The Sweetest Dark
Official Stuff –
Author – Shana Abe
Pages – 352
Series – Sweetest Dark Series
Publisher – Bantam
Expected Release Date – April 9th, 2013
“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.
My Rating – 4 Stars
*I received an advanced digital copy of this novel from Netgalley on behalf of Bantam*
Eleanore or Lora appears mysteriously on the streets of London at the age of ten with no memory and unable to speak. With no one coming forward to claim her, she ends up at an orphanage in a poor section of London.
She hears a voice no one else can hear. Hears songs coming from precious metals and gemstones. She dreams of flying. This dreaming leads to her jumping off the roof of her orphanage, which lands her in a mental institution. After being “cured” she is accepted into a very prestigious all girls finishing school as a charity case.
There she meets Armand, the son of the Duke who is the patron of the school and whose charity allows her to attend Iverson. And Jesse, a groundskeeper who lets the world believe he is simple and mute.
Of course she also meets the bitchy rich girls who want to make her life a living hell, because she is poor and only has two outfits leftover from the orphanage. Lora can hold her own against the catty girls eventually earning the respect of one of the girls.
She begins hearing songs and voices again. The stars sing to her. She is called to a certain boy.
Sounds like the typical supernatural creature love triangle story that has taken over YA books, right? Meh, maybe it is a bit. However the writing is beautiful. The story is a little sensual for a teen novel, not necessarily because of sexytimes but more the wording of things.
Yes, there are supernatural creatures involved but I can assure you they are not vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, or an ancient race of demon slayers. Set during a time when England was terrified of German airships dropping bombs, Lora’s voices are not the only thing she needs to worry about. War is coming to the countryside.
Lora is a special creature. So are Jesse and Armand. There is love, yes but not really a love triangle. More like love and a special friendship. There is magic and old myths and history (the history was another thing that made me fall in love with this book) and castles.
This author is being compared to Lauren Kate (author of the Fallen series) and Libba Bray (author of The Diviners) by the publisher but don’t listen to that. The Fallen series was god-awful. This book far better than the Fallen series. The Sweetest Dark is actually something of a continuation of another series this author has written but it isn’t required to read that first.
If you are tired of the supernatural creature YA books that feature something of a love triangle, then this book is probably not for you. That’s cool, it’s understandable that one would be getting sick of that particular story line. However if you think you can stick it out for one more series, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.