Category: Teens

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1)

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

“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.

352 pages            Published  April 2nd 2013 by Bantam

My Review


I really enjoyed reading The Sweetest Dark. I love that it is set in the early 1900s during the war. Lora lives in a London orphanage and has been chosen for a spot at the girls boarding school, Iverson. She is leaving the city for a smaller place, snotty girls, and for a chance for a better future.

The Sweetest Dark flows wonderfully through the book. Lora, who doesn’t know anything about her past, learns more about herself throughout the book. She grows into herself, defining who she is. There are no inappropriate scenes or language.  There is an atypical love triangle. This one I actually really enjoyed reading about. It’s not the mainstream love triangle you may find in a lot of recent young adult books.

I didn’t know anything about the book when I started it. A lot of the time I will go into a book not knowing what it is about when I start it. This was another one. For a bit I wasn’t sure what Lora was. She could hear the music of metal and stone. She was pale, with pale hair and eyes. I had different thoughts, and was pleasantly surprised by everything!


Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Lock and Key

Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

*Taken From GoodReads*

This is the first book I have read by Sarah Dessen. I think I have found another author that I will enjoy. The story is about Ruby, a 17 year old girl whose mother abandons her. She has to leave everything that she knows to live with a sister that she hasn’t seen in years.

The book spans a few months. It does seem to jump around a bit, and leave off in areas where I would like to know more about what is going on. I did like that there wasn’t a girl and 2 boys love triangle. In the story she has a school assignment in which she has to define “family”. This story is a good example of the definition of family. Blood and otherwise. Ruby’s experiences in the story are relatable. I look forward to reading more books by Sarah Dessen.

Slipping Reality by Emily Beaver

Description from Amazon:

July 15, 2011
In a time of hardship and heartbreak, sometimes, reality just isn’t enough. Slipping Reality is the story of fourteen-year-old Katelyn Emerson, who, when faced with the glaring reality of her brother’s illness, rebels against the truth by slipping away into the depths of her own imagination. There, she finds the kind of support and comfort she feels she deserves. There, she does not have to feel so alone. And yet, as Katelyn’s grasp on reality begins to unravel, so too does the story of a girl who grew up too fast and fell apart too soon. Emily Beaver’s debut novel is a coming of age story that deals with the trials of young grief, insight, and growth where it’s least expected.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing (July 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146342714X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463427146

My Review

2 stars – it was OK

This book was first written by the author when she was 14 years old. For the age the book was pretty good. I was over half the book before I actually got into it. It was lacking creativity in the beginning. I would recommend this for pre-teens/early teens. Especially if they are dealing with a similar situation.

Kassia is a 16 year old girl in a school for gifted teens. With her gift she can cause pain, and even death, with her mind. This story really starts when Kassia’s best friend, Mira, is attacked while in town. Kassia breaks rules to save her, and ends up killing the attackers. The consequence for this act could be the death of her and her friends. Kassia and her friends end up on the run from demons that are out to control her. In this story you experience the depth of true friendship and love amongst friends.

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