Book Review: The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

the sweetest dark cover

View from the window seat:
Lora Jones was raised in an orphanage in early-1900s London, knowing she was different from the other children. She can hear songs that no one else hears and dreams of smoke and flying. After being committed to an asylum, she learns to hide her abilities, until the war provides a chance for her to leave London. She’s sent to Iverson as the charity case and told she’ll never fit in with the highborn girls of the school. But soon she meets Jesse and Armand, two boys who help her become who and what she really is.

I’ve never read a dragon story like this before. I loved how the author wove the mythical in with ordinary teenage girl life at a boarding school. I loved strong, witty Lora. I loved Jesse and Armand, two distinctly different boys who change Lora’s life. I wouldn’t call this a love triangle, as Lora’s heart clearly belongs to one, but their lives are wonderfully intertwined. Most of all, I love that with Lora’s gifts comes great sacrifice, and the price she finally pays is devastating.

Overall impression:
The Sweetest Dark combines romance and fantasy into a beautifully written story of love, strength, and sacrifice.

Rating:
8

Note: I received this ARC from the publisher at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.

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