Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (March 7, 2011)
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Author's Website: http://saundramitchell.com/blog/Buy the book: Amazon
It's the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.
I'm beginning to realize that I really have a love for historical/period YA fiction, and this book certainly didn't disappoint! Add to that a paranormal aspect, and of course a fantastic romance, and I think it's just about perfect! This book was so much fun to read. The writing was elegant, without being difficult to follow or understand. There were enough plot twists and unexpected developments to keep me guessing what would happen next, and unable to put the book down until I found out.
I loved the relationship between Amelia and her cousin, Zora. There are so many stories out there where the girls are so catty with each other, and Saundra totally could have gone that way with this book, that it was just a breath of fresh air to read about two girls who were such fantastic friends. Zora was such a great character! I loved that she cared about Amelia, and that she was basically a good girl, but that she had a little mischievous streak in her, that provided lots of entertainment for the two girls.
I liked the paranormal aspect of The Vespertine too. Although it wasn't the main focus of the book, it made the story more interesting, and left you with that unsettled feeling. Like you know things can't keep going on this well for her forever. At some point, it's all going to go south. I was biting my fingernails waiting for the "all good things must come to an end" moment.
Then there was the forbidden romance....sigh....I just love it! There's something about when two people aren't allowed to be together, that makes even the slightest touch electrifying. That's what this book has that others are missing. And even though Amelia and Nathaniel were immediately attracted to each other, their romance still took time to develop. As they learned more and more about each other, they fell harder and harder. And what a fall it was!
This is our Reading Clean Spotlight book of the month! Make sure you enter for a chance to win The Vespertine and some fantastic swag!
- Sexual Content: Some Kissing
- Profanity: None
- Violence: None
- Other Notables: Mild
For more details, check out The Vespertine on Parental Book Reviews.