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Plague in the Mirror

2.48  ·  Rating details ·  139 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
In a sensual paranormal romance, a teen girl’s doppelgänger from 1348 Florence lures her into the past in hopes of exacting a deadly trade.

It was meant to be a diversion—a summer in Florence with her best friend, Liam, and his travel-writer mom, doing historical research between breaks for gelato. A chance to forget that back in Vermont, May’s parents, and all semblance of
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Candlewick Press
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Rating details
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Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
May is spending the summer in Florence to avoid the shakeup of her parents’ divorce under the guise of helping a family friend research a travel guide. What seems like an interminably scholarly trip turns life-threatening when a doppelgänger from 1348 starts to haunt May and offer her a portal to Florence of the Middle Ages. As much as May tries to get involved with her present life, she is preoccupied by the harm her historical twin may be doing in 1348, and wonders if being trapped in the mids ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 7

Wow, I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but I really hate this writing. I quit on this sentence:

"He looks like a deposed prince in jeans and Converse lying with crossed ankles under the antique canopy, at home as can be on a sea of silk covers."

It's very telling and simple and a weird perspective, and also wtf does a deposed prince look like?
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
*Also posted at Oops! I Read A Book Again*

Thank you so much to Erika of Candlewick for the review copy of this time-traveling goodness! And thank you to Deborah Noyes! Again, receiving this book for free in no way influenced my opinions of it. Let's not dilly-dally so off to my review!

I approached Plague in the Mirror with trepidation. Honestly, it's not even on my to-read list for June because I thought the publication date was still on July. However, apparently, the release day was moved earli
Anna (Curiosity comes before Kay)
May is going to Italy this summer with her best friend Liam and his travel guide writing Mom, to be her research assistant. It should be the adventure of a lifetime, but all May can focus on is the fact that back at home her parents are on the verge of a messy divorce. So when a girl named Cristofana, who is identical to her, shows up in her room one night and starts a confusing game of cat and mouse, May finds herself being drawn in against her better judgment. Drawn into fourteenth century, pl ...more
Natanya L
Mar 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
In books, the improbable is allowed to occur. The reader can suspend disbelief for the story, he or she can believe that time travelling ghosts can pop up out of nowhere, or that best friends can become boyfriends. Perhaps the reader can even believe that teenage girls can follow their ghost-twins back in time to escape the stress of their parent’s crumbling marriage. Or that those same teenage girls can meet steamy painters, and fall into a deep, meaningful relationship all during the time of t ...more
Aug 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Lately I have a problem with books that are trying to put contemporary teens in the throes of some historical time period. I don't know whether it's for exposure, because of the author's interest in the history, or something else, but why then not right a historical novel? Obviously this also ties in with many newer YA novels based on time travel.

In this case, May is the contemporary teen and Cristofina is the historical figure, suffering through the plague in Italy, which surprisingly is where
Nov 26, 2012 added it
Shelves: books-blurbed
"Dreamy and gorgeous and dark. I couldn't pull away from this tale of seduction--not by a lover, but by a dark past and a darker reflection of the storyteller's own self."

Just all around a compelling and eerie and lovely book.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Review posted at Amaterasu Reads

May's going through a confusing time of her life. Decisions need to be made and she must deal with the fact that her parents are getting a divorce. Instead, May chose to escape to a trip to Florence with her best friend, Liam and his mother Gwen, to take her mind off things and put off the inevitable. But in Florence, where every corner, every stone has a history, May met Cristofana, a ghost from 14th century Florence, at the time where the Black Plague was expect
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Let me start off by saying that I just finished an art history course on 14-17th century Italy, and I am also study the Italian language. So I have NEVER been in a better position to appreciate this book. That being said, it was boring, implausible, and fairly pointless.

May exhibits several signs of depression, and as a result has no real drive. I cannot understand her motivations for doing ANYTHING in this novel apart from not wanting to deal with her parents' divorce. But that is by no means
Jillian (PidginPea's Book Nook)
{ I received this as an ebook ARC from NetGalley. Review originally posted on my blog, PidginPea's Book Nook. }

Plague in the Mirror was an interesting mix of the paranormal, time travel, and almost a kind of escapism. May travels to present-day Italy with her friend Liam and his mom, and while there she discovers her doppleganger, Cristofana, from 14th century plague-ridden Florence. Cristofana shows her a portal where they can travel between each others' worlds, and she lures May into her time
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2013
Plague in the Mirror is a beautifully written paranormal romance that you will absolutely fall in love with. I was so excited to be given the chance to read this one. I always jump at the chance to read anything historical and the paranormal aspect that Noyes blended so seamlessly into the story, was definitely the clincher for me. I knew this was going to be a book that I would absolutely love to pieces. The writing, the story, and the visual atmosphere are definitely some of the wonderful th ...more
Stories & Sweeties {Becky}
When I first started reading this dark historical story, I loved it. The beautiful descriptions of both modern-day and 14th century Italy enchanted me and the hint of something creepy and bizarre and ghostly about to happen drew me in. You meet the main character, May, during her first eerie encounter with Cristofana, and she doesn’t know if she’s seen a ghost, had a nightmare, or is just going insane. I liked May from the get-go, she seemed genuine, a bit of a thinker, a girl going through some ...more
Sarah Evans
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: washyarg
Modern teen experiences the Black Death through her medieval doppelgänger in Florence and gets a fresh perspective on living. 17-year-old May is spending the summer before her senior year in Florence, Italy as a research assistant to Gwen, a professor and longtime family friend. She is haunted by her parents recently announced divorce, especially because they ask her to choose her residence between them. Although Gwen and her son, Liam, May’s childhood pal, gently offer to talk about it, May hol ...more
Synopsis: Desperate to escape her parent's recent divorce, 17 year old May goes to Florence, Italy with her best friend Liam and his mother. There, she is haunted by the ghost of a girl identical to herself- except Cristofana comes from fourteenth-century Florence. Lured by the promise of adventure and love in the arms of a handsome painter named Marco, May travels back in time to experience the horrors of Italy past, where the Black Death made the city a very dark place. Meanwhile, May's ghost ...more
Cheryl A
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
As her parents are separating, May spends the summer before her senior year in Florence with a close family friend, Gwen and her son, Liam. To say May is unsettled is an understatement - not only are her parents divorcing, but she has to choose which one to live with for the year before college and her childhood relationship with Liam is changing as they head toward adulthood. And May is receiving visits from a ghostly twin from Florence of 1348, which causes even more problems.

