Dickensen Academy

Narrated by: Kaitlin Cohen
Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Dickensen 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? 

©2018 Christine Grabowski (P)2019 Christine Grabowski

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Teen/YA Fiction

I really enjoyed listening to this outstanding audiobook. I’m a teen at heart and absolutely loved the unique take on Dickersen Academy. This author does a great job developing the characters and building a world which is fun and unique.

Narration was good and brought the story to life.

I really enjoyed learning about the characters and their mysterious environment. I also liked the little romance between Autumn and Ben. There are some unexpected obstacles along the way.

Their freshman year was full of surprises and challenges but such a great story. I’m looking forward to book number two!

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

looking forward to the next installment!

I got this book to listen with my 10-year-old daughter (in a continual effort to draw her into varied types of books). We were connected with the descriptions of the scenery, having lived in the Pacific Northwest, but the characters in the book and the story kept us listening. At the conclusion, my daughter turned to me and said, "You know what's really great? This was freshman year, so we have three more books to look forward to!" I am delighted that she is ready to consume more of the good writing from this articulate author!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Extremely enjoyable

This was an extremely enjoyable book to listen too. The narrator has done a wonderful job of bringing each character to life. It has some romance, suspense and drama.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting!

I think this is definitely a good book for young adults. You have a teenage MC who is learning to navigate the world on her own, then add in a twist on the school, and things get interesting. Traveling with Autumn through a school year was a nice experience. When tragedy strikes, she realizes how strong she really is (as most of us do in those times). I was happy to see how things turned out.
*I requested this book and am voluntarily leaving this review

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a fun story!

I loved the sweet romance between Autumn and Ben, and the secondary characters were both realistic and multi-dimensional. The author kept me guessing right up until the end, about what would happen at the mysterious Academy, and whether or not Autumn would overcome her obstacles and find her strengths. Can't wait to find out what happens in Sophomore year!

The performance was also really good. I had to mark down a tiny bit, however, for a couple of odd pronunciations of Northwest landmarks. But overall, her voice was perfect for the part, and I enjoyed her interpretation.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not an ominous story

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I would listen to another. I’m curious where this series will go. The publisher’s summary mentions the ‘dark side’ of the school and destroying memories, but this was misleading. This is a more positive than ominous story. Otherwise the publisher’s summary is quite good.
Autumn’s father wants her to follow in his footsteps and is quite demanding of her. In the book she learns to have more confidence in herself and trust her feelings.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Kaitlin Cohen ) and I would listen to another. She individualizes most characters, and her male and female voices are well done. She speaks clearly and concisely.


There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing. There is nothing scary. It is appropriate for preteens.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging story

I enjoyed everything about this story. I loved the characters, details, pacing, and plot. The narrator was amazing and engaging. I don't read many YA but this one kept me finding moments to listen whenever I could. I'm a big fan of audio and this lived up to my expectations. I highly recommend this book. As YA it's appropriate for younger readers and still quite engaging for older readers and adults too.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It has potential...

It's 3.5 for the story and overall - we really need those half-stars.... Oh, and there may be spoilers below...

It's one of those books that are difficult for me to rate. On the one hand, it kept me listening as I really wanted to find out if Autumn would finally hone the skill of conveyance; on the other, at times I felt it lacked tension and was too lenghty and full of unnecessary details which didn't add anything important to the story itself (beside the word count...)

The good points first, then: the idea of an academy where students learn telepathy is an interesting one; I like the ambiguity and moral dilemmas that are hinted on here and there concerning telepathy and what we could do to others using it (the good and the bad); I also like the fact that Autumn is not that wiz-kid for whom everything comes easy and that she has to struggle on her way to success... I also like the language of the book - Ms Grabowski's style is quite elaborate, the words flow smoothly, it's almost musical to the ear...

The weak points, then, for me? Although I liked most of the characters, they generally felt unreal, kind of two-dimensional; they were too good to be true, even the supposedly evil one didn't do much evil at all... Also, quite often I felt like being told about the events instead of witnessing them happen. And I also feel like some of the "reports" on what was happening at the school were excess stuff - they may have added details to the description of life at Dickensen Academy, but they also slowed down the pace of the story a lot, up to a point when I said to myself "I want some action, please..." quite a few times...

But don't get me wrong - I generally really liked the story, I'd just love it to be more concise and faster-paced, Or maybe I'm just too old to read about 15-year-olds and their school experiences any more?:)

As for the narration, I think Ms Cohen does a really good job. She does different voices well enough to make individual characters recognizable, she doesn't overdo the male voices, so most of them sound natural. She reads quite slowly, though, so I sped it up a bit, but otherwise it's a very good interpretation of the book.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dickensen Academy

I really enjoyed this YA story. The primary and secondary characters were all well developed and I love the setting. A great setup for what I hope will be more books to come. Well done,Christine Grabowski!

Kaitlin Cohen delivered a great performance. She really brought the characters to life and kept me engrossed in the story.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great New Fantasy Series

I really enjoyed this fun spin on a fantasy boarding high school for the creatively gifted. It starts out with the new freshman arriving on campus, getting settled and then learning that their families weren't allowed to visit or the students able to go home until the Thanksgiving holiday... Other odd things start popping up and make Autumn uneasy with new school she had been so excited to be a part of. It's a well written and a very entertaining first book. It appears that each book in this series will cover a full school year. As a parent I would not have a problem with my middle school kids read this as it was really pretty clean. The audio portion of this book was a bit disappointing. I could tell the narrator was trying and she did well overall, but there were many times where some of the voices felt robotic or monotone when there should have been strong emotion.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful