Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

4/5 Stars
The Sweetest Dark
Author: Shana Abe
Publisher: Bantam (Random House)
Publication Date: April 2, 2013

I must admit that from the first time I saw this cover I was in love. I know you’re thinking another girl in a pretty dress? Really Emily that’s all it takes to make you want a book? Yes! That is all it takes! Give me a pretty dress, smoke, and an awesome title and suddenly I have to have it. Luckily The Sweetest Dark was more then just a pretty cover it was also an amazing story. 

The Sweetest Dark follows Eleanor “Lora” Jones as she is shipped from the orphanage she grew up in to a Girls Boarding school on the English Coast. The novel is set during World War I and that lends an interesting backdrop to the story. I actually wished that the war had been talked about more but for high class girls living on the coast it wasn’t as big a part of their daily lives as it would have been for those living in London. 

I really liked Lora and the fact that she struggled with the thought that maybe she wasn’t supernatural but was actually just crazy. Books where characters question their sanity are some of my favorites and in the beginning of the novel Lora truly did question her sanity. I also liked that Lora wasn’t the type of heroine that let people walk all over her. When girls at Iverson, bullied her Lora didn’t sit back and take it, she fought back. Lora never really lost that tough girl exterior she acquired at the orphanage. 

There was also a bit of a love triangle that wasn’t really a love triangle in The Sweetest Dark. Don’t worry and don’t avoid reading this novel because I said that! It was obvious who Lora loved and actually the romance added to the story rather then detracted from it. Jesse is the school groundskeeper and he is described as being mute, except I never got the vibe because he always talked to Lora. It was Jesse who helped her discover what she truly is and I loved the journey they took together. Then there was Armand *sigh* this boy, he has everything and yet nothing. I really liked how much his character changed throughout the novel. At first he was the board aristocrat and by the end he was so much more. I can’t wait to see how his character changes and adapts in The Darkest Night. 

While I enjoyed all the aspects listed above my favorite thing about The Sweetest Dark was the ending. I loved that it was so perfect and so bittersweet. There was enough foreshadowing that I knew what was coming yet when it happened I was still surprised. I am now eagerly awaiting the sequel The Darkest Night and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Thank you Netgalley and Random House for allowing me to read an Advanced Readers Copy of this title. 


  1. Wow -- this sounds great. Thanks for reminding me to add it to Hot Off the Presses!

    Jen @ YA Romantics

  2. I've heard such great things about this one, but sadly I just didn't think it was for me. I gave up around pg 40. I'm a terrible ebook reader! haha! But I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. It makes me want to try again :) Great review!

  3. I have this one from Netgalley too. Having been hearing great things about it. Great review!