Thursday, 9 January 2014

[DNF] Review: The Sweetest Dark

The Sweetest Dark
Title: The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark #1)
Author: Shana Abé
My Rating: DNF (33%)
Purchase:  Amazon | B&N | TBD

“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.


I’ve been putting The Sweetest Dark on hold for so long with hopes that I would be able to connect, at least to the story if not with the characters. It was the historical setting that made me pick it up. I rarely read historical fiction but when I do, it’s mostly when it involves paranormal setting. 

The narration gives off mysterious and eerie feeling and is actually good for a historical/regency era. The words used were perfect and it definitely gives off the right vibe the story needed. So what made me DNF it? 

It was mostly because the lack of connection I had. Maybe because despite the right vibe the construction gives, my brain is not wired to sink into that kind of writing. It was also because the story felt like all over the place. I understand that some things were supposed to be kept under wraps until the right time for it to be revealed but the mystery about Lora and what kind of paranormal creature she is only confuses me instead of the intrigued I was expecting. The parts were it was supposed to give us bits of information about her true nature only made it feel like she was delusional. 

Then add the sudden switching of POV to the equation. The sudden shift to third person on Jesse and Armand was supposed to give something to help understand who they are or at least show their personality. But instead of that, it only irritated me. If that was the case, then I’d rather have this written in third person so the shift won’t be awkward and confusing. 

I wish I understood this one more. I thought it was already unfair that I am letting this sit far too long in my brb-pile but every time I come back to it, I am just more confused than ever.

This copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.