Friends vs. Family
(The Academy #3)
By C.L. Stone
Sang Sorenson is forced to suffer through another of her mother’s extreme punishments. It almost kills her. The Academy boys vow it will be the last. They're determined to keep Sang safe, especially from her own family.
Their solution: complete invasion of her life.
Kota, Luke, Silas, Nathan, Victor, Gabriel and North do everything within their power to show Sang what true loyalty means. It takes more than blood to make a family and they want Sang in theirs.
In this third book of The Academy series Sang experiences a taste of freedom and what it’s like to truly be cared for...to be wanted. Sang learns a bit more about the boys’ broken families and the boys discover more than they could ever have bargained for about Sang’s. The Academy was the answer to their problems. Could it be hers?
Sang’s actions will force her mother to reveal a startling truth. A truth that will change Sang’s life and the boys’ lives in unpredictable ways. Forever.
The Academy, Allegiance.
My rating: 5/5
I absolutely love this book, reading it for the second time in 3 weeks, which is crazy for me, considering I have so many other books on my TBR pile. Rather than go into a full on review about what I loved about this book, I will share my favourite quotes.
His suitcase must have already been in the car. Telling me he was leaving was like an afterthought. No goodbyes. No promises to call.
A hollow household with hollow people. We did what we had to do.
"You should be able to walk normally. Just no more jumping from balconies for a while."
"How about ever?" Gabriel asked. "Let's go with that. Never ever jump off the school balcony again. Or any balcony. Stay away from balconies."
Your family should come before friends or anyone else. You should always protect them. Why were principles such as loyalty and blood bonds such cruel, twisted things?
"...You'll always have the choice. Family is a choice."
His thumb pressed into my palm firmly. "It's your choice. Parents and siblings are your relations. Family takes care of one another and helps each other. When each side is working together, when everyone wants it, that makes the difference."
Gabriel was beaming. He hooked an arm around my neck to pull me close. "That's the best reaction I've gotten out of them yet," he said. "We should have picked you up a long time ago."
Kota swallowed. "I'm not sure she should wear that to school. If Danielle wanted your clothes before, she'll rip them from your body, now."
"School?" North asked. "I don't know if I want her leaving this house."
That alone was the biggest cause for my fear. Before they invaded my life, I may not have been so free, but my life was predictable. Now I was a shattered mess, and the boys were blowing my tender shards across the floor, toward a destination I wasn't privileged to know. Academy secrets.
The other started laughing.
"Sang," North grumbled.
"It was Silas!"
"Silas doesn't giggle like that, I'm pretty sure."
He jerked his head back. "What the fuck is wrong with her head?"
"It's the shampoo," I whispered, holding the extra towel up close to my mouth to partially hide my face.
"Gabe," North barked. His eyes met mine and held firmly. "Change the formula. It smells like shit."
"It's not there to make her smell pretty."
"I don't care. It stinks. Change it." He smirked and winked at me. "Sang can't smell like a dead rat."
"God damn shit," Gabriel grumbled, marching into Kota's room and down the stairs. "Gabriel, don't wash her hair. Gabriel, change the motherfucking formula Gabriel, cut off your own ear and eat it." There was more but he'd wandered off into the house and it was lost.
"Holy shit," Gabriel said. "The first time Sang gets asked out and it's by Kota's mother."
"Shut up," Kota said.
They took care of each other, and sometimes without asking. They got what they needed and worked together so they could do their job and move forward.
Family first, Kota had said. Family first and when that was in order, we moved on to other things.
And I was now family.
"Can't spend the night on her own in her own fucking bedroom and wants me to leave her naked in the dark closet."
"...No dating. Nothing romantic."
The surge of rejection toward this idea reverberated, surprisingly, from the others in the group around Kota.
"I don't approve," Victor called out, using the more formal method of rejection established by the Academy.
"I don't approve," echoed Gabriel, in a louder voice, as if trying to establish he felt stronger about it than Victor. Their eyes locked on each other, and Kota recognised the challenge in their faces.
"I more than disapprove, I reject it entirely," North grumbled.
Mr Blackbourne pushed a palm to his forehead. "Good god, don't tell me it's already happened."