Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: The Sweetest Dark (#1) Shana Abe

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. Goodreads

This book was all kinds of awesome. It was darkly beautiful, with such descriptive language I could almost taste Lora's world, and the paranormal aspect was completely different than anything I expected.

As a character, Lora is extremely realistic. Her doubts, fears, and sufferings felt almost as if they were my own. Sure, there were times I wanted to shake her, but, more often, I wanted to cry with her. I love how deeply she felt such a wide range of emotions, and how desperately she holds on to her hopes and her secrets.

Jesse, ah Jesse. How could you not love Jesse? He's the perfect balance to Lora's hectic life, the calm voice that talks her down. If I had one complaint about this book, it would be that they are almost too perfect together. But that doesn't mean I'd mind a Jesse of my own. 

This is one book where I actually really felt for the "bad boy." Armand wasn't at all what I was expecting him to be, and, while he'd never be as perfect as Jesse for Lora, he felt more "real" to me.

If you've noticed, I haven't said anything about the plot. That's because I can't without giving something away. This story is so unique in it's twists and turns that I literally had NO IDEA what was really going on most of the time. And considering how many paranormal novels I read, that's saying a lot. 

I was hooked from the first page, and the ending left me saying why why why? I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Shana Abe.

Rating 4.5/5 stars
YA notes: mild language, suggestive content.  

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Great review! Thanks for sharing :)

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