I read Aurelia after reading Academy 7. It took me longer to get through Aurelia because, honestly, it was not as well-written as Academy 7. Since Aurelia was Osterlund's first book and I really enjoyed Academy 7, I will say that I am really glad she grew as an author. Since I read on her blog that both of these works are intended to be the start of a trilogy, I am glad to know that any successive books will have better writing.
In addition to writing, I also feel that the plot of this work was weaker. The basic premise is that there have been a few attempts on a princess' life and a childhood friend is called in to keep any eye on her without her knowing. The friends haven't seen each other in a while, and, before you know it, romance is blooming.
This story is set sometime in the past (when carriages and swords were used), but the characters are very modern in their words, actions, and names. An interesting question to pose here for a book club would be: Were teens in the past really very different from modern teens or do we just think they were because of the books we read today? (If you comment, go on and answer that one.) I think that people have always been the same. I think their language and syntax would have been different from ours, but their thoughts were similar...as to whether or not they really said what they thought...I don't know. I wonder how much history books have glossed over reality for the sake of propriety.