by Suzy Vitello
Edition: ebook arc from Netgalley
Pub. date: September 2, 2014
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆
In this dazzling novel from the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…
When city girl Liz is banished to a rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control. She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval. The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons. But all of this changes in one historical instant.
One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own. Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love. But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.
When Liz finds a time-worn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria.
It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…
I hope there will be a sequel to this, because the connection between the two girls built up very slowly, until we finally see why the diary was so important, and then it ends.
The premise of the book was fascinating. Two girls connected through time by a diary, having their story interwoven. It’s what first drew me to this book when I saw it on Netgalley. The fact that Suzy Vitello based it on history made it even more fascinating to me. Vitello took the historical figure of Empress Elizabeth of Bavaria and Emperor Franz Joseph, and introduces a sci-fi/fantasy twist to it, which is something I love.
Sissi was an interesting character, full of life and beauty, growing into womanhood while we read. Her childhood was interesting, somewhat bohemian (though, as the Glossary says, it was not as well documented), filled with circuses, parties, and royals. Her growth from the nursery to womanhood is interesting, mostly because she finds her “true love” during that turning point. Her story was interesting, but not as interesting as Liz.
I found myself feeling sorry for everything that Liz had been and was going through; I just wanted to know more. I found myself more connected to Liz than to Sissi (Elizabeth), though that might have been because I found Sissi more immature than Liz. Probably unfair of me, but there it is. I couldn’t put the book down, and wanted to find out what would happen next with Liz and Sissi.
Vitello’s writing was gripping-I even made notes at parts that gave me “chills”. My only complaint, as I mentioned earlier, is that the build up was slow, so that I was wondering when we were getting to the part where the “two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history…” This was an almost a constant thought throughout the book. Aside from that, though, this was a great find. Pretty please tell me there will be a second book!