It's no secret that Sarah Jio is one of my favorite writers. I love experiencing one of her novels; they are gorgeously written, laced with history, include intriguing mysteries, and always have a contemporary heroine I adore. The Last Camellia offers all the things I've come to expect from a Jio novel, but this is the first one that does not have a connection to my beloved Seattle. I was slightly bummed about that. Since I have moved back east, I long for the Emerald City and Jio's books help me take mental vacations whenever the pangs of longing become too insistent. I needn't have worried. The setting in The Last Camellia is just as lovely and captivating as the settings in the previous novels.
One thing I really love about Jio's work is that she seamlessly blends contemporary and historical fiction. The contemporary strand of this novel follows Addison, a young garden designer living in New York City. Addison is married to a seemingly perfect man, Rex - he's British, intelligent, and romantic. Rex would do anything to make Addison happy, but she's convinced that if he knew about her deep dark past, her entire world would crumble. Keeping her past hidden wasn't difficult until a menace she thought was long gone returns and begins to blackmail her. When Rex's parents buy a country estate in England, Addison jumps at the chance to spend the summer there and leave her secrets in the States. Upon arriving at Livingston Manor, Addison finds an old novel belonging to a woman named Flora. Her curiosity is sparked leading her down a dark path filled with murder, mystery, and heartbreak.
The historical strand of the novel follows Flora, a twenty something American, who boards a ship for England on the brink of WWII. She has been hired by a notorious flower thief to locate a rare specimen of camellia known as the Middlebury Pink. In order to locate the prized tree, Flora goes under cover as a nanny. As always, you can expect the past and present to collide when reading Jio. I enjoyed the way Addison and Flora were connected; it also intrigued me that both girls were running away from men who held power over them.
One other element that I always love about Jio's novels is the symbolism of plants. In each novel, plants have graced the covers and they often play a significant role in the story itself. The Last Camellia is no exception and the orchard that houses the trees becomes like an additional character. Like Addison, Flora, and Lady Anna, I grew to love the orchard and couldn't help dreaming of having one of my own someday. I've never truly considered camellias as something beautiful that I would want to grace my home, but this story makes them seem special and alluring. In addition, the Victorian language of flowers states that the meaning of the camellia flower is "my destiny in your hands". This meaning perfectly matches one of the dominant themes of the novel.
I will say that this novel was a lot darker than Jio's previous works. It also gave me the creeps on multiple occasions. The mysteries have always been compelling, but this one added an additional layer of fear. It was unexpected, but highly entertaining. I honestly didn't see the twist coming.
If you're a fan of Jio's previous work, this will be another favorite. If you haven't read Jio yet - what the heck are you waiting for? My only complaint at this point (as I have stated previously) is that she just can't write fast enough. I'm already counting down the days until I can lose myself in Morning Glory.
One Last Gripe: I still have some unanswered questions about Flora.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the strong role the camellias played throughout the novel.
First Sentence: The old woman's hand trembled as she clutched her teacup.
Hooked was one of my favorite reads of 2013 so I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Played. Fred and Ryan do make appearances throughout this one, but it is not a direct sequel to the first novel. Played focuses on Ryan's younger sister, Riley, and Fred's friend, Sam. These two are thrown together on a school trip. Sam isn't excited about stuck with Riley since he can't see past her last name; her brother ruined his chances with Fred. That isn't something Sam can easily get over. Riley isn't happy to be in the same group as Sam either. She thinks he's grumpy and complicated, but an accident forces the two to work together and get past their prejudices and judgments. The time they spend together battling the elements allows these two to see one another in a different light and they begin an unlikely friendship.
I loved Sam. He is such a strong guy and his Native culture made him more intriguing. Sam is also extremely loyal and goal oriented. One thing about Sam that was frustrating was his stubbornness. He didn't always see others clearly and he often refused help. I was glad to see him break down some of his barriers as the story unfolded. Sam was one of my favorites in the first novel so I was excited to spend more time with him.
I enjoyed Riley as well, but not as much as Sam. I felt sorry for Riley throughout the majority of the novel. She only wanted someone to notice her, but so many people overlooked her. This caused her to make some very stupid decisions. I was glad to see her grow up a lot over the progression of the story.
I loved Played as much as I loved Hooked. Sam and Riley's relationship certainly gives Fred and Ryan a run for their money. I also really enjoy the Romeo and Juliet aspects and the Native influences.
