Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1924
Exquisitely written
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Sweetest Dark is a fantasy dragon story set during the First World War – a story of Eleanore, an orphan who has been accepted into a snooty private school, a girl who has been listening to song from stones and metals since she was young, a woman who wants a fresh start for her life. When she arrives at the Iverson School for Girls, little did she know she would embrace her heritage – one that is not entirely human. She meets Jesse and Armand – two boys, different as night and day – who change her life irrevocably. Set against the backdrop of the German bombings, it is a dangerous time for anyone, let alone a dragon in hiding.

The first thing that comes to my mind when describing The Sweetest Dark would be – beautifully written. I adored the writing style – it was full of rich, vivid and engaging descriptions. I normally skim over the descriptions (I find them superfluous most times), for I am usually more invested in the story, but Shana Abe had me reading each and every word, just to savor this book completely. The writing itself was magical and the plot development, well-planned and executed.

Eleanore is not the typical historical heroine – she is full of sass and not afraid to use it. She is clever, witty, sometimes a bit morbid and feral but her heart is in the right place. You would except a girl of her time to be naive, bambi-eyed and awed by the people she is surrounded with – but she is not, though at times seeming a bit bitter with her fate. Her relationship with Jesse is a bit intense, considering they are so in love with each other within a few meeting, but it doesn’t come across as cheesy. Her flirtations with Armand, well, they had me grinning during their scenes – that is, if you consider trading insults as flirting (oh, the tea party was hilarious). Jesse is such a great guy – so wise beyond his years and so humble, you can’t help but love him and Armand with his kicked-puppy like attitude also endears you to him.

The ending really affected me, even with the foreshadowing throughout the book. I love how it is set in a wartime – it just adds to the dark theme of the book. And with the epilogue, the next book is sure on my to-read. Just awesome, all I can say – 4.5 stars.
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