Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2005
The Sweetest Dark
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Some books start off on such a lovely note—The Sweetest Dark did. The prologue hooked me with the author’s phenomenal prose, and as the story unfolded I was impressed with the world-building (or whatever we call it), and thought the story was interesting. But then, alas, Abé threw a highly unbelievable situation into the last 30 pages, and the only response I could muster was a disappointed headshake. More on that later!

First of all, everyone should know that Shana Abé’s prose is awesome. It’s so pretty and evocative and descriptive—very atmospheric and it set the tone wonderfully. It did, however, verge into purple prose territory, which might not be to some readers’ tastes. I didn’t think it was too overboard, however, but that’s just me.

Also, The Sweetest Dark is about dragons! “But Renae!” you say. “Don’t you hate dragon books?” Er…theoretically yes, but I’ve never read a dragon book I actually disliked, so you know. And the dragon (or drákon) in this book isn’t a typical dragon but is really more of a shapeshifter type deal. But whatever we call it, that whole aspect was well-done and, I thought, unique.

As far as plot goes, this book is fairly typical. Poor girl arrives at swanky boarding school, mean girls are mean, two gorgeous guys flock to her side—surprise, she has paranormal abilities, etc. In the book’s blurb, it’s advertised that this is a good read for fans of Libba Bray, and I agree. In fact, there was one specific scene in The Sweetest Dark that was almost exactly the same as one from A Great and Terrible Beauty. Make of that what you will.

In terms of the love triangle…it’s not really a love triangle. Lora, the main character, has a bad case of instalove with godlike Jesse, and while she has a bond with the equally godlike Lord Armand, their relationship is never more than platonic. However, due to the conclusion of The Sweetest Dark, I’d probably categorize this as a love triangle overall, though it really isn’t.

Which then brings me to the novel’s conclusion, which was disappointing in so many ways. The first disappointment had to do with the pseudo love triangle, since I can only call Abé’s treatment of it a cop-out. The second disappointment had to do with the completely unrealistic events that happened—German U-boats and zeppelins and shooting and such. It was like a fairytale take on WWI that I found improbable at best and ludicrous at worst. I certainly finished The Sweetest Dark on a low note that heavily contrasted with the high note I began on.

In the end, I think the good points I found in The Sweetest Dark outweigh the bad. The book isn’t perfect, but I enjoyed myself quite a bit, and will definitely look forward to the sequel. I think Abé is a wonderful writer, and though I’m not a fan of her romance, I approved of nearly everything else. (Bonus: she’s written a whole other series about the drákon, so I’ll have to check those out pronto!)
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Kingdom of Ink and Paper (The Betwixt and Between Chronicles Book 1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every book you’ve ever read. Every story you’ve ever ...
The First Holidays
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lila Weston is a pro at keeping secrets, but this...
Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen...
You Say It First
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire...
My High School Royal Boyfriend
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
ALEX A tragedy at Langley Estate puts my family...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve “lush and deliciously...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson,...
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Willow Figure skating was supposed to be my whole...
Unchosen
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying...
Miracle Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it's supposed to...
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Rosie Singer’s mom is missing whatever it is that...
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On October 2nd, 1977, Glenn Burke, outfielder for the Los...
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway...
Alone in the Woods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jocelyn and Alex have always been best friends...until they aren't....
Disaster Days
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near...

Latest Member Reviews

Someone to Love Me (Bluford #4)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Trinnie I think this book is pretty much saying you have to sometimes listen to the people..."
Until We Meet Again (Bluford #7)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Marah Until we Meet Again By: Anne Schraff Hakeem Darcys boyfriend..."
Someone to Love Me (Bluford #4)
 
1.0
"Reader reviewed by Jazmain.S Dear Mrs.Anne Shraff I love readin your bluford high school books they are my favorite out..."
Secrets in the Shadows (Bluford #3)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by flower i love all the blueford high bookz. im suprised dat im even readin. for the..."
Night of the White Owls
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Albert Thompson I really enjoys the book.It makes you want to read more even after your done..."
Matter of Trust (Bluford #2)
 
1.0
"Reader reviewed by Mz.Maxie I really enjoyed this book.The reason i liked dis book is because its reality and the..."
Lost and Found (Bluford #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by babyboo This book is the best I have been through alot of this stuff. I believe..."
Matter of Trust (Bluford #2)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by nunu Darcy finally started dating hakeem and her friend from grade school,brisana always talked about hakeem and..."
Someone to Love Me (Bluford #4)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Maiya "Somebody to Love Me" is the best book i have ever read in my life!! I..."
Lost and Found (Bluford #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by zaza This book is about a girl name Darcy that has to take care of her grandmother..."
Lost and Found (Bluford #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by olyvia boooo i'm reding a book a called Lost and Found it is about a girl..."
Until We Meet Again (Bluford #7)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Kendyl all i wont to say before i tell you what i feel is i cryd about..."
Until We Meet Again (Bluford #7)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by al Until we Meet Again Is a very instersaing book it make you imagin what darcy..."
Lost and Found (Bluford #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Lexie Pooh Parker LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my favorite part in this book was when Roylin had the..."
Matter of Trust (Bluford #2)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by RENEISHA THIS WAS A GOOD BOOK BUT TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH THE BEST BOOK ANYONE..."
Matter of Trust (Bluford #2)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by RiSSA I love this book so much because its like what most teenage girls like myself go..."
Matter of Trust (Bluford #2)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by wendy This book is about Darcy's growing conflict with Brisana Meeks,her old friend. With brisana trying to..."
Matter of Trust (Bluford #2)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by youngtwizm So I have been reading this crazy cool book. The name of the cool book is..."
Lost and Found (Bluford #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Brittany Could things get much worse? Darcy has been assigned to work with Tarah on a science..."
Matter of Trust (Bluford #2)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by britt a matter of trust is about a girl named darcy and her..."