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Posted December 23, 2010
I am a huge fan of the Victorian era. To the way the women dress, to the chivalry and etiquette, and most of all, the beautiful prose that authors wove into immortal tales. That being said, it's hard for me to find a current historical novel that touches me as much as the classics. The Vespertine did just that, and it moved me. I fell in love with the relationship that Amelia developed with Zora, the kinship they shared, their companionship. I enjoy reading the banter of that time, two young girls gossiping innocently about their friends and trying to figure out their place in the world. The paranormal element was an exciting twist, too. Wuthering Heights is my favorite classic for this reason. I love the mix of the old world and the paranormal, it almost seems that the two belong together, both are so fantastic. The relationship between Amelia and Nathaniel is amazing and intense. Nathaniel's pursuit of Amelia made my heart speed, I held my breath with their every encounter, it was beautiful and magical. But don't let that deter you; this is a truly haunting tale. I found myself staring off into space after I finished the book trying to place just how it made me feel. I was left with an eerie contentment and fascination. Though the only thing I wished the book expounded more on was the actual supernatural element. I felt I didn't receive a good explanation and understanding of their powers. But overall the story was bewitching and utterly romantic.
I give The Vespertine 4 flames! On my blog at YA Bound
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2012
Amelia moves in with her cousins in Baltimore for the spring/summer of 1889 to experience a season full of fashionable dances & dinner parties, risky meetings with boys, and parlor visits for tea & gossip. Along the way, she indulges in spiritualists performances, which were the entertaining highlights of the time, like Lady Privalovna and Miss Avery at the local theater. Purely by chance, Amelia becomes a bit of a silly sensation among her friends when she has a vivid image of her cousin Zora dancing at the upcoming ball and ever details plays out. Before she knows it, word spreads of her unique parlor gift and callers all over Baltimore come for a reading by "Maine's Own Mystic, Miss Amelia can den Broek" (pg. 165) Yet, not all predictions are good and Amelia finds she is beginning to hold back what she sees, keeping secrets of dark truths that are bound to happen. Things become even stranger, when the boy, Nathanial, she is developing feelings for reveals startlingly truths about himself as well. Can Amelia face the pressures of just how powerful and haunting her psychic powers are becoming all while on the hunt for a decent husband and proper social standing?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
'Not all that glitters is gold' would be the perfect motto from The Verpertine. Amelia is a head-strong girl that I immediately liked. You can tell she's damaged goods right off from the beginning of the story and that adds a lot to her character development throughout - something I always admire in a good book. Her cousin, Zora, was probably my favorite character since she's so deliciously evil and sweet. Together they are a frightful combination and when Amelia's power of foretelling the future becomes known, Zora becomes her quick-minded assistant in setting up the proper meetings. Yet, things easily get carried away when some of Amelia's morbid readings become unexpectedly true and the tables quickly turn. All in all, I liked this book, it was invigorating since the setting/plot was not all that common for a young adult tale, so I hope you enjoy it as well.
Likes: I'm excited Book #2 -- The Springsweet in the series will focus on Zora Stewart, yayy! April 2012
Dislikes: I highly enjoy historical stories, but if this book would have had a little bit more creative insight, some extra spark within the characters, and even some much needed oomph to the overall tale, it would have received a higher rating from me. Yet, sadly, it dragged out and played almost too leisurely for my taste to get anything higher than 4 out of 5.
Posted June 24, 2011
In the summer of 1889, 16 year old Amelia is sent to live with the Stewart family in Baltimore where she is to meet influential, respectable people and to make a good match to secure her future. Instead Amelia meets the intriguing Nathaniel, a struggling artist, and unwittingly creates all kind of trouble for her new friends when she discovers that she possesses the ability to glimpse the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"The Vespertine" is endearing as it is heartrending and written in a classical style that evokes the Victorian era. Though at times a little verbose, I loved that the period was upheld in this way. Amelia is an interesting character; naive, at times selfish and petulant, yet she has a good heart, a strength of will, and a lovely sense of humor.
I would've liked to see romance built a little more gradually. There was a little bit of insta-love going on and although I loved the romance in this book, I would've like a bit more substance.
A dark, witty, tragic, dangerous and strangely hopeful book.
