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Book Review: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

The Vespertine (The Vespertine, #1)Title: The Vespertine
Author: Saundra Mitchell
Series: The Vespertine #1
Pages: 304
Date of UK Publication: 7th March 2011
Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via NetGalley
Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

My Thoughts:
Amelia Van Den Broek is spending the summer of 1889 in Baltimore, with the Stewart family. Almost immediately, Amelia and Zora become good friends, and their friendship really is something to be admired. Amelia is loving it in Baltimore, she's having fun, being loved, and just having an awesome time. That is, until the two girls find out that Amelia can see into the future, through the vespers. And it's not always good things she sees. And when an awful vision comes true, her world quickly spirals out of control.

The Vespertine really began at the end of the book. The first 3 quarters were filled with dancing, fun, and love, and Amelia is having the time of her life. Then, all of a sudden, things aren't going too well for her, and things really start picking up. It sucks you in, and I couldn't stop reading, because I needed to know what happened.

The characters were the best thing in the book for me. They really were the kind of people you would expect to find in the 1800s, and I could believe that they once lived. Mitchell's writing was beautiful, and I got completely lost in a Victorian world, which is by far my favourite time period to read in. Sometimes in books though, the use of Victorian language confuses me as it can be so different to now, but in The Vespertine I felt I always knew exactly what was going through Amelia's head.  The plot was well thought out and well paced, and it grabs you instantly, keeping you turning the pages like your life depends on it.

The supernatural element of this novel was completely unique. I don't think that it took centre stage in the novel, as it was quite subtle and not made a big thing of. The twists and turns that the novel took completely surprised me; it was obvious they were coming but how they would actually happen was a mystery to me until I read it.

And lastly, the ending... Wow. Never in a million years would I have guessed what was coming, and I wasn't really ready for it, but it was awesome, and I loved it. I really do recommend that everyone with a love for historical or paranormal romance fiction to pick it up, because it was really very good. I will definitely be buying a finished copy when it comes out in March, and I think you should too.

My Rating:
I give it 5 Feet!

2011 e-Book Challenge #3
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #12
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #15

THANK YOU to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book to review!


  1. Wow, high praise! I'm not really one for historical fiction but the fact that this includes paranormal elements makes me really interested in it!


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