Review: The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark #1) by Shana Abe

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1) Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: April 2, 2013 by Bantam
Series: #1 (The Sweetest Dark)
Length: 352 pages
Source: Bantam (ARC)

Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.
England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.”


Set in the 1900’s, The Sweetest Dark is about a 16 year old named Eleanore Jones who goes to Iverson, a boarding school and finds out that she’s not an ordinary person. I really like how the summary doesn’t give away what creature our protagonist is. The writing style is good; it has a historical feel which helped me remember that this book is set way back then. What I didn’t like is how it switched from 1st person to 2nd person to 3rd person randomly. The majority of it is written in Eleanore’s point of view but sometimes it will randomly switch to 2nd or 3rd person. I thought the pacing was slow at times and that this book is sort of the “intro” for the series. There are a lot of unanswered questions and I feel like the 2nd book will be much better. There weren’t that many action scenes except for the last couple of chapters.

There is also a love triangle between Eleanor, a driver – Jesse, and the duke’s son – Armand. The love triangle was actually interesting, but what I don’t understand is why Jesse & Armand are fighting over her. They randomly started fighting over her like she’s some kind of magnet. I understand why Jesse likes Eleanore, but it was sort of an insta love. There’s a twist at the end and I’m now not sure on who Eleanore will end up with!

The characters were “okay”. I don’t think I’ll remember them forever because I wasn’t really attached to them. Overall it was a good read and the concept of the story is really good and intriguing. There’s a lot of secrets but only a couple were answered in this book. I recommend it if you like books not set in modern time or if you’re up for a dark, mysterious writing style.

3 of 5

3 Responses to “Review: The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark #1) by Shana Abe”

  1. 1 Alise August 11, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    I see average reviews for this one a lot, makes me a bit hesitant to read it but the originality and setting is a definite plus. I like character driven stories so I’m not sure this one is for me.

  2. 2 Natalie August 13, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    That cover is so pretty! This book looks pretty interesting. I like dark and mysterious books, so maybe I’ll have to pick this up. Great review!

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