Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abé

The Sweetest Dark
by Shana Abé

Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780345531704
*From Publisher for Review

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

“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)
The Sweetest Dark is a novel about sixteen year old Lora Jones. Lora is different than other girls. She can hear songs that no one else can hear, and she dreams of drifting through the air like smoke and vapor. Oh, Lora is definitely different alright. When the orphanage that she lives is destroyed in the war, Lora is sent to a prestigious boarding school as a charity student. Here she meets two boys, Jesse and Armand. With the help of these boys, she will discover the truth about her past history, and discover another secret about herself.

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!

Happy Reading!


  1. I've been hearing really great things about this one! I have it from NetGalley so I'm happy to hear that you liked it so much.

  2. Yay, this is such a great review, Christy! I'm super glad that you liked this one because it is WAY up there on my TBR in terms of how interested in it I am. It just seems so DIFFERENT. I like that you thought the storyline was engrossing! :)

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  3. Ooh - intriguing. I want to find out just what is behind Lora's being different from everyone else!

  4. Oh, now that's cool. I love that she can hear music/songs no one else can. Of course, I wrinkled my nose at the love triangle but if it's well done, I can deal.

  5. Great review! I haven't heard many reviews on this and didn't really know what to expect, but this sounds amazing! I'm even more excited to read it:))

  6. I love great world-building, that's a definite plus for me! Bit put off by the love triangle but this definitely sounds like it's worth a try. Great review, glad you enjoyed it! I'll have to check this one out.

  7. I love the cover on this one. It sounds like it would be a very good book. Great review.. I need to check this one out.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  8. Now that I've read your review, I'm angry at myself for not requesting it like I initially wanted to... but after I heard that it's part of a series, I was a bit scared that it would be hard to get into - but it seems like it works on its own perfectly. Thanks for sharing - I might need to get a copy now after all. :)


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