Cover Image: The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted

The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted

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Member Reviews

Didn't finish.  Couldn't connect to the characters or story. Guess I am tired of the chosen one plot.
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Anyone else got Ms.Peregrine like vibes going into this book.(No,it was probably just me.)

So for a boy who's SUPPOSED to be gifted with powers,our protagonist shows none of them at the start,which worries him.A lot.
Because when the fate of the world relies on him he must go to ends of his limits and be ready to sacrifice himself.
What's more is the twists and turns this book takes.

One time recommended read!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an e-ARC of this book.🙂👍
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The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted was one of the most exceptional books I've read this year. It does check all the boxes of my favorite categories: Middle Grade, Christian, fantasy/science fiction. Several other reviewers wrote that this was Hunger Games, Divergent, X-Men, and Harry Potter all rolled into one. It is definitely a book for anyone who loves those, but simultaneously so different from any of them.

The intrigue began on the first page when Jack sits through his best friend's history presentation, which sounds exactly like a conspiracy theory, as is always the case with Freddy. Freddy describes the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted, which he learned about on the dark web, and even shows the class a map of the island it's on. The academy is, of course, invisible to ordinary mortals. Embarrassed by his friend's presentation, Jack asks to use the bathroom and is immediately pursued by some strange beings, rescued by an old acquaintance, and brought to...The Hadley Academy. This opening is genius because the story could have so easily gone in two directions. One, the academy was all in Freddy's head and he and Jack were both ordinary middle schoolers. Two, the academy is real and Jack and Freddy actually end up there. I would have read either of those stories but was enthralled by the world-building in this one.

At the academy, Jack quickly learns about different kinds of giftings and the strengths and weaknesses innate to each. He also realizes that he isn't gifted. And neither are his new friends who are brought in to be part of his team. They have three days for their gifts to awaken or they will be removed from the academy and their memories of the three days, as well as their former lives, will be wiped. And the adventure begins.

The story continued, with every event, every person, and every conversation being tied together as crucial parts of the saga. I had to read back several times, not because I lost interest, but because I had to make sure I remembered previous conversations that tied in to present moments. Fabulous storytelling! Also, despite the ending being part happily ever after and part cliff hanger (but not so you'll lose sleep over it), this was a complete story with all the wonderful twists and turns that story entailed.

Something beautiful about this story, something that seems to be unique to Christian fantasy, was the idea that you can believe in something impossible without evidence. Christians are sometimes accused of this and mocked for it, but when you see it play out in real life, it often begins a beautiful story. Jack's story began that way. There was nothing remarkable about him. But one person believed he was the boy who was prophesied. And that belief started a chain of events that led to everyone eventually seeing who Jack was. But there was no reason to believe Jack was anyone special in the beginning.

There were many other beautiful moments in the story, but I'll share two more. First, there is the saying, "trusting someone is more important than believing them" (219). I had never thought about this before, but it's true. There are people who tell incredible stories that I would still trust with my life. There are others who always tell the truth, but who I still can't trust. This maxim, which appeared several times in the story, is a good reminder of what truly matters most. Second, the way gifts were treated was poignant. When Jack first arrived at the academy, one of the teachers told him, "Everyone is born with a gift. Improbables ignore what the world tells them. They risk looking different, looking strange, in order to explore their gift. That is true courage" (21) Later on, a young boy said something similar: "I am human, and every human is born with a gift. I have chosen to use mine" (277). This is something else we often forget. We are all gifted. Maybe our gifts don't fit the mold of what we think gifts look like or what we want them to be, but we are all gifted. Like the boy, may we choose to use our gifts.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and have reviewed it willingly.
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I always wanted to experience a secret adventure as a kid, as well as discovering that I might have special powers, so I was a bit jealous of Jack and his friends.  

The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted was a fun romp of a read.  Conor Grennan came up with some really neat ideas about a group of 13 year olds discovering their special powers and training to combat evil forces in the world. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a fast paced action mystery revolving around a prophecy and a group of unlikely hero's bonding to become a strong team. This book reminds of excellent stories like X-Men or Divergent and fans of that style of writing will enjoy this book.

The story and character development feels rushed and I wish more time was spent developing their dynamics and backstories but the book gets better as you read it. The last 25-30% of the book does start to tie things together better.

I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.
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A fun read!
Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read and review The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted by Conor Grennan!
Jack and his best friend Freddy are on scholarship at a boarding school. Freddy has a tendency to believe conspiracy theories and go down the rabbit holes of each of these theories. He presents in history class on a military academy that’s secret to the world, The Hadley Academy. No one believes Freddy and he gets a failing grade on his presentation. As soon as the presentation is over, Jack gets permission to use the restroom and he’s whisked away by Hans, the new school security guard. Hans takes Jack to a secret door that transports him to The Hadley Academy! Freddy soon follows. Each recruit becomes a student and passes through the Spade threshold to discover the spade classification they belong to: Kinetic, Theoric, Systemic, and Expathic. Kinetics like taking risks, Theorics are problem solvers, Systemics are highly creative, and Expathics understand their surroundings at a higher level. Since Superior Blue believes Jack has been sent to fulfill a prophecy, he sets up a thirteenth team and sends out recruiters to find three more dormants to join Jack’s team, Freddy included. The thirteenth team is heckled by the rest of the academy but eventually the need for the team members becomes known. Surprises keep popping up that enlarge the world of The Hadley Academy and bring more and more interesting characters into the story. The Hadley Academy is enjoyable, entertaining and fun to read, 4 stars!
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Very well written and a unique plot. Totally unpredictable and I would be interested in reading more from the author!
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Wonderful book! 
Really liked reading this fresh and outstanding book.  It was a real pleasure to read it.  
Thanks for the publisher for the opportunity to read this in advance
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I was impressed with this book and intend to purchase it for my collection.  I think this would be a good fit for  avid readers who may relate to the genius characters.
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3.5/4 out of 5 stars.

