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You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation
Deborah Tannen
People Reading: Control Others
Beier, Ernest G. Beier
The Sweetest Dark - Shana Abe See more of my reviews at We Live and Breathe BooksI won an Advanced Reader's Edition of this book through Goodreads First Reads (although I probably would have bought it anyway) and it is now one of my favorite books I've ever read. There is something so exquisite and eloquent about the way Shana Abe writes - some of the imagery doesn't necessarily seem realistic coming from a 16-year-old, but I was too caught up in the beauty to really notice or care. Beyond the glass of my window the night was now amethyst. Infinite amethyst, deep and dark with a ripple of stars winking over the obsidian break of the forest paralleling the tracks. I found that depth of purple sky mesmerizing. Nights in the city were always gray or black or the color of the streetlights. Always. So I wasn't sure why this particular hue--those stars, the jagged line of trees--was so familiar. I must have imagined it this way, I decided. I read so much. I must have read of amethyst nights and imagined it.Ugh, why is that so beautiful?! This is the first I've read of Abe, but I'm definitely going to be reading her Drakon series in the near future, as well as The Deepest Night when that is released.The Sweetest Dark takes place in World War I England at Iverson, a prep school for daughters of wealthy families. Lora, our heroine, is an orphan who doesn't remember her past and is thought to be crazy by the people at her orphanage. At the beginning of the book, Lora finds out that she has been given a scholarship to attend Iverson. Throughout the story, she gradually finds out who she is and tries to uncover her past while also falling in love.Lora is probably the greatest heroine I have ever read. Not only is she strong, determined, and headstrong like most heroines, but she also has this nefarious side to her - she is not afraid of what people think of her and couldn't care less about how she is "supposed" to act. And she is so sassy. She pretty much always has a witty reply to anyone's attitude or rudeness. Even when she's outnumbered by all those rich girls at Iverson, she still tells them off regardless of the consequences. "Call me anything you like," I answered, pulling out my chair. "I certainly understand how someone with such an abnormally tiny head would struggle to remember even the most undemanding facts. It must be quite a burden for you."I just... I love Lora so much. She is perfection.Of course, one cannot forget the two love interests: Jesse and Armand. Oh, Jesse. He is a dreamboat. He is compassionate, understanding, loving, handsome, sweet... I could probably go on all day. Jesse is the one who helps Lora figure out who she is and acts as her guide throughout the book. Armand, on the other hand, is brooding and snarky. A lot of Lora and Armand's interactions in the story are through witty banter, which both adds to their personas and gives a bit of humor to the story. When Armand and Jesse interact, it is especially intriguing because the two couldn't be more different.So, basically, this book is awesome. The characters and the relationships are so well developed, and the plot will keep you engrossed all the way to the end. Although the ending was bittersweet (and I may have bawled my eyes out), the story was absolutely captivating and I cannot wait to get my hands on The Deepest Night.