the group of girls she ended up with once she let people in. Fanny was single minded when she arrived at the school only focusing on her Olympic goal but over time developed strong friendships that made me happy for her as a reader. I was rooting for her and Tran to be together because this was her first crush on a boy and he seemed to really like her too so the circumstances that kept them apart sucked. I was happy the way things worked out for them though after they finally cleared up all the misunderstandings between them, jeez. Teenagers!
The part I enjoyed the most was watching Fanny and her mother reconcile a little bit by the end of the book. Her and her mother don't see eye to eye about her career choice and often butt heads about it but once they have a heartfelt talk things between them smoothed out. I felt like Fanny needed her mother's approval and when she got it, it was a satisfying feeling for me as well as for her. All the supporting characters were just as much a part of the story as the main character's and I loved how everyone stuck by Fanny even when she reveals a secret about herself.
I will warn that while this book provides enough information to understand what's going on should you start this late in the series, I would recommend reading the others just to get familiar with the other characters. I found myself a little lost trying to keep all the girls in Fanny's life straight. About the only thing that irked me was how long it took for the couple in this book to finally get together. I'm not really a fan of waiting until the last few pages to get them together but in the books' defense the ending of these seem to bleed into the next book so I guess it can be overlooked. While Suddenly You was a little too YA for me being a grown woman I highly recommend it for anyone who strictly reads Young Adult stories or anyone who is looking for a good book to let their young kids read. It was funny, romantic and really sweet with a positive message to fight for what you believe in and stand up for a good cause.
"I have my friends. I have coaches who care about me. And even if you're not paying for it, I'll always have you. I still have you." Loc. 1681
"Oh, you don't do anything wrong." He ran his finger from her temple to her lips. "I've just been thinking about this a long time." Loc. 1774
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About The Author:
Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case. Cecilia has been praised for “instilling a warmth and weight into her characters” (Romancing The Book Reviews) and her books have been praised for being “well-written, original, realistic and witty” (Quills & Zebras Reviews). Her latest series of young-adult contemporary Jane Austen retellings was named a What’s Hot pick (RT Book Reviews magazine) and is a Best of 2012 pick (Kirkus Reviews) where it was praised for being a “unique twist on a classic” and offering “a compelling mix of action, drama and love.” She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige at email@example.com or any of the following sites:
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