One Last Gripe: I was irked by Riley's parents in the beginning. You would think they would have learned their lesson after all of Ryan's escapades.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The last few chapters - sigh
First Sentence: Being the good daughter wasn't easy.
I love Hundred Oaks; I have enjoyed spending my summer living in this fabulous world that Miranda Kenneally has brought to life. I love the realistic characters, the southern small town setting, and the complex relationships. I'm now saddened that I have to wait until December for the next book.
Things I Can't Forget focuses on Kate Kelly, a deeply religious teen who is getting ready to head off to college. Kate's religion is something that dominates her life - this isn't a bad thing - but it does keep Kate from experiencing things and forming strong bonds with others from time to time. In the beginning of this novel, Kate feels that her religion casts things black and white. There is no place for grayness in Kate's life. Things start to change when Kate begins working as the art counselor at Cumberland Creek, a Christian summer camp. Kate expects every Christian to act and believe as she does, but she's shocked to learn that people choose to interact with their faith in different ways.
While there is a lot of religious issues in this novel and that may turn some readers away, I did enjoy it because they are realistic. I can remember being like Kate and thinking everyone thought the same way I did. It was quite a shock to learn that's not always the case. I wasn't always as open minded as I am now. It's difficult to take everything you've been taught as a kid and learn to incorporate that into your adult mindset.
In addition to Kate's beliefs, the novel also has a minor character that had an abortion. This whole segment of the book was emotional and raw. It was realistic and relevant. Kate and her friend serve as symbols of the abortion debate. Kate is strongly against it while the friend feels like it's her body and her choice. Each side of the issue is explained and at no point did I feel like Kenneally was trying to sway me to one side or the other. She is simply calling attention to a complex issue.
In spite of all the heavy stuff, there is a lot of humor, friendship, and romance in this one as well. I loved the friendship between Kate and Matt. It was also nice to see some old friends make appearances: Jordan, Sam, Parker, and Will. Parker and Will actually are in this one quite a bit since they work at the same summer camp with Kate.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book, but it was emotionally exhausting at times. It felt like a more serious story than its predecessors, but that could be due to the fact that Kate is telling the story. Kate's beliefs and dramas dictate where the narration goes. I will admit that I didn't like Kate very much at first. I saw her as judgmental and closed minded. It took me awhile to understand that wasn't her intent at all; she was just so rigid that she had trouble including people who didn't fit into her mold of what a Christian should be. She was worried for them and thought her comments would come across as concern not condescension.
I think this is extremely important novel - especially for teens who are struggling with creating their belief system or those getting ready to head off to college. Finding what you believe and forging your own personality are not easy tasks. I think we all could use some fictional characters struggling with the same issues to help us reflect on our own circumstances.
One Last Gripe: Why did Andrea have to be a jerk? As an Andrea, I can say that this is not my traditional role. :)
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I liked that it delved into some pretty serious issues, but still had the fun and romance I've come to expect from reading Kenneally's novels.
First Sentence: Girls like me do not buy pregnancy tests.
This was such a fun read! It's also the perfect novel for the spring. I love novels set in the South that paint an accurate portrait of southern culture. Not everyone in the South lives like these women, but there is a lot of truth living within these pages. The dialog was reminiscent of my conversations with friends and family at times. I loved the emphasis on southern culture and values.
The story revolves around the Sassy Belles, a group of women that live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; they live for football, romance, sweet tea, and gossip. The main Sassy Belles are Blake and Vivi Ann - I adored both of these women!
Blake is a lawyer with ambitions as high as the southern sky. She's married to another lawyer, Harry, who is preparing to embark on a political career. While these two seem to have a picture perfect marriage, things are crumbling on the inside. Blake can't recall the last time she was truly happy in her marriage. She starts to realize that being Harry's wife means that she no longer gets to be Blake. While I felt for her, I did struggle with some of the decisions she makes concerning her marriage. I'll admit that I was ready to spit nails by the end of it and I heaped a lot of the blame on Harry, but Blake isn't entirely innocent. There were moments when I lost a lot of respect for her. In the end, Blake manages to redeem herself and become the person I wanted her to be all along.
In addition to Blake, Vivi Ann kept me in stitches. She is hilarious! From the opening chapter when she is caught in an embarrassing intimate situation, she held my attention. Vivi Ann is full of sass and she knows how to stir up trouble. So many of her tendencies remind me of one of my best friends. I adored her!
