Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

Title/Author: The Vespertine (Vespertine #1) by Saundra Mitchell
Publisher/Date published: March 7th 2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "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."

I had never read anything by this author before and the whole blogosphere has been raving about this book. Which kinda makes me glad I read it before all the hype, cause I don't know if I would have been disappointed otherwise.

Let me first say that I really liked Amelia (oh, and I love that she has a Dutch last name, I can be patriotic when I want to and I love little things like this). She's a lovely girl and I really enjoyed reading about her friendship with Zora, her cousin, who is a great character as well.

Amelia only gets her preminitions at sunset and while I'm all for characters discovering their abilities on their own, I thought it was a bit soon. After just one she knew she only had them at sunset, which is weird, cause just once could have just been a coincidence. I would have thought she'd struggle a bit more with this before getting the hang of it.

I also had a bit of a hard time believing the 'love' between her and Nathaniel. While he is such an interesting character and I'm sure I would have fallen for him, had it been me instead of Amelia, it was all a bit sudden. I'm not really a big fan of the meant-to-be-at-first-sight that's been showing up a lot in YA. I did think they had wonderful chemistry though, so that redeems this somewhat.

At the beginning of the book, we find Amelia after the major happenings in the story and after and see what happened through flasbacks. I thought it was brilliant and you get a sense of doom because you know what'll happen. Even though I was wishing so hard for it not to. Reading it, I hadn't realized it was the first in a series, so that was a relief after finishing it! I really want to know what'll happen next with Amelia!

All in all, this was an engaging read, I really liked the MC and felt connected to her.
My rating: 4 stars

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