The Vespertine

by Saundra Mitchell

The Vespertine book artAmelia has come to town with one objective: find a husband. But her plans start to stray almost immediately when a not-exactly proper man draws Amelia’s attention at her first social dinner. And then Amelia sees something funny in the sunset…something like a prediction.

But Zora, Amelia’s cousin and roommate, has a stringent schedule of dances and gatherings to put Amelia in front of the crowd of eligible men and distract from any odd visions.

Well, at least she does until Amelia’s visions start coming true and she becomes the talk of town. And that not-worthy-but-oh-so-handsome Nathanial keeps popping up in unexpected locations…

The Vespertine is a gorgeously written, paranormal novel with the lush historical setting of turn-of-the-century Baltimore to serve as its backdrop. I enjoyed the development of characters – slow and steady – as well as the twists and turns of the paranormal side of the book.

While there are a few excellent love stories in The Vespertine (yay for Nathanial!), I found the relationships between Amelia and her cousin and host, Zora, to be even more interesting. Their support of each other was interesting to watch develop over the course of the book and made the ending all the more heart-wrenching.

Another set of bonuses for this book were the paranormal angle – visions in the vespers is a pretty new concept (for me, at least) – and how slowly Amelia’s gift build throughout. Her visions aren’t in your face and, while they do factor into the plot, I think the plot is enhanced by the paranormal storyline instead of relying on it.

There were a few slow-moving spots for me, but I never found any of the characters to be cardboard and, as mentioned above, I thought Mitchell’s writing was gorgeous. As a bonus, I loved the historical setting. While I know numerous YA books with historical settings exist, I never seem to get around to them. So this was a treat.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Available: Now!
Where my copy came from: Netgalley ebook from the publisher

p.s. once again, gorgeous cover. just sayin’

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