A fast paced action mystery, a prophecy that needs to come to pass and a group of misfits forced to bond under immense pressure.

Fans of X-Men, The Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy this book immensely.

If I had anything negative to say, I feel that the story feels a little rushed. More time could have been spent of the characters, their interactions, how their connections form and grow. 

This is certainly a story that gets better the further you delve into it. The last quarter really tied everything together. 

This would make a fantastic movie though as there is a lot of action scenes.
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I really wanted to read this one, but it cannot go on my Kindle and my computer is too old for the pdf file. My computer is just too old? It won't open.
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This very exciting adventure mystery story is about Jack, who is suddenly taken from his normal life to the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted.  Except that Jack isn't really gifted and because he hasn't followed the usual protocols for attending the academy, he isn't really welcome either.  This is a wonderful story full of surprises and action.  I think kids are going to like this one a lot.  Grownups will like it too for it's allegorical aspects as well as opportunities to connect to other texts with similar "sacrifice yourself to save the world" themes.
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Jack is unintentionally transported to the Hadley Academy, who train the heroes of tomorrow, ready to save the world of Reapers with here "gift". But, Jack has a problem: he's welcomed as "the chosen one" but yet hasn't a "gift"...

I enjoyed my reading! ^^
The different members of team 13 have all a little something, but despite this, I had a little trouble hanging on to the characters.
But I liked the way the academy was organized, with these spades and teams.

So the Reapers are terrifying, there's a lot of action... It's a book that will undoubtedly appeal to pre-teens! ^^
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I listened to the clip sounds like would be a good I'll keep an eye out for for it when it is released.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was looking for authors of  books preteens would like when I saw this. When I saw it was published by Thomas Nelson I quickly requested for it and I am glad I did. I liked the story. Jack finds himself transported to a world he did not know existed and whilst there finds he is believed to be the Guardian that will save the world. Problem is Jack has no special skills and has been given three days to prove himself or he risks having his mind scraped of some memories. Together with a group of kids brought in to form a team these children race against time and meet several obstacles on the way including the imminent end of humanity as we know it.
 Some characters were not properly fleshed out but that did not stop me from enjoying the story and I think most kids would love it too. I totally did not see the end. It did not read like Christian fiction but by the time I finished the book I realized why it was published by a Christian publisher. You don't have to be into Christian fiction to read this because there are no bible passages in it really.
Heartily recommend this
Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary book. The opinions above are my candid thoughts
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Jack is dreading his science project and he is nervous about his friend's presentation too because Freddy is always spouting off about weird conspiracy theories.  But then Jack is chased, rescued, and then magically transported to a mysterious island and the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted.  Soon his and a band of other "improbables" become a new 13th group.  But who is Jack really, who are they fighting, and how can they possible defeat them.
This book had a lot of action.  It was one I was reading in spurts in the morning on my elliptical.  At times I got a bit confused and the climax was a bit convoluted but it was overall a good read.  Those who have the opportunity to read it at a more steady pace may not experience the difficulties I did.  This is the first in a series.
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I liked this book and can’t wait for the movie. This story is movie-bound. I did love it more at the beginning. I felt that it lost some of its punch after the middle.

Hated the “terrifying” description of the shadow reapers. If this stays in the book, it’s going in the movie and that will cut most Christian audiences who are commanded to “abstain from all appearances of evil.”

I was a little confused why the cadets would hear crackling first before their band lights went off. Seems like the band would glow red to let you know a reaper was in the area, then you would listen for crackling as it approached. Otherwise, that’s pretty loud crackling, right? What would be the need for bands?

Around page 86 to 88, too much narrative that slows down the story. Same with 137 to 140, 178, 264. Chapter 25 is too long.

Also, the sheltered homeschooling conversation stunk. Would’ve been better if it was a positive spin to show that homeschooling is awesome: (e.g., “I’m not dead. I do have a phone, a laptop, and a television—and if you think you have more freedom sitting in mandatory classroom in a locked school guarded by security eight hours a day as opposed to my four hours studying anywhere I want on the device of my choice, you’ve been duped.”) Inspire our Christian children and let the homeschooler win the conversation.

Pg. 124 You might want to consider a new word to replace “darkening,” which is offensive to brown and black people. Try soul-sucking, life-vaping, death-creeping—anything but darkening. 

There’s so much futuristic action, I wish the government wasn’t American. 

If the darkening word changed along with the other suggestions, this book would get more stars for sure.
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This is a story that readers will return to over and over again. Great for fans of the Maze Runner, Divergent, Harry Potter, and others like it. This is a wonderful title for middle grade readers.  It is well paced and has amazing characters!!  The 360+ pages flew by so fast that I didn't even realize that I was at the end until I couldn't go anymore in the ebook.  I really hope that although this one ended very well that we get another one!! I need more stories set in this world that I have become a part of! 

Go Into This One Knowing: Great Middle Grade Story!
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I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoyed reading this. An interesting story with fun characters. Well written.
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Academy books are all around you right now. And I happen to love them and try to read as many as I can, so I got really happen when I get my ex av Hadley Academy. The cover looked great, the summary sounded great and I had high expectations. And the story almost met my expectations. I felt the story was rushed at points and nowhere did I read about zombies. I mean, sure, reapers could be a word for them but I didn’t make that connection. Honestly, I wouldn’t have picked up the book had I known. So I guess it was a good thing I didn’t. All in all, I liked the book and think there are a lot of younger readers which will love it.
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