The characters are one of the biggest strengths of this novel. They are down to earth and realistic. I felt like I could easily be friends with Blake or Vivi Ann. Hanging out with these two ladies would be a hilarious and entertaining. You certainly could never get bored with them around!
I also adored Blake's grandmother, Meridee. I saw so much of my own grandmother in that character.
In addition to the lovable characters, I also liked the complicated romance strands. Things weren't exactly straight forward for either of the main characters. I was uncertain on more than one occasion about how things would end up.
All in all, this was a fun chick lit read. It was nice to read something a little lighter after a series of darker novels. I'm certainly excited to see what sort of mischief the Belles will get up to next.
One Last Gripe: I felt like there was a lot of repetition. For example, a character would say something in one chapter and repeat almost the same thing word for word in a later chapter.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The humor
First Sentence: My name is Blake O'Hara Heart and, boy, do I have a story to tell!
Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare pieces so I have been so excited to read this novel. I was happy to see that Askew and Helmes stayed true to play and still managed to create characters that were all their own. Exposure focuses on greed, redemption, and the high school gauntlet. I love that way that these authors are able to take such timeless stories and place them in the realm of the teenager. Not only does this make it more accessible to readers who otherwise wouldn't give Shakespeare a chance, but it also provides a modern context for the Bard's tales.
The characters in this one are just as memorable as the ones I met in the first novel, Tempestuous. However, this installment has a much darker mood. The death of a popular athlete in a small Alaskan town has everyone reeling, but as the tale unfolds it seems that mischief most foul is at work. Exposure comes complete with a trio of native soothsayers, a likable yet wallflowerish main character who hides behind her camera lens, several hot boys, girl drama galore, and that damn spot that can't be removed. I enjoyed being able to pick out the elements that were directly inspired by Macbeth as I read.
Skye, the main character, is an interesting girl who doesn't always see herself clearly. I saw a lot of my high school self in her. High school, while usually a lot of fun, was an awkward phase for me. I wasn't quite sure who I was or how I fit into the high school social structure. Skye finds herself in the same situation. Rather than learning to navigate the social current, she chooses to focus on her family and her photography. I liked how down to earth Skye was and I know that her "realness" will appeal to many readers.
The plot of this one follows Macbeth pretty closely. Again, I enjoy seeing how Askew and Helmes will use the original piece, but still make the story something all their own. Macbeth is a much darker play than The Tempest so this one did not have the light hearted feel to it that the first novel did. This one felt much more like a winter read to me - I read it over several dark, rainy nights which set the mood perfectly. I also did have a little trouble settling into this one at first, but once I got to know Skye better I was hooked; I loved her voice and presence throughout the novel.
I'm really enjoying this series and I hope that there will be many more editions in the future. I've got my fingers crossed for novels inspired by Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Two Last Gripes: It bothered me that Skye was so willing to keep such a huge secret. I also was frustrated that we never found out for sure where Skye's mom was the night Skye went to the theater.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I liked watching some of the main players struggle with their choices and tracking their path to redemption
I should have known that I had reached my vampire quota for awhile and not accepted this ARC. Stupid me - I keep hoping that a novel will conjure the same magic for me that Twilight did once upon a time. I long for fanged ones who can consume my mind and provide anticipation for coming story lines. As much as it sucked to wait on the Twilight Saga to be finished (and as angry as I was by Breaking Dawn - that's another story for another time), I do miss the build up and longing. I was hoping that this novel would give me a new adult experience in that same vein, but sadly this one didn't rise to my expectations. I must make it clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with the writing, story, or characters; none of those aspects appealed to me, but I can see some readers loving this vampire world. Vampire novels really need something new and edgy to lure me in these days.
I was intrigued by the first few chapters. Violet, the main character, witnesses a horrific mass murder in London. She's taken hostage by the killers and transported to their country estate outside of the city. Violet has free reign of the estate, but she cannot leave the house. I felt like there was so much potential for this story - especially once the vampire politics made an appearance - but sadly the story fell short. The beginning seemed to drag on forever; I didn't need one hundred pages detailing the minute details of Violet's captivity.
One of my biggest complaints is the characters. I disliked both Violet and Kaspar. I wanted Violet to do more exploring and uncover more secrets instead of staying in her room and plotting ways to annoy Kaspar after his nightly escapades. I had to keep reminding myself that Violet was in her late teens - hence the reason for some of her immature moments. I expect a character to have those flaws in YA novels, but I have grown to expect a bit more maturity from characters in a New Adult novel. I found Violet to be tedious and I didn't agree with many of her choices.
