Friday, April 1, 2011

Review: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

The VespertineThe Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Release Date: March 7, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 293

Source: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley
Interest: Paranormal, Historical Romance
Buy the Book: Amazon 

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.
I kept seeing this book everywhere and I loved the look of the cover - so pretty. And well, I love historical and paranormal books, so it's right up my alley.

The story is interesting because I haven't really read that many books that dealt with someone having visions, so I found this topic quite entertaining. The story started a little slow, but once the visions started it picks up quickly.

Amelia - the seer in question - is supposed to be in Baltimore to make a suitable match and find herself a husband. But with her unknown supernatural ability coming to light, eveything changes.

She is drawn to an unsuitable man - one who is below her, yet she cannot stop thinking about him. He's the historical romance version of todays stereotypical bad boy. Nathaniel tries to make it known that he is beneath her and she should really try to find someone better, so he tends to let her instigate all of their meetings. Amelia, however, is a woman on a mission and wants to be with him no matter what the cost.

Zora - her new best friend - seems a little naive when it comes to Amelia and her visions. She sees it as a great way to meet people from better classes and doesn't realize that by Amelia seeing the future, it's not always sunshine and rainbows to be predicted. Though Zora seems to love Amelia regardless and doesn't want to know her own future - though Amelia has alredy learned a part of it.

I love the way that Amelia sees the visions at sunset through the vespers and it almost takes her over - and how some of the visions are absolutely wonderful and exciting, yet others are terrifying and disheartening. And then how horrifying to learn that some of her unpleasant visions actually come true - making people more wary of her than before.

During one the sweeter moments in the book I came across this passage that made me smile: I had never known it before, how the glow of someone else's joy could reflect so completely as to be shared.

I actually was sad when the book ended, I was hoping it would go a little longer and explore some more about what happens to Amelia after all is said and done with her trip to Baltimore. The ending is quite short and wrapped up I suppose to let you decide the rest of her future - though you do get a taste - it just leaves you wanting to know a little more. I wonder if there will be a sequel to explore her life now?


  1. I believe there will be a second book, yes. I liked how it was complete enough to leave you satisfied, but enough mystery that you would be able to pick up another book and dig deeper.

    I didn't -love- this book, but I definitely liked it. I loved the girls' friendship, and the writing is absolutely gorgeous.

  2. @Ashley - I agree the friendship was charming. And the writing was beautiful. And I think I would like to read the sequel. :)

  3. Ohhhh!! I've been curious about The Vespertine! I've heard lots of mentions regarding the novel but not too may reviews for it, so it was great to hear that you enjoyed the novel Chrystal! :)

  4. Liz - it was a good read and I cannot wait for hte next in the series. :) I want to know more about Amelia!


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