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Posted May 22, 2012
It was a book I coveted because of the cover, as well as the pro
It was a book I coveted because of the cover, as well as the promising synopsis that I read. The first few words in the synopsis are, “High society, murder, romance, and intrigue…” I mean, how can you not want to read Cross My Heart? Gould caught my interest in the first few pages. She killed someone right away! It set the tone for the book, promising to showcase both the beautiful and ugly side of the Italian city.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Laura della Scala entered the convent at an early age, free of any responsibilities. Unfortunately, those responsibilities belong to her sister. Laura’s father never gave her the time of day, only reminding her that she was the burden on the family. But that all changes and Laura must leave the protection and shelter of the convent. Laura’s sister dies abruptly. Now, Laura must marry for the sake of the family name as well as to salvage her father’s reputation. But like the mysterious rivers of Venice, the tranquility of her sister’s passing is ruined by the ugliness of a mystery – one only Laura must solve.
I had a love and hate relationship with Laura. Maybe hate is a strong word for this instance, but there were definitely times where I did not care for her at all. Understandably, growing up within the confines of a convent, Laura has a sense of ignorance, but maybe that was the point. It would have been unrealistic for Laura to know everything, to have this sixth sense that would have done her wonders. Laura needed to open her eyes and be aware. Wasn’t that the point of Laura’s journey, despite any shortcomings?
Set in the late 1500s, Venice was a great setting for Cross My Heart. From the architecture and art, Gould brought light to the emotions that come from the Renaissance era. Add in the natural feel of the rivers and the streets, it was a perfect backdrop for the mystery of it all. Gould included artisan guilds, religious communities, as well as political intrigue. It added to the perfect world for Laura and the others. The mask on the cover is a perfect symbol for Venice, the story, and the characters – beautiful and wealthy on the outside, dark and intriguing on the inside. I thought it was a good play of symbolism, and it definitely carried throughout.
Gould’s style of writing was natural, bringing an ease to the flow and pacing of the story. The dialogue between the characters seemed realistic, at least from what I can imagine would take place in late 1500s Venice. I was a little annoyed with a few of the characters, but I’m pretty sure that’s how they were created. The story was filled with drama, and I really enjoyed it. From the masquerades and mystery of it all, it was thought provoking and the love story was romantic.
I suggest that you check out Sasha Gould’s Cross My Heart. Who knows what you’ll unmask next.
Posted March 14, 2012
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould is a historical fiction/mystery an
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould is a historical fiction/mystery and is perfectly styled towards its target audience of ages twelve and up. While I enjoy historical fictions with a lot of historical details, I am not convinced that a younger audience is always looking for the same thing in that area, so I find this nicely balance. The setting is historical, but Sasha Gould has done a wonderful job in creating characters and a suspense story line that are more in-depth than the historical piece itself. She manages to keep a nice writing style while keeping it MG/YA. I am always happy to read a book for a younger reading audience that isn’t trying to eek out good reviews by writing for their adult reviewers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The beginning of the story lays the groundwork for the protagonist, Laura, where the reader gets familiarized with her circumstance of living in the convent, her family relations, and then the tragedy that changes everything. From that point on, the suspense builds and romance buds.
This is a mystery, so the suspense element is built better than the romance piece, but I would have liked to have seen a few more real and intimate moments between Laura and her love interest before love was declared. I did love the suspense portion, it is done in a way that leaves the reader unsure of which characters can be trusted until the end, and plenty of unexpected turns that keep the pages turning, which is why I enjoyed this read as much as I did.
I found a lot of pleasure reading about all of the interesting characters that are involved here. One minute I was sure that the Segreta, the secret society, was responsible for the death of Laura’s sister, and the next minute I thought that it could be Laura’s love interest, who is full of his own secrets. I am not going to give anything away here, so if you enjoy MG/YA suspense, give it a try. I hope that you enjoy it.