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With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.
When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents’ negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.
Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?
Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.
The Academy, ever vigilant.
*I received a free ARC of Introductions from Arcato Publishing via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Introductions is really an introduction to this world and the characters that are a part of it. Sang is a young girl who has never had any friends before, but in her new neighborhood, she finds herself with not only one, but seven new friends. Her new friends are all boys, and she knows she has to keep her mother in the dark, if no there will be harsh consequences to pay for Sang. She also has nightmares every night, and they are pretty weird.
In the beginning of Introductions, each chapter introduces both Sang and the reader to one of the boys, and it’s nice to get to know them all, they sure are a strange bunch. It is a little difficult to write this review, though, because the writing is not as good as it could have been. There are strange word choices, and some spelling and grammar mistakes as well. At the same time, I really enjoyed the premise, and I have to admit I want to know more about Sang, Kota, Silas and the others. I am also very curious about the mysterious academy the boys are usually attending.
The boys seem to be a part of a secret society, and Introductions never revealed too much – but the story kept titillating me, making me continue to read, wanting to know more. They are all instantly protective of Sang, even before they learn about the difficulties she lives with at home. Sang’s family is not your usual tight-knit family, even if her parents are actually around – which I guess should be a plus for a YA novel. Kota’s mom is around, too, and the readers get to see her several times. I do so enjoy a YA story that doesn’t delete the parents from everything that happens.
I think Sang might have been better off without her parents, though. Introductions is also a way to ease the readers into Sang’s very strained relationship with both her older sister and her parents. Her mom is pretty abusive, and it was hard to read about the way she treated Sang. Especially because Sang is a serious and hard-working kid, it made my skin crawl to know that she couldn’t feel safe in her own house. A father who is always working, and a mom who either lets her to her own devices, or hurts her, and a sister who seemed jealous and not very nice… there you have Sang’s family in a nutshell.
Sang is a pretty strange character who is socially awkward. And I don’t say this in a negative way, because Sang has never had friends before, so she really doesn’t know how to behave with her new friends, who are all hot in their own way. They all seem to be serious students who work hard and take care of each other, and I enjoyed seeing Sang change and open up to them. So, even if I thought Introductions could have benefited form a little more editing, and there was a little too much emphasis on brands, I look forward to reading The First Days (The Academy #2) very soon!
It wouldn’t matter. She wouldn’t listen. It was so overwhelming that to me, I felt I needed to prove it to myself.
I shouldn’t probably have thought of the empty house. I just knew the back door was open and I wouldn’t have harmed anything.
I woke up in my bed, my heart pounding. When I calmed myself and fell back into the pillow. Ever since I was nine years old, I started having nightmares about monsters coming at me in the night.