The ghostly twin,
I started this book on audio, but ended up finishing it in the printed version so I could just finish it up.

Overall, I didn't like it very much. Ghost stories aren't really my thing, nor are evil twins, and I had trouble believing in May's motivations for most of her actions, even given the fact that people are often irrational. The first scene of the book sets up that Cristofana, May's time-traveling doppelganger from plague-era Florence is not friendly and has a cruel sense of humor--so why d
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: italy
I so wanted to like this book, and really the premise is interesting, and so much could have been done with it. The characters discuss in the book some of the scientific theories of all time existing at once, etc., and so this lent some credibility to the idea of May being in two places at once, so to speak; of having a twin/another version of herself in 14th century Florence.

Unfortunately, though, the plot is very much underdeveloped, and there is just too much that the reader is asked to belie
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ticos-picks
The use of language was intoxicating. I loved all of the descriptions and displays of emotion. However, the plot and story itself was really lacking... something.

I didn't enjoy that it was told in third person, I think that it would have been a much more powerful punch if it were told from the point of view of the girls. That's another thing: May's narration was pretty boring. Cristofana's story seemed much more provoking and devious, yet Noyes skimmed right over it with May's constant moping. T
Seventeen-year-old May is in Florence for the summer, visiting the city with an old family friend and her son. She's relieved to leave behind the stress of her own parents' breakup. But May finds it hard to sleep through the night, and her nightmares and concerns about haunted rooms concern Gwen and Liam, her fellow travelers. But nothing could be as alarming as the visits she begins to have from Cristofana, a woman who looks just like her but certainly does not act like her. Cristofana uses a r ...more
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
The premise to this book sounded so promising and I was ecstatic to get a chance at reading it. I wanted so desperately to like this book. I tried soooo hard to like it! The premise sounded amazing, and there was so much that could be done with it! The setting is a dream come true, but for some reason it just wasn't quite there for me.

Although I'm a fan of action books, I don't necessarily NEED a lot of action in a book. But I DO need a book to get somewhere and progress. For me that was really
Marilyn Olson
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: plnnj-reviewed
During the summer before her senior year in high school, May goes to Florence with a friend of her mother's and her son, a childhood friend of May. Looming over her is her parent's divorce and the decision with whom to live. Woken by a ghostly presence, her ghost twin from the fourteenth century plague-ridden Florence, Christofana attempts to trap May in the past with the bait of a hunky artist, Marco. This should have been an absorbing read, what with the horrors of the plague well described, ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book was really slow going and it never really grabbed me. I didn't believe in May's thought process or her logic or even her infatuation with Marco. Why would she keep voluntarily going through the portal? Why would she feel responsible for people who lived and died centuries ago but not for the people in her present life? I also found the audio version hard to follow at times not knowing what was dialogue and what was just thought. May's pronunciation of Italian was pathetic yet Christofa ...more
I love historical fiction. It's basically my go to genre no matter what my mood is. However, I'm pretty unforgiving of it. Historical inaccuracies are pretty a big deal for me. I'm also a fan of time travel books, so I was pretty excited going into Plague in the Mirror. It combines fourteenth century Florence with some mysticism and time travel; the description pretty much encapsulated everything I love in a book. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my (admittedly high) expectations and I found ...more
Oct 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
If I could put 0 stars, I would. The writing is weird. Notes tries really hard to create metaphors and imagery where it just isn't needed or in ways that don't work. The ending is also disappointing. The plot is one giant hole. The characters are underdeveloped. The atrocities of the historical setting are barely addressed, although they play a huge part in the "plot".
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: italy, time-travel, plague
I really enjoyed this, loved the writing style, and Cristofana was such a devious little villain. However, May is an idiot!! No boy that you've only seen once for like 2 minutes is worth going back in time to the plague stricken 14th century for, especially not when someone is trying to trap you there! Awesome story but the heroine needs a bit more common sense and self preservation ;)
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I've read this story before: time-travel, two lives and loves, and a mysterious painting in the present day. Sigh. This wasn't a DNF but it was pretty close. What saved it? The setting (Florence) and some of the background information on artists during the plague era.

Copy provided by publisher.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book because they really liked the concept.... But I did not care for it at all. I'm not sure if it was that I just didn't like the authors writing style or if it was just poorly written... Not a fan.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
A rather "light" form of historical fiction, as the novel tends to focus more on characters than historical periods and the science/reasoning behind the time travel in the story is very basic/unrealistic. I did, however, enjoy reading the book, and it was a very fast read.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
The style just never really worked for me, but it was a pretty quick read.
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Deb writes for adults and children and is also an editor and photographer. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.
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