Review: The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

The Sweetest Dark by Shana AbePublisher: Bantam (April 2, 2013)
Kindle:  1290 kb/ 354 pages
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.


This book captivated me. There’s no other way to describe it. Even when I’d been dreading what might come, I couldn’t stop. And its good that I didn’t because I would’ve missed Abe proving me so wrong.

Lora is such a strong heroine. She’s a big part of why I could keep going. Even in the face of some truly terrible situations and the bullying she dealt with, she was sassy and strong

Then there was Jesse. I mostly loved his character even when I didn’t understand his connection to Lora and his love for her. Each time there was a moment between the two my heart felt like it was being squeezed for all the emotions and the pressure in my chest wouldn’t let up until I had read and reread those passages multiple times. (Or maybe I was unknowingly holding my breath.) Either way, they were my favorite scenes.

Armand was a character I liked, sometimes. He was a mystery waiting to be solved. (Though, to be fair, so were most of the characters.) His interactions with Lora amused. There was that hint of maybe-we’ll-one-day-make-out. But there were also these great moments where propriety is forgotten and they needle each other with juvenile insults.

The only time I was kind of “meh” about the book was with all the foretelling. There was quite a bit of it. In general I don’t like foretelling. And the perspectives were switched pretty abruptly at times. As I read on, it got easier to handle so it wasn’t a huge problem. Overall the good outweighed the bad. This was a book I was glad I picked up. Anyone who enjoys a pararom should definitely give this a shot.


Find Shana Abe:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Author: Kim

Everything can be made better with a good book or some relaxing knits. 😀 Find me on IG @kimberlyh12 or on Twitter @enervated.

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