Title: The Candidates (The Delcroix Academy, Book 1)
Author: Inara Scott
Publisher: Hyperion Teens
Source: Book Swag from Fantasy Convention 2010
Synopsis from the publisher site and the book cover:
Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that’s not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia’s mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just… happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt. So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, believing this way she can suppress her powers and keep them hidden. But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia’s days of living under the radar may be over.
Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats’ kids and child geniuses–not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies. So why are they treating Dancia like she’s special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome. And then there’s her mysterious new friend Jack, who can’t stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what. But Dancia isn’t convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her “gift” than they’re letting on.
Maybe they can help her understand how to use it…But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy.
This YA read captures teen angst and builds into a bigger storyline. It was wonderful. Scott’s description of Dancia’s home life was spot on. Her grandmother has diabetes, arthritis and cataracts. Dancia is always doing chores around the house, tries not to spend money, loves her grandmother and tries her best to blend in. She tries to not draw attention (thus she’s a straight B student with a drab wardrobe and a slouch) and keeps her peers at arm’s length. This changes with her admission to the school.
When she’s given a full scholarship to the ritzy Delcroix Academy she becomes a campus resident. For the first time she can remember, she has two good friends and a possible love interest (or two).
It’s a fairly quick read and one that I found enjoyable. Just so you know, the series has been rebranded. The Candidates is now retitled as The Marked. You can read a chapter on Inara Scott’s site.