Mimi Valentine's Reviews > The Sweetest Dark

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe
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's review
Jul 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: arc, gorgeous-covers, pure-awesomeness, best-of-2012, boys-i-wish-were-real, reviewed
Recommended to Mimi by: Candace

In my thesaurus for this book, The Sweetest Dark is synonymous to beautiful. Ordinary is not-a-fat-chance. And Shana Abe is something of a genius for creating a story so lush, so beautiful, and so different from your classic paranormal book! I just HAVE to break it down! :')

The world: Taking place in England during World War I, The Sweetest Dark is also set in the world of Shana Abe's adult Drakon series. Even though it may not be a big secret, I don't want to give away the type of creature that lurks around in this enchantingly bleak world (like Lora). But I can tell you that this isn't a vamp/were/witch/fey story like usual!

The heroine: At first, Lora comes off distant. She's hardened by her awful past, slow to trust and quick to reply with snark. But beneath her hard shell is a fragile girl made of so many layers, and I loved that part of her. I ended up loving ALL of her. She has a silent strength that's unmistakable, and my heart clicked with hers like that.

The boys: Don't worry; you'll find that this isn't really your traditional love triangle! Jesse a musical genius who doesn't care what other people think of him. Many think he's mute because he refuses to speak — except to Lora, and it's SO sweet when he does. ♥ Then there's Armand, the arrogant aristocrat who Lora distrusts immediately. Both boys play a huge part in Lora discovering her heritage, and both unravel in different ways.

The awesome: I spent much of this book in a daze, confused almost, but the last fraction completely blew me away! I cried like a baby. To be honest, even though there are still so many things I don't understand (so many things I hope will be explored in a sequel *hint hint*), this is simply one of the most beautiful books I've ever read and it gets my heart for that!

The epic conclusion: Written with some of the most gorgeous prose I've ever read and told with the essence of a heartbreaking Grimm fairytale, The Sweetest Dark is a captivatingly original story that takes the phrase "hauntingly beautiful" to extremes. My chest is still aching!

BUY or BORROW?: I'm borrowing this ARC from Candace [insert showering of hearts!!], so of course I need to get a gorgeous finished copy for my shelf! :')

(Original review at Mimi Valentine's YA Review Blog)
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Comments (showing 1-34 of 34) (34 new)

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message 1: by Best (new)

Best Beautiful writing = ♥. Hope you enjoy this Mimi. :D

message 2: by Aa'Ishah (last edited Jul 02, 2012 09:28AM) (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Beautiful writing to match a beautiful premise. ;) Happy reading! :)

Mimi Valentine I'm halfway through and adoring it so far! <3 Apparently it's based on the same world that Shana's adult series is from, and this kinda makes me want to go and read them all x)

message 4: by Aa'Ishah (last edited Jul 02, 2012 11:14AM) (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Mims! (Is that ok?) You're back! :D Missed you. :) Ooh, she has an adult series? I'm going to investigate. ;)

Mimi Valentine @Sam: I'll be right behind you for that, Sam! I'm not sure if I should spoil this even though I guess it's not even that big of a secret haha but... *whispers* It's about dragons! ;)

@A: Of course -- I love it! x) LOL I was practically banned from my family from reading and internet activities over the weekend, but I'm glad to be back! <3 SO many books to catch up on :')

message 6: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah :D Eek! Banned from reading? And the internet? Ohh, I'm addicted to too many things. That's bad. ;) Yay! Hehe, have fun. ;)

Mimi Valentine Reading and internet addictions? I know what you mean LOL -- I guess that's why they banned me! x) I survived the weekend, but I don't think I'd go very long without reading a single book. I always read something before I go to bed! ;)

message 8: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Yep. I never used to be anywhere near this bad with the internet. I think now I spend all my time on here to book-hunt, chat and read reviews lol. Aww, I know. Though when I was revising for and doing my exams, I think it was for like a month or something that I actually didn't read. :'( But as soon as they were over I was back. :D

Mimi Valentine I blame advancing technology! (And the too-cool people on the blogosphere LOL <3) And oh riiiiiiight! Exam time was definitely bookless time haha -- it was also very terrible time :') So glad they're over!

message 10: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Hehe, me too. *stares pointedly* We're so dependent on technology to survive though! If something happened that meant computers couldn't work, there's no way we could survive it. We're way too dependent. Oh man, I know right. Now I can't wait for the holidays. Teachers are evil, we're still getting homework. Just today I got a piece that's due for the last week of term! :'(

message 11: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine Awww, right, you're still in school! YOU CAN DO IT, A <3 :') Then you can join me in an epic read-along where we actually make dents in our TBR piles LOL! And I'm 99% sure that 99% of people will probably panic if we ever had an apocalypse that stopped all technology... me especially! It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaad x)

message 12: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Yep. :'( Aww, thanks Mim! I'll have your voice in my head now cheering me on. ;) Haha, wouldn't that be cool! :D Yep, I think they definitely would. The world would probably stop revolving. I knoww. ;D <33

message 13: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine Hehe, no problem! :) <3 I love how we're talking about apocalypses LOL -- I think the whole dystopian/post-apocalyptic phase is getting to us! I read way too many of them x)

message 14: by Molli (new) - added it

Molli Moran GAAAH. JEALOUS. I really want to read this one so badly!