In addition, Kaspar is a jerk. I'm all for the bad boys in my reading and I've even been known to have a bookish crush on one or two, but Kaspar surpasses bad boy and lands firmly in the asshat category. As the story progresses, Gibbs does provide reasoning for Kaspar's personality and attempts to make the reader feel sorry for him. I, however, do not feel that his circumstances allow him to behave in such a horrible fashion. Furthermore, I don't understand how Violet's opinion of him can jump from one extreme to the other.
The romance for me was a dud. This is in large part due to the fact that I didn't like Violet or Kaspar. I found it hard to force myself to care about either of them or their futures.
One element of this novel that I did love was the lore surrounding the Dark Heroines. I feel like this is one of the strongest veins of this entire story and one that I wish had been explored more. Another aspect I enjoyed was the section on the dhampirs.
This was one of those novels that I had to force myself to finish. I kept hoping things would get better. I do have to give the author props - she started this novel in her early teens and the amount of detail in her world building is impressive. Sadly, this was just not the novel for me. All in all, I felt this novel's potential was overshadowed by my frustration level.
If you're a vampire fan and are looking for something a little darker than Twilight, I'd suggest giving this one a try. I'm curious to see if other readers enjoy Violet and Kaspar more than I did.
Two Last Gripes: Kaspar's incessant use of the term, "Girly", annoyed me. I also was really angry about Layla's attitude toward Violet in the middle of the book.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The lore surrounding the Dark Heroines
First Sentence: Trafalgar Square is probably not the best place to stand at one o'clock in the morning.
Witches are one of my first paranormal loves. I have always been drawn to stories about witches, but after reading so many, I am difficult to impress. I always want an author to take traditional lore and put their own spin on it. Claudia Gray sticks to tradition in many ways, but I was excited to see that her spells work differently than others I have seen in the past. I really liked that strong emotions and memories are needed for spells to be effective.
I enjoyed the creepy setting of this one. Captive's Sound, Rhode Island is not the sort of town that I would want to live in, but it's the perfect fictional town. There is dark magic that blankets the town and sinister forces are at work. I kept trying to figure out this town's secrets. This was one of the major strengths of this novel.
In addition to the setting, I enjoyed the characters - even the villain. I felt like all the characters were realistic and I genuinely cared about their fates. Nadia, Verlaine, and Mateo were my favorites. Each of the characters is dealing with some pretty difficult family issues. Nadia's mother recently abandoned the family; her father decides that the family needs a new start in a new town. Verlaine's parents died when she was a toddler and she feels like nobody outside of her family sees her. Lastly, Mateo's mother committed suicide and he lives under the burden of a family curse. Being a teenager is difficult enough, I cannot imagine trying to navigate the teen years and deal with these difficult issues.
Lastly, I enjoyed the villain. She's so dark and evil. Witch novels are typically a battle between good and evil. That certainly makes a strong appearance, but I liked that the evil aspect wasn't cut and dry. The villain is complex. I didn't feel sorry for the villain because it was their choices that led them down this path, but I could find glimmers of possibility.
Overall, I enjoyed this one and I'm excited to dive into the next one. I did feel like this one was reminiscent of The Secret Circle trilogy by L.J. Smith, but that only enhanced my enjoyment of this one.
One Last Gripe: I was slightly frustrated that it took awhile for the momentum to get going.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: Watching Nadia gain confidence in herself and her abilities
First Sentence: Before anything else, Nadia felt the chill.
I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and paranormal stories, but rarely do I get the treat of having the two genres blended together in one delicious package. I have been excited to read this one since the moment I heard about it. My ridiculously high expectations for this one were met with historical details, photographs, descriptive prose, heart breaking characters, and chills. I would suggest keeping tissues handy; this one did a number on my emotions.
I have to admit that I was freaked out on more than one occasion by this novel. There were several moments when I had to stop reading because my imagination was running so wild that I was giving myself nightmares. This novel is one that will certainly mess with your head a bit - especially if you choose to read it on dark, rainy nights like I did. Might I suggest reading this one in daylight hours full of sunshine? It isn't truly scary, but there was something about the combination of the time period and plot points that gave me the creeps.
