Welcome to the virtual book tour for Dickensen Academy by Christne Grabowski! Today's stop is one of my favorite kinds of guest posts, as the author interviews Autumn Mattison, the main character in her book. Please enjoy this and then follow the rest of the tour for even more fun! Remember to leave your own comments or questions for Autumn or for Christine and then enter the giveaway!
Dickensen AcademyDickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.
Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.
When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?
Read an excerpt:
“I feel like there’s something big we don’t know about. Something those students were protecting. I mean, really, why are we here?”
I thought it was just me who was confused. “Well…the recruiters said we’re creative and focused.”
“Yeah, that’s what Principal Locke said too.”
“And we have the right personality.”
Ben looked up at the sky, sighed then turned toward the forest. “What did he say…something about how it will soon become clear why we’re here, and there’s some ultimate purpose for our creativity?”
“I know. That whole creativity part was a bit bizarre.”
He shrugged. “It seems everyone is going with the flow. But I have so many questions.” Then he touched my arm to stop me, so I turned toward him. “I’m thinking they’re isolating us for some special reason,” he admitted in an embarrassed tone.
I tried not to laugh—he was acting paranoid. But I didn’t know Ben well. Maybe he was joking, trying to freak me out. Or was he hitting on me? The flutter in my chest moved to my stomach. I was already anxious about being away from home and whether or not I could hack the academics. I didn’t need to obsess about anything else. But I still had to know about Ben’s dream.
“So…I also had a dream about Dickensen before I accepted the offer.”
Ben’s head snapped toward me. “You did?”
Meet Autumn Mattison
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Autumn Mattison. I’m from Seattle, and I just started my freshman year of high school at Dickensen Academy. I’m fourteen years old, but will turn fifteen in November.Why did you choose to attend Dickensen Academy?
Who wouldn’t? Almost no one gets into the place, so when I got in, it shocked us all. And it made my dad so proud. It’s got this great writing program, which I’m really excited about. And the art classes sound fun too. Besides, I’ve got to admit, it was great to move out of the house. My dad is a control freak and sometimes I feel like I can barely breathe around him.What do you like about boarding school so far?
It’s so amazing to be off on my own. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks, and I’ve already got four really good friends. My roommate, Aditi, is so sweet. And then there’s Hannah, this girl I run cross country with. Ben and Ryan usually hang out with us too.What about the classes?
I’m really liking school so far. The classes are small, and the teachers are super-passionate, especially Mr. Robbins. He teaches Creative Core which is this art class that is supposed to be the backbone of the fine arts program. To me, it just seems like an art class. But the faculty says it’s much more than that.Anything you don’t like?
Well…there’s something weird about this place that sometimes gives me the creeps. It’s almost like I’ve been here before. I keep having these déjà vu moments. But it’s probably all my imagination. My dad would say I have too much of that. But there are also all these rules. Like freshmen can’t leave campus until Thanksgiving, and we can’t hang out with the upperclassmen. There’s even this huge electric fence hidden in the woods. It feels like we are locked in. But the teachers say it’s because up here in the mountains there are lots of wild animals. But it seems overkill to me.Do you have any goals for the year?
I’m hoping to get good grades. I don’t think my dad believes I can hack it on my own, but I want to prove him wrong. No way will I ever do as well as my brother, Josh. But hopefully I can do well enough to get my dad off my back.Anything you’d like to add?
Well, there’s this guy, Ben. He’s really cute. We hang out a lot, but usually in a group. Aditi thinks he likes me. He even dreamed about me before we got in. Weird, right? But I doubt he’s interested in me. I’m sure he’ll end up with someone more like Hannah, who is model gorgeous.
About Christine Grabowski
Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.
When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.
Christine Grabowski will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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