Posted June 14, 2011
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo
Amelia spends the summer in Baltimore with her cousin, Zora, in hopes of finding a proper husband during the season. As it will be her only season, Amelia has really high hopes for this summer. At her very first party, she meets an artist who's only invited to make sure the table has an even number. Even though he's beneath her, she looks forward to meeting him again. Meanwhile, her cousin's in love with Thomas, a boy from town. One evening, while looking out the window, Amelia has a vision of her cousin wearing an elegant gown and dancing with Thomas. When that vision comes true, Zora begins to spread the word. Soon, other girls are coming to see Amelia and Zora. Calling cards from all levels of society appear. Everyone wants to have their future told. The girls happily oblige the crowds - they've never been more popular. However, not all of the visions are delightful. Some are dark, and unfortunately, the dark visions Amelia has also come true. When this happens, will the two cousins still be looked upon favorably? A lush, romantic tale blending the Victorian era with the paranormal, THE VESPERTINE hints at the darkness of the story in the beginning of the book. The time period shifts back and forth between before and after the season. Amelia and Zoe's friendship thrives, making the time of fancy dresses, balls, calling cards, and societal rules come alive.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2011
Courtesy of Readergirl Reviews a Teen Book
This book was unlike the type I typically read. I'm not much of a historical reader, but I'm glad I tried this one. It was so interesting to see the historical detail in this story. The author obviously did her research, and I felt transported by the ambience of the time period and the lush backdrop of old parties and the "society" of the day. It sucked me in completely.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Amelia's character was intriguing, strong, but still somewhat sad, due to various events that occur in the story. Amelia's visions, I knew, were going to end up getting her into trouble, which wasn't much of a guess, considering how the story starts, but I still found myself upset for her when the inevitable occurred.
Nathaniel was a sexy character. It wasn't anything in particular that made me feel that way. He just was. And the interactions between these two were hot, but still so sweet. Their encounters were made even more compelling by the beautiful language of the prose.
Saundra Mitchell's writing was my favorite thing about this story. It was beautiful, lyrical, poetic. It was a pleasure to read just to be able to savor its beauty. There are a few authors like that whom I've read that just make me want to read their work for the sake of the work itself. Check the teasers I posted this week for a taste of her writing and you'll see what I mean.
I seriously loved this story, these characters, and most especially Saundra Mitchell's writing. I would highly recommend it to anyone, but especially to those readers that love a beautifully crafted sentence.
Posted March 14, 2011
Good easy historical fiction. Give it a shot
I'm going to try and do my best on this review, but this is the first historical fiction that I've read. Well, as far as I can remember anyway.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In the beginning, it was a little difficult for me to get into. Well, I shouldn't really say that, because the story did hook me! I think it was more of the writing style and the story setting that I wasn't used to. Having said that, I did enjoyed this read! I am glad I opened up to reading something I usually don't, because it was a good experience.
I really enjoyed the characters, well MOST of them. I wouldn't say that I necessarily connected with them, but they were written really well. I actually saw the story playing itself out in my mind. There were some unexpected twists that I think added in quite nicely.
As far as things that I didn't like about the book, there isn't a lot that I can think of that I just down right did not like. However there were a few things that I questioned. For example, how Amelia's visions just started happening out of no where. I'm pretty sure that she has seen many a sunset in her lifetime, why did they just begin to happen now? I also didn't care for how the author jumped back and forth between Spring and August of 1889. It made things a little confusing for me and I had to go back and double check dates and such at the beginning of those parts.
That's about all I will say for this book. Like I said, this is my first historical fiction so it isn't really my strong suit. If you are interested in reading a historical fiction with a touch of paranormal and romance, go pick this up!
I rate it a 3.5 / 4
Posted March 10, 2011
Beautiful and Captivating
I'm normally not a huge fan of historical fiction, but occasionally one will catch my eye and I have to pick it up. This one was definitely not a disappointment. The Vespertine pulled me into the 1800s and kept me captivated and interested with every page. I really felt like I was living in that time period and caught myself talking like it once I put the book down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Amelia is a young, spunky girl, gone to live with family in order to find a suitable mate. She falls for a guy who could never be suitable to marry, someone with no prospects, and starts a whirlwind romance. Their romance was full of heat and passion, yet it was written subtly, with sweet stolen touches and kisses, which I really enjoyed. Amelia also sees glimpses of the future in the sunset each day. When word gets around she soon becomes well-known and is called on by many. But these visions may not turn out to be the gift she first thinks it to be.
Zora, the girl Amelia is rooming with, is a spunky girl who fought against the rules at the same time she followed them. She toed the line and was great fun to read about as she did! I really enjoyed her funny and lively character! The other side characters all had their own distinct personalities and really added to the rich atmosphere of the story.
As the book took a drastic turn and tragedy starts striking Amelia over and over again, I found myself on the edge of my seat, wondering what this poor girl would do next. The ending was extremely satisfying, all threads tied up and a great surprise that still has me smiling. I recommend this one to anyone who loves a great paranormal romance, even if you are like me and not one for historical fiction. I didn't regret branching into the genre and I don't think you will either!
Posted March 9, 2011
Amazing Paranormal/Historical/Romance Novel!!!!! Must Read!!
