Tuesday, July 14, 2015

REVIEW: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

The Vespertine (The Vespertine, #1)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.

This wasn't a bad book, but it just didn't click with me and ultimately, it's forgettable.

Amelia is staying in Baltimore with family for the spring. She's supposed to be finding marriage opportunities and courting, as well as be in society. But a discovery of a new talent changes things. Amelia has the ability to tell the future and soon others flock to hear their future told, but things get worse when her abilities foretell horrible events. Also, Amelia is falling in love, but with someone who is forbidden to her.

This book begins in the fall of 1889, with Amelia "ruined" and it references events and people vaguely, which is confusing. Then it jumps backwards to the spring, telling the events leading up to the fall. From the beginning, you know that something bad will happen to cause Amelia to be in a dark place. It was very interesting knowing this and it make me read the book with dread. Some parts were very well-done, but I felt like the lead-up was sometimes slow and I was very vague and Amelia's abilities because sometimes I felt like they were passed over too quickly. The ending was well-done and connected nicely to the beginning, but the rest was a bit slow.

I do think the setting and characters were well-done. The historical setting was very well researched! The setting felt completely real, even with the magical elements. The characters were also nice. I liked Amelia and Zora's friendship (even though they're related, they acted like great friends). I also liked their other friendships, though those weren't as strong. Zora and Thomas's relationship was also a great one.

My main problem with this book was the romance. It's insta-love. Amelia falls for Nathaniel when she firsts sees him, they don't even really talk! Also, the romance didn't feel like it was very well-developed, the same for Nathaniel's character. Really, if it weren't for the romance, I would have given this book a higher rating.

Overall, I'm pretty 'meh' on this book. The setting and characters are well-done, but while the premise is interesting, I felt like I didn't really get to see and understand Amelia's abilities very well. The main downfall, though, was the romance, which is the dreaded insta-love. I actually do plan on reading the sequel. It's from the perspective of a different character, so there may not be insta-love in that one!

I hereby give this book
2.5 Wheels
Meaning: I almost liked it, but not quite

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