message 15: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Lol, I know right. I think dystopias are my absolute favourit right now. Sometimes I start thinking about the future, and what it would be like if there was no Earth...and of course, I start freaking myself out. Just when I'm trying to fall asleep. ;)

message 16: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine @Molli: Hehe, it's really good! x) A friend of mine lent it to me and I think she's passing it around, so if you wanted to give it a shot, you could probably email her! :)

@A: Imagining the end of the world is a really scary thing -- and it's probably not the best way to fall asleep LOL! :') Do you believe in the 2012 end of the world thing? I don't, not really, but I DO think that we're do for an apocalypse soon x)

message 17: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Nope, I absolutely do not believe it. I found myself rolling my eyes when people talked about it, lol. But then they said that the Mayan calender didn't show the end of the world, it's just that the calender stopped there. That's what I heard, anyway. Really? <3

message 18: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine Exactly!! Like, my calendar ends every year and the world never ended. So just because someone stopped continuing the Mayan calendar doesn't mean the world's going to cease to exist! :P But my cousin and I are just playing with the idea that our future looks very dystopian LOL x)

message 19: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Exactly! :P Lol, really? It's so scary to think society might end up like that one day. And with things like 1984, people are already drawing parallels between that world and ours. Have you read it?

message 20: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine 1984? No, but I've heard about it and that it's a really powerful novel! Is it really that similar to our world? Because I think it's TERRIFYINGLY cool to read books like that LOL :')

message 21: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah It really is. It's not the sort of book I'd have picked up off the shelf if I'd seen it, but I had to read it for my English coursework last year (that is, before the exams). It actually scared me. I loved it, of course. ;) But yeah, it is an incredibly powerful novel. Some aspects of it are. So for example, there's a lot of emphasis on how everyone is always watched and you constantly have to be aware of what you're doing and what you're saying and who you're speaking to. And then there are the Thought Police. People make links between the constant supervision to the way there are so many CCTV cameras these days, and how your phone and internet activity can be traced. Lol, it was terrifying, and it was cool. ;)

message 22: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine Oh my wow, you have me convinced, A!!! I don't think I would've picked it up on my own either, but it sounds AMAZING. It's so creepy to think that people could be watching your every move (I used to be weirded out everywhere after reading The Hunger Games with that LOL), but at the same time, it IS kinda cool. It certainly works in spy and action movies LOL! x)

I've added 1984 on Goodreads now -- will be trying to get my hands on it soon! :) Thanks so much, A <3

message 23: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Lol. I know. I couldn't imagine having zero prvicay, I think I'd go crazy with it. Aww, no worries. I hope you like it! :)

message 24: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine This is why we're not celebrities LOL :') And I'm excited to check it out! You have me intrigued <3

message 25: by Sonya (new) - added it

Sonya Great review, Mimi! It sounds unique. And I always have a soft spot for musical genius! ;-)

message 26: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah This sounds like a total, absolute must-read, even more than it did before. Amazing review, Mim! :)

message 27: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine @Sonia: I know, right?? My dream boy ever since I was a kid was not the epic prince, but the epic musician! Or dancer, but you know :')

@A: READ IT, A! I just want to go back and read it all over again (and again and again *echoes*), but I have to pass it on because this ARC isn't mine to keep LOL x) I really wish it was!

@Sam: It always is! I prefer Jesse with his musical sweetness (can you tell??), but I grew to adore Armand and his aristocrat ways too! What is it they say about arrogant boys? LOL <3

message 28: by Eunice (new) - added it

Eunice I'm on team Jesse even though I haven't read this! LOL! Wonderful review, Mimi! Glad to know the love triangle isn't the traditional kind. And I love gorgeous prose too! Added this on my tbr. :)

message 29: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Wouldn't it be cool if we could just snap our fingers and any book we wanted would appear in our hands? :') Awww

Hmm, sounds like I'm Team Jesse too. ;)

message 30: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine @Eunice: Great pick, Eunice -- me too! x) (Can you tell from how I described him more than Armand LOL?) The prose is definitely one of the strong points of this book and the reason I'm buying it <3

@A: Oh my goodness! If I had that ability, I don't think there'd be an inch of free space in my house! x) And yay, welcome to the Team Jesse club, A! (And prepare to have your heart smashed to pieces *sniffles*)

message 31: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah Haha, tell me about it! Aw, thanks, ;) Oh my god. I seem to have a habit lately of reading these awesome reviews for heartbreaking books and then just adding them, thinking more about the awesome and apparently convinced I can handle the heartbreak. Clearly I need my head examined. ;)

message 32: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine I love reading books that can break my heart too -- those are the ones that stick with me, that I have to buy, and that are just too darn amazing! I think I might even prefer those heartache-inducing books over the smile-inducing ones x)

You might need to book me with your shrink too LOL :') <3

message 33: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ If you loved this and the main character, I know I will! Beautiful cover too! Lovely review Mimi! :)

Shana Abe Hi! Thanks everyone for commenting on one of my reviews, and thanks for the awesome review Mimi! I'm Shana, the author of The Sweetest Dark. I'd love to offer anyone interested an early copy of this book if you'd like to have one. You can request the copy here: http://thesweetestdark.weebly.com/

Also, I'm giving away a bracelet on my Facebook fan page if you're interested :)

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