by Shana Abé
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Random House
*From Publisher for Review
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“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.
England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.
Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time. (Goodreads)
Lora is such a great character. The poor girl, she has been through so very much in her young life. Thrown into an orphanage at age 10, with no recollection of her history, then put into an asylum not long after, and finally she ends up at the boarding school for girls. It is at this boarding school that Lora learns the reason why she is different from other girls. All with the help of Jesse, who is the groundskeeper at the boarding school, and Armand, who is the son of the Duke that funds the school.
Lora is such an amazingly strong character. When I first started reading the book, I kind of expected her to be a meek little creature that would complain about every single thing. But she didn’t. She held her own, especially against some of the rich girls at the boarding school. I love the relationship between Lora and Jesse. He is so incredibly sweet, and really cares for her. Armand, who completes the love triangle, is a mysterious young man, who has a secret of his own.
The writing style for this novel was absolutely wonderful. The sentences flowed together so perfectly. I found the love triangle to be very well written as well, even though I chose my side early on. The world-building was excellent as well, as I really enjoyed the descriptions of the time period. The storyline was very engrossing, and I found myself flying through the pages faster than I expected to. I felt that the book closed very nicely as well, which is always good.
Overall, this book has it all! It has a beautiful cover, great characters, and an engrossing storyline. It’s definitely worth the read. Check it out!