Published May 22, 2018
Frankie Brooks knows what she wants in life: to become the world’s next great fashion editor. All she needs to do is get into the elite American Fashion Academy in New York City. If she gets in, her life plans will be going right on schedule. Anna Wintour, watch out.After cheating on a chemistry test and throwing a party while her parents were away, Frankie's parents decide that military school would be a good place for her to learn some discipline and get her grades back on track. Frankie, however, would rather work on her fashion blog and is appalled at her new situation.
But after Frankie messes up one too many times—hey, it’s hard keeping up with classwork and an acclaimed fashion blog—her parents come up with entirely different plans for her future: Military school. How is Frankie, the least athletic person in the world, who knows absolutely nothing about the military, going to survive a whole semester at the famed—and feared—Academy?
With students who seem to be totally uninterested in her, a course-load that’s even more difficult than at her old school, and the weird athletic War Games competition Frankie has to join—her life is way harder than it used to be. And no one, including her roommate Joni, seems to understand Frankie at all.
As she learns how to cope in about a million drills, a hundred different specialized classes, and is maybe even falling for super-hot and super-smart cadet Jack Wattson, can Frankie prove to everyone that being a fashionista doesn’t mean she can’t succeed? - from Goodreads
For most of the book, Frankie is the most unlikable character. She is at times snobby, snotty, disrespectful, immature, and materialistic. The only thing she seems to care about is her fashion blog, which she mentions at every chance she gets. I had to keep reminding myself that she's only 16, and that kind of comes with the territory. But when she is answering her phone during training and telling her lieutenant she can't wear her uniform because she already has a "fashion moment" picked out, it was a struggle.
At least, though, Frankie could recognize when she was being snotty and disrespectful; she just couldn't seem to control herself. However, as the book goes on, Frankie gets some extra incentive to keep her grades up and try to make the best of her situation. I liked that she remembered how amazing it felt to be a good student, before her fashion blog took over, and she wanted those feelings of pride and accomplishment again.
The military academy was a really unique setting. I enjoyed learning about its structure and classes. It really seemed like a good place for Frankie to learn discipline and teamwork. The secondary characters also brought a lot of heart to the book, although I could have used less of the romance plotline with fellow student Jack. I really just wanted Frankie to focus and grow. There was a lot of diversity among the students, and it was interesting to learn how they all ended up at this school.
Overall, I thought the book was well-written and the author did a good job in capturing the 16-year-old main character, but I wanted a bit more depth in the story.
Great review! I have such a hard time with teenage characters like that.ReplyDelete
Yeah, it was a chore sometimes!Delete
This sounds like a really cute idea, but I can definitely see why you didn't love it. I always have a hard time remembering characters in YA are teenagers. Honestly, I just ignore that fact most of the time XDReplyDelete
Haha, honestly most of the time they don't act like teenagers, so it's easy to forget!Delete
I have zero patience for teenage characters like Frankie these days. Smh.ReplyDelete
Teenagers are a catch-22 for me in books - I get annoyed when they act and talk like adults, but when a teen is portrayed accurately, I get annoyed by the whining and selfishness!Delete
That kind of reminds me of an old Goldie Hawn movie - Private Benjamin. She was an adult, but the same privileged upbringing collides with the military. Ha! Sounds fun. Mostly, if she grows through the experience, I'd probably like it.ReplyDelete
She does end up maturing a bit, so that was nice.Delete
The military school setting really intrigues me, although I think Frankie would probably really annoy me for a lot of the book by the sounds of it, lol.ReplyDelete
Haha, she annoyed me for most of it!Delete
I like the military setting idea, but it sounds like it was used as a giant plot device. I'm glad the character showed growth and you were able to enjoy at least parts of the book. I think the MC would have grated on my nerves for a bit, too.ReplyDelete
I didn't dislike her as much by the end!Delete
I keep hearing that the MC is unlikable, which could be a problem for me, but I am all over that setting (and the romance, you know me!!!). As long as the character grows over the course of the book, I am ok with them being a hideous creature at the onset, which sounds like the case here.ReplyDelete
I think you would enjoy this one! The setting is really unique, and the romance is sweet (even if I could have done without it!).Delete
I cannot remember the last time I read a book with a military academy for a setting... that sounds interesting, but I don't like reading books about people I cannot relate to, or that are hateful and rude for seemingly no reason.ReplyDelete
𑁋 Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?
I'm glad there was some character development at the end, but I think I would be too frustrated by that point.Delete
This has got to be the most unusual boarding school tropes (sort of) plots, but it sounds like it'd make you smile, despite the lack of depth.ReplyDelete
The military school setting is what drew me to the book in the first place!Delete
I think an MC like that would grind on my nerves ;) I'm all for unlikeable characters, but bratty teenagers can really test me, haha.ReplyDelete
Brilliant review. I do like the setting of the story :) It sounds extremely unique.
It definitely was a unique setting! But the MC was more than a little obnoxious at the beginning.Delete
I can see how Frankie might have rubbed you the wrong way. I do like that she did grow through. I don't think I've read a book with this kind of setting, so that sounds interesting. Sorry to hear this one didn't have quite as much depth as you wanted.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Alicia! I think I was just expecting too much from a book geared towards younger YA fans.Delete
I get what you mean. I also try to cut teenage characters slack and remind myself that teens are not the same as adults. But this does sound like it was a bit much, and I'd be annoyed too. Still, the setting sounds interesting, I think I'd also like learning about that, and I'm glad it wasn't all bad :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kristen! I definitely enjoyed the setting, although there was a bit too much vapid teen stuff for me.Delete