Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 1/1/06
To newcomer Ellie, Avalon High seems like a typical American high school, complete with jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, and even the obligatory senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy. But it doesn’t take Ellie long to suspect that something weird is going on beneath the glossy surface of this tranquil hall of learning. As she pieces together the meaning of this unfolding drama, she begins to recognize some haunting Arthurian echoes, causing her to worry that she has become just a pawn in mythic history. A powerful novel by the author of The Princess Diaries.
You know what I hate? When a movie is so completely different from the book that it deserves a new title. Good thing that didn’t happen with this! Oh wait…
Okay, so maybe this is just my opinion, but the movie adaptation of this book is completely different than the novel. I enjoyed both of them, don’t get me wrong, but they were in two entirely different galaxies. Because I am not doing a movie to book comparison at the moment, I’ll leave it at that and continue with my thoughts about the book.
I am semi-ashamed to admit that I haven’t read a Cabot YA book before. I used to devour her Allie Finkle books when I was younger and I have heard so many great things about her Princess Diaries books (and I am obsessed with the movies). When it premiered, I really liked the Avalon High movie and studied Arthurian legends in English class this year, so I figured now was a perfect time to read Avalon High. I think my expectations were waaaay too high though. The book was pleasant enough, but I didn’t absolutely love it. I also think that the book, despite being fiction, was extremely based on the assumption that King Arthur was real. This is a highly debated topic, however, and I think that this fact needed to be made clear in the book. I was a bit annoyed because my copy had a section at the back where the authoress talked about each character and discussed them as if there was no question that they were real. I am not saying that I agree or disagree with this fact, but I just think it should have been mentioned. I did love how original the plot was, and I adored both the mood and the tone that was established in the story. It took me quite a while to read for some reason, but it definitely wasn’t difficult and it could easily be started and finished in a day or two. I think this is a great beach read and would recommend it to ages 13 and up.