Liz // nvl.tea 's Reviews > A Darkness Strange and Lovely

A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard
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• What a fantastic sequel! I was a little leery going in of the usual second installment pitfalls, and while it wasn't as strong as the first book, it was definitely still entertaining.

• I loved the strong focus on Eleanor this time around. This novel felt like it was really about her, not Eleanor & Co. It just zeroes in on her and what she's going through. I came out of this one feeling like I knew her better.

• I loved the new characters! Especially Oliver. I have my suspicions about him and his relationship with Eleanor's brother, Elijah, but I guess I'll just have to wait to see if I was right. ;)

• Eleanor felt very lost in this book. I felt so, so sad for her. She's struggling with these overwhelming powers, not to mention a serious heartbreak, and she just needs someone to understand her. It makes her rash decisions actually make sense. She has such easy trust in these new people in her life because she's absolutely desperate for affection and attention. She feels like she has no one to talk to, and she feels she can't go to her old friends with how to deal with this situation she's in. I know some readers have found her irrationality frustrating in this installment, given how absolutely sensible she was in the first book. While I did miss the feisty and parasol-waving Eleanor of book one, this is a different side of Eleanor I'm glad we've seen. She is a teenage girl after all, and she's found herself pretty much alone in the world all of a sudden.

• The new villain was wonderfully villainous. I predicted it from the beginning, but it was still nerve wracking waiting for everyone to figure it out.

• The end of the book was definitely the best. The majority of the real plot happened in the last quarter. It was just the right balance of intense action and mystery.

• Also, the end scene with Daniel? Yeah. Major swoon. Holy cow.

• I'm worried for Eleanor, but I'm excited to see where she's going. She's a very realistic mix of weak and strong.

• The book just felt too short! It went by too fast, and I didn't feel like quite enough happened until the end.

• Loved the setting. I really hope we get to travel to another location in the third book.

• One of my favorite snippets: "Daniel, Daniel, Daniel. Smelling of machines and forest, tasting of salt." (pg. 79, hardcover)

• And my usual side note, what is with these covers? I really dislike the 'girl in a pretty dress' trend in YA covers. It is, at least, better than the first one. The color palette is quite lovely. But the age of the girl is still off, and the dress is totally inappropriate for the time period. If you've going to do a fancy dress, at least do an era-appropriate fancy dress.

• Definitely a great read, and a must-read if you enjoyed the first one. Not quite as all-around good as the first book, but a strong sequel. I'm definitely excited for the next book!
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Reading Progress

07/29/2013 marked as: currently-reading
08/15/2013 marked as: read

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