Author: Nya Jade
Page Count: 338
My Rating: 4.5 TURTLES: A really great read, I highly recommend!
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review
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.
This is one of the most memorable Young Adult books I've read in a while! It's definitely my favorite book I've taken on for review all year! There was so much good going on in this book that I almost want to stay up even later than it is as I write this review (2am) to see what happens next! I love Phoebe and her ability to be both kick butt and vulnerable. The author also does a really great job introducing the reader to the world of the story: I felt like I had a clear picture of this world, but I also wasn't inundated with too much information at any one time with info-dumps.
And even though this book does make use of some YA tropes (fancy boarding school, super hunky love interest) "The Year of Four" manages to make them feel fresh - and, who am I kidding, I love those tropes so who cares! If they're used well, I don't think they should have to have a bad name. Part of what makes them feel so fresh is that even though some plot points I was able to predict, other developments kept me completely on my toes!
The long and short of it is: I highly recommend this book! Especially for YA fans, read this book! I think you might find it is the next binge-able series you have been looking for. I know it had a lot of things that I look for in YA that keeps me coming back to the genre even though I'm not in the targeted age range anymore. I'm so glad I already have book two queued up on my Kindle, I would have hated to have to wait.
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