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Bending the Spine

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

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.

Hardcover, 293 pages
Published March 7th 2011 by Harcourt Children's Books
ISBN: 0547482477 (ISBN13: 9780547482477)
series: The Vespertine #1


Ok, y’all, this book is sexy!  Ameilia and Nathaniel make sparks jump off the page!  I don’t know how Saundra managed to make it so super sexy without actual sex, but she did.  There was this element of being risqué, that made the forbidden/frowned upon attraction between them almost too much to handle!
I fell in love with the characters.  I felt very passionate about them (though often confused on who the minor characters were—there were many!) and wanted good things for them, and good things did happen!  Amelia’s visions, though, perforated a happy period piece with flashes of tragedy.  Even if the visions weren’t tragic, they were often bittersweet.
The language is appropriate, but not overly-haughty.  I felt transported back in time, without feeling as if I was an outsider—I connected with the writing and was drawn in.  The major plot elements really develop about half-way through the book.  The story is so enticing, so entertaining that it wasn’t bothersome that that no real action takes place right away.  And the paranormal elements keep things interesting.
Y’all, you need to read this book, even if you aren’t fans of either period or paranormal.  This is just good!
5 Trees: Read this in front of a fan.  It’s HOT, y’all!

Get to reading,

Side Note:

I don’t normally like period novels.  I would have never read this book had it not been for YALL Fest 2011.  Saundra was on a panel and hearing her talk about The Vespertine made me want to read it—BAD!  So, I bought it that day, had her sign it, and the rest is history.

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