Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Road Diverged Into Two Paths

Published: December 11th, 2011
A Tale of Two Proms (Bard Academy # 4)
By: Cara Lockwood
TKA Distribution
ISBN-13: 9781937776237

It was the best of prom, it was the worst of prom.

Miranda Tate returns for her senior year at Bard Academy and she is counting on two things: Prom with her boyfriend, Heathcliff, and then graduation from the haunted boarding school where fictional characters come to life. Fate, however, has other plans.

When Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff's long-lost love, appears on campus, suddenly everything she thought she knew about Heathcliff is changed forever. Catherine seems determined to win Heathcliff back, even if that means destroying Bard Academy and banishing its ghostly teachers - for good.
Miranda and her friends face their most daunting challenge, yet, which will take them for the first time inside the classics that have powered their mysterious boarding school. It's up to them to save Bard Academy - and prom. Can Miranda change her destiny and Heathcliff's? Or is this one story that was written in the stars?


   Miranda Tate has survived a lot during her years at Bard Academy.  Now she is finally closing in on graduation after a completely uneventful Senior year.  But she does have a decision to make: go away to college at Ivy League school Penn State, or stay on the island and marry Heathcliff who has just proposed to her.  Because he's a fictional character and tied to his story, Heathcliff is unable to leave the island.  Does Miranda have to choose between a life well lived and true love?  She may not get the chance to find out, because strange things are happening at Bard again.  This time Catherine Earnshaw is behind them, determined to punish Miranda for taking Heathcliff from her (even though she thinks that he's basically no better than garbage).  Catherine's plan to "improve the classics" has negative consequences for everyone.  But there are even more surprises in store, including Heathcliff's almost double, Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities who is brought forth by a surprising personage.  Also, it turns out Catherine is there by someone else's design to keep Miranda and Heathcliff apart.  Miranda and her sister Lindsay have to leave school for a family emergency, but when they return the school itself has disappeared and so have all the students.  With the vault of magic books also missing, the few that Miranda still has access to will mean the difference between rescuing her friends and saving the school, and having the world end because of Cathy's plot destabilizing the portals between fiction and reality.  Will everyone come out of it alive?  Also, will Cathy manage to get Heathcliff once more for herself and what role will Sydney play in all this.  The teachers (dead authors with unfinished business) also have a few tricks left up their sleeves before the last page is turned.  I honestly thought it was a really strong conclusion to the series.  I liked the plot twists and the imagination behind all of it.  It kept me just as intrigued as ever.  But the romance between Heath and Miranda lagged quite a bit for me.  It ended up too angsty and Sydney Carton was my bright spot.  I practically howled in rage at what he ends up doing at the close of the novel.  I would recommend this for people who have read the first three books only.  If this sounds like your kind of book, read the other ones first!!!
VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money was exchanged for this review.  This book was published December 11th, 2011.*

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