Amazing. I love historical fiction, so I knew this book would be right up my alley, but Saundra Mitchell has outdone herself. The Vespertine creates such a unique and beautiful world in the Victorian Era, and you cannot help but find yourself swept up into Amelia's story. Her romance with Nathaniel added an extra sizzle to the novel, and I looked forward to whenever he was mentioned. Her characters had all unique and enchanting personalities, and Amelia seemed innocent yet seasoned all at once. I would highly recommend this book to any fans of paranormal fiction, romance, or historical fiction.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2011
One of my favorite genres is historical fictions. And it works better for me if you add a little paranormal twist in there. Now this book I really like. Amelia is sent to Baltimore to find someone worthy to be a husband. What she finds instead is crowd of people coming to her for her visions. And one boy in particular can hear her in the wind.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I loved the plot of this book. While it was a bit slow in the beginning, it certainly picked up once Amelia visions began to come true. Amelia is a very smart girl who knows whats she wants despite what her brother thinks. Amelia may be different, but she has a spark that anyone can enjoy.
Nathaniel was like no other boy I have encountered in a book. He, unlike most boys in books, knew where he stood in society and refused to bring Amelia down with him. He wanted better for her. What got me was his lack of confidence in their relationship. Most of the time you see the girl running away, this time we see the guy. Amelia is strong and wanted Nathaniel no matter what.
The paranormal part was good and I like how it something that can be related to real life. There was no great shown down or great powers. Just Amelia who can see the future, who's life is hanging in the balance of her decisions.
Posted February 17, 2011
Paranormal YA set in Victorian Perfection
I really liked that this book began towards the end of the story, at a point where Amelia is not doing so well, then we are taken back to see how it came to be this way. It sucks you in instantly and makes you want to get to the bottom of it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Amelia and Zora bond really quickly and their friendship is really endearing. They act like sisters, teasing and playful but also protective of one another. One of the things that was different in this book, which I immensely liked, was that both Amelia and Zora had a love interest, and it wasn't the same guy! They each had their own sweetheart to swoon over. No fighting with your best friend over a guy in this book! I loved that!
Zora's love interest is the tall, blond, handsome, gentlemanly Thomas Rae. Zora and Thomas follow all the appropriate courting rules. They are the prime example of how courting should be in this time period. Unlike Amelia and Nathaniel, who have a more daring attraction, Zora and Thomas's is more sweet. Nathaniel Witherspoon. A painter with a very interesting face and an even more intriguing personality. He is mysterious and his manners, for this time period anyway, are scandalizing! He is also off limits to Amelia, which of course makes him way more enticing to her.
Another thing that was different was the supernatural elements in the story. I haven't read anything like them before. I do wish we would have learned more about what makes Amelia and Nathaniel the way they are though.
Amelia is having a great time in Baltimore, with her new friends, the dances, Nathaniel, her newfound fame.until one of her premonitions, a bad one, comes to pass. That was unexpected and it left me in shock! Then came more shocks! Heartbreaking ones that had me in tears!! Saundra Mitchell caught me unaware. I thought I was having fun, too! With the new friends and the dances and Nathaniel, then BAM! Tears.
The Vespertine leaves us with a bittersweet ending that I would not have any different. After finishing this book you will find yourself reliving it in your mind, remembering the girl's gossip about first love and marriage, your first dance with the boy you dream about, the lush Victorian setting, and the heartbreak. This book is a must read! I would recommend it to everyone, especially people who are reluctant about historical fiction!
Posted February 5, 2011
Must. Read. NOW.
*Disclaimer: I received this book as an electronic ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from NetGalley. It will be released on March 7, 2011 for the public.*Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I'm very into historical fiction, so this book looked like it would be right up my alley. Little did I know just how much. The Vespertine blends elements of historical fiction with a touch of the supernatural to create a beautifully written tale that had me from hello.
Mitchell's prose is gorgeous. I never once felt like it was wordy, over the top, or contrived. It was so real. It brought with it images of Victorian Baltimore so nicely crafted that I felt like I was there. The thing is, Mitchell didn't have to use flowery language to do it. She just did it, and I can't explain how. All I know is that for the few hours I spent with this book, I was right there in Baltimore.
And the characters. Wow. I'm an absolute sucker for this time period, so I feel like I have a good idea of what Victorian characters should be. And Mitchell nailed them. A little bit naughty, mostly nice, concerned with what the town would think, longing for belonging, etc. Loved them all. Amelia was strong and yet vulnerable. She was just what I'd imagine a back woodsy sort to be then, always kind of on the outside looking in. I feel like I lived her story right along with her. I ached for Nathaniel with her. I mourned with her. I despaired with her. I felt the ruination keenly. And at the same time, I felt a connection with other characters too. Not as much as with Amelia, but still there to an extent. I cared about each and every one of them, and wept with their misfortunes. I'm telling you, it's a rare book/author that does that for me.
So this book isn't yet published. When it comes out in March, I do believe I'll be right there to pick up my hard copy, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. I'm giving The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell my 'Pick Me' rating.
Posted April 18, 2011
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Posted March 17, 2012
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Posted July 19, 2011
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Posted October 18, 2011
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