Monday, January 28, 2013

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abé + Featured Freebie

The Sweetest Dark
“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.

My Rating: 5/5

Oh my goodness! This book is fantastic, marvelous, wonderful, earth-shattering, brilliant! If I could give it a million/5, I would. I LOVED The Sweetest Dark so much!

Literally everything about this book was perfection. The time period, the atmosphere, the magic, the romance, the secrets. It was everything I could have wanted in a book. I cannot say enough how much I truly adored this book.

The writing style of this book was brilliant. The author wove together an atmosphere that felt ethereal and magical. It was very well done. I felt like a was truly with the characters. 

Lora was a perfectly flawed heroine. She wasn't perfect-but I mean that in a good way. She was very realistic. She was under no illusions about her situation. She was so real about her reactions. I found her to be a lovely heroine-smart, determined, strong. She's definitely a heroine that was easy to support. 

Both love interests were so amazing. I adored both of them. Jesse was so remarkably sweet and caring and just adorable. Armand was so attractively confident and self-assured yet sweet when he wanted to be. Honestly, I loved both of these heroes. This is one of the rare love triangles where I adored both of them and honestly couldn't choose which one I wanted to end of with the heroine. By the end, however, it is very obvious who it's going to be. And I won't say any more about that ;)

The plot of this book moved steadily. It wasn't particular fast, more deliberate in it's unfolding. The secrets and surprises were a shock. I was hooked the entire way through. And the ending...
Oh my goodness, that ending was one of the most epic endings every. It was brilliant but so sad. Just thinking about it now makes me tear up. But it was so good. And now I'm absolutely dying to get my hands on the next book and find out what happens. 

I LOVED The Sweetest Dark. It is one of the BEST YA books I've read. So amazing, brilliant, fantastic, marvelous, wonderful, and any other synonym of those words.

*Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a historical romance that I read before and liked: Her Wicked Ways by Darcy Burke. Go forth and get it for free!
Her Wicked Ways (Secrets & Scandals)
She was his savior
Banished from London for her reckless behavior, Lady Miranda Sinclair is robbed by a dashing highwayman en route to the country. By offering him a kiss in lieu of the jewels she had to leave behind, she commits the very type of act that caused her exile. When her dour guardians extend her punishment to performing charitable work at the local orphanage, she's further tempted by the home's owner, a provincial gentleman who stirs her passion in a most wicked way.

He was her downfall
Desperate to save his orphanage from financial catastrophe, Montgomery "Fox" Foxcroft leads a double life as a highwayman. The arrival of wealthy, well-connected Miranda, whose kiss he can't forget, presents a lawful opportunity to increase his coffers. His problems seem solved--until she rejects his suit. Out of options and falling for the heiress, Fox must risk what principles he has left and take advantage of her wicked ways--even if it ruins them both.

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