The setting of 1918 was intriguing. I know very little about WWI and even less about the Spanish Influenza epidemic. Sadly, my mind turned instantly to Edward Cullen. Lame, I know. He was the only person (fictional or otherwise) that I could recall being involved in the event. I was happy to see that Winters had done her historical research. The time period is accurate and infused with additional elements to heighten the suspense. I enjoyed learning more about the flu and how people attempted to prevent it. Some of their remedies didn't make much sense to me and inspired research of my own. I was particularly fascinated by the excessive use of onions. To my surprise, I discovered that this was not some odd obsession of the author's, but rather something people began using to combat airborne illnesses during the Plague. Amazing how fear often brings out superstitions that seem archaic.
I was further fascinated by the attitude of people during this time of mass hysteria and fear. There were moments of goodness and kindness, but these were often overshadowed by greed. Many saw this tragic part of history as their ticket to riches. Seances and spirit photography were extremely common. The grief stricken flocked to the purveyors of these services seeking an end to their emotional torment. People truly believed that the spirit of their deceased loved ones would visit them or be visible within the photographs. I cannot begin to imagine what living through this time period would have been like so I cannot possibly judge people who chose to believe in such things. However, I can understand that grief and loss could cause people to seek help from any venue available to them. In the Shadow of Blackbirds does a phenomenal job of posing answers to the age old question of what happens to us when we die.
One of my favorite aspects of this novel was the main character, Mary Shelley Black. I found her to be fascinating and inspiring. She doesn't fit the traditional mold of a female during this time period. She's a bit of a tomboy and she's interested in science and mechanics. Her aunt often comes home to find her taking apart household appliances and putting them back together for fun. She also craves books - especially since the flu has shut down all the schools. Mary Shelley is spunky, intelligent, and intensely loyal. I also loved that throughout the novel I had trouble discerning what was really happening and what was occurring within Mary Shelley's head. There was more than one occasion when I was convinced that she had the flu and was hallucinating.
Finally, the mystery surrounding Stephen kept me guessing up until the very end. I had several theories, but none of them proved to be true. I love it when an author can keep the truth hidden from me until the final chapters.
I would highly recommend this one - especially to fans of WWI, historical fiction, and ghost stories.
One Last Gripe: There were some segments in the middle that dragged a little bit for me, but otherwise I adored this book.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the historical elements.
First Sentence: The day before my father's arrest, I read an article about a mother who cured her daughter of the Spanish flu by burying her in raw onions for three days.
There were a few things that compelled me to read this novel. One: I wanted to read a winter contemporary romance. Two: This was on sale for $1.99 on Kindle when I purchased it. Three: I loved the concept of moving from the South to the Michigan and owning a bed and breakfast on an island. Yes, I know, I have a tiny obsession with the idea of living on an island. I just think that would be cool. Someday, my friends, someday....
I really feel that I was more in love with the idea of this novel than the actual novel. There wasn't anything wrong with this novel - it's well written, has fun characters, and the plot is interesting - but I just kept finding myself wanting more. I wanted the characters to be a bit more fleshed out. Even the main character is somewhat elusive. You learn a lot about Ashleigh, but I didn't finish the novel feeling like I really knew her all that well. There was nothing truly memorable about her or the other characters. I will admit that Josh made me swoon a time or two, but even those moments retreated quickly. This is a quick, cute read if you're in the mood for a clean winter romance, but don't expect something that will blow you away. I do think teens - especially younger teens - will eat this one up. I do feel this is a book I would have loved in my younger days.
One of the things I did enjoy about the novel was the setting. The bed and breakfast concept lured me in and I was interested in learning more about Mackinac Island, Michigan. It sounds like such a neat town that is steeped in history. Hawthorne did do a nice job of describing the setting with vivid details. I wish some of that description had made it into her characters.
I also really loved the friendship between Ashleigh and Tara. They reminded me so much of me and my best friend in high school.
In addition, I really loved the blizzard scenes. I won't go into details because it would spoil the novel, but those moments made all the tedious elements worth my while. I wish the entire novel had read more like those pages.
One Last Gripe: Nathalie's "my boyfriend" thing annoyed me
I am a history nerd so I have been excited about this novel since I heard about it's existence. The 1920's is such an intriguing time period. I envy the carefree lifestyle of many during those years before the Great Depression struck. I also find it to be such a monumental decade for women's rights. The short skirts and short hair were quite risque and spotlighted women's desire for freedom of expression. While I didn't spend a lot of time studying this era while working on my history degree, I have found that I love learning more about the time period through fiction. I keep devouring reads set in this time period (The Diviners by Libba Bray and The Heiresses by Allison Rushby are two other titles set in this era I'd highly recommend).
