Hi Everyone, Happy Monday!
I did not have my Great Graphic Novel mini-marathon this weekend as I had intended. Instead I did a bunch of house work (blah), watched some awesome baseball (Go Tribe!) and finished up The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (lovely book) before moving on to Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (wish I could punch Nora in the face). Hm, that kind of sums things up! What was that? You want a review of this lovely book and an explanation about my violent thoughts towards a fictional teen? Fine.
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell, 2011
It’s the summer of 1889 and Amelia van der Broek is sent from her home in Maine to Baltimore, Maryland to stay with relatives and come out in society. The purpose of her visit is to find a suitable husband, but she quickly falls in love with a dashing young artist named Nathaniel. With the help of her cousin Zora, Amelia and Nathaniel begin a secret romance that threatens to destroy Amelia’s reputation. Meanwhile, her popularity among the society ladies soars when it is discovered that Amelia has the ability to see bits of the future. Will it be Nathaniel or her visions that ultimately cause her ruin?
This book is beautifully written. The characters are engaging and authentic, romance is breathtaking and the supernatural aspect of the book so perfectly believable. I loved the friendship between Amelia and Zora. I enjoyed their teasing and their moments of naughtiness when they test the limits of propriety and bend the rules of society. If you are looking for a book with a heart-racing pace, this may not be the book for you. This story ambles along, allowing readers to get a real last of Victorian society, with its calling cards, dances, elegant gowns, and courting rules. Fans of historical fiction will love all of the details. I also enjoyed Nathaniel, a handsome young man with secrets of his own (I hope you aren’t upset with me when I tell you this, but he is NOT a vampire. Sometimes a secret can be something other than a bad case of vampirism). Young lovers destined to be kept apart by rigid societal rules, a touch of mysticism, lots of elaborate gowns, and a surprise twist at the end left me wanting more.
I spoke briefly with Saundra Mitchell when I went to Carrie Ryan’s book signing. These two awesome ladies are writing partners! Anyway, I asked if The Vespertine was going to be a series and she said that there are two companion books that follow it, but she didn’t reveal anything else. I want to know! Does Amelia make appearances? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. I hate waiting.
Pair this book with Sorcery and Cecelia, or, the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede or the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray, beginning with A Great and Terrible Beauty.
And now, to answer your question about punching people in the face…Nora from Crescendo is driving me nuts. She was a bit annoying in Hush, Hush, but she seems to have really ratcheted up her annoying game! She’s making bad decisions, blaming others for her mistakes, and of course, she still thinks she is invincible. Sigh. Why must all the dreamy bad-boy types come with an annoying girl? Why can’t the totally awesome, super-smart, non-whiney girl ever get the dream guy? Could someone please write that book? Thanks. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the book, but I needed just needed to get that little rant off my chest. That’s all for now. No, wait, one more thing-the cover reveal for the third book in the Hush, Hush series:
Check out the whole article here.