Born of Illusion didn't disappoint in the historical department, but I loved that elements of fantasy and the supernatural were also woven throughout the story. The main character, Anna, is a magician. She performs her tricks for the masses in her mother's show in New York City. While she loves performing on the stage, the darker business of seances causes her to feel uneasy. Anna hates feeding off of the pain and sadness of others, but her mother insists that the true money is in seances - not show business. Anna learns rather quickly that while most mediums are a fraud she has the chilling luck of being able to see and speak to the dead. To make matters worse, she has horrific visions of tragedies and is powerless to stop them. It's not until she meets a handsome newcomer that she begins to unravel the mysteries behind her talents and find ways to cope with her supernatural gifts.
I loved watching Anna grow as a character. She finds herself in her mother's shadow on more than one occasion; she struggles with wanting to assert her independence and playing the role of the obedient daughter. Her will and backbone grow stronger throughout the course of the story. I was often appalled by Marguerite's behavior towards her daughter. The competitiveness and secrets irked me, but it serves its purpose of making Anna a more sympathetic character. I kept rooting for her to stand up to her mother.
In addition to the relationship between Anna and her mother, I also enjoyed the friendship that sprouts between her and Cynthia. Both of these girls are strong and independent. I think they are perfect examples of what flappers embody. Both Anna and Cynthia struggle to shake off the legacy of their families and stand on their own merits. I loved the support they offered one another.
Furthermore, the romance in this one was sweet, but did have some insta-love elements. It's hard for me to buy the whole notion of love at first sight, but I suppose it's possible. I just think characters need to interact a bit more before they swoon. I did enjoy the romance and appreciated that it was a secondary aspect. The story truly focuses on Anna and her learning to cope with her gifts.
Lastly, I loved the links to Houdini. Brown did a great job of blending real people and events into the story. I'd certainly recommend this one if you're craving a trip to the 1920's or are interested in the spiritualism movement.
One Last Gripe: It takes awhile for the story to gain some momentum, but once it does, I couldn't stop reading.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: Anna's character development
First Sentence: The hair on the back of my neck prickles even before I spot him rounding the corner ahead.
Witches have long been one of my favorite paranormal groups and I am constantly looking for great witch novels to read. This one has been sitting on my Kindle for awhile, waiting for its chance to be read. I was really excited about this one because it is set in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The name of that town instantly reminded me of the Sons of Ipswich from the movie, The Covenant. I loved that film and its brand of magic so I was already in the right frame of mind to read this one.
I was surprised to see that this novel revolves more around the romance/relationship aspect than the paranormal aspect. Yes, there are witches and yes, there is some sinister paranormal forces at work, but I wanted more of those elements. The romance between Rowan and Alex is sweet and enjoyable, but it felt like these sections of the novel dragged after awhile for me. I got that they had this impossible love - I didn't need to be reminded of that in almost every chapter. I really enjoyed reading this - don't get me wrong - I just wish that there had been more witchy moments.
The characters in this one make it a strong novel. Rowan intrigued me as a heroine. She has so much emotional baggage to sort through and she's also dealing with falling in love for the first time. That is a lot for one girl to handle, but Rowan manages to start piecing herself back together emotionally through the course of the novel. I liked that she started out as a broken, fragile girl, but by the end she was badass, willing to take on pure evil to save the boy she loves. You can't help rooting for her and her happy ending. Likewise, Alex was quite the yummy leading man. He's handsome, loyal, brave, and a witch. What more could you ask for? The supporting characters were also likable. I particularly enjoyed Gram, Bevin, and Tyler.
One of my favorite aspects of this novel was the historical influence. The Salem Witch Trials have long held a fascination for many and I was excited to see how this novel would use history to influence its plot. Tara Fuller did a nice job of researching the era to make sure that things were accurate. The time travel element was something I wasn't expecting, but found myself enjoying more and more as I kept reading. Perigee Moon has components of The Crucible, Twilight, and The Time Traveler's Wife all wrapped up in one entertaining bundle.
If you're into historical fiction, witches, and sweet romances - then Perigee Moon is a must read. Fuller definitely has a lot of potential as a writer. She is certainly someone I will keep my eye on in the future. Her ability to describe setting and breath life into her characters was impressive.
One Last Gripe: The middle dragged a bit for me. I really liked the beginning and adored the ending so trudging through the middle was well worth it.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The witch elements
First Sentence: Something changed today.
Favorite Character: Rowan
Least Favorite Character: I didn't really form a strong dislike to any of the characters. ...more