Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart #1) by Sasha Gould

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:

Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
272 Pages

Venice, 1585.
When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura's father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice's fiancĂ©, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura's prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister's death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.


Cross My Heart was a great historical young adult novel. I enjoyed it immensely. It was addicting and suspenseful.

It stars a young girl, who has just been taken from the convent where she has lived for most of her life. Her father sent her there as a child and has not heard from him in years, until her beloved sister dies. Then she is sent for and replaces her dead sister in a horrible arranged marriage. The main character, Laura, is horrified by her ancient, awful husband-to-be. When she is invited into a secret society of woman who offer to get her out of the marriage, she jumps at the opportunity. This leads to a series of murders and secrets that rock Venice to its core.

This book was great. It was definitely predictable, but the writing and characters made it enjoyable. I immediately knew who Laura would end up with and as the story went on, the murderer became more and more obvious. The predictability is why I didn't give it five stars, if the mystery of the story had felt more… mysterious, I would've given it five stars plus a thousand. That's how into the book I was.

The author, Sasha Gould, is wonderfully descriptive. The story she provides us is vivid and captivating. Ms. Gould has an almost lyrical prose that enamored me. I really, really enjoyed this story and the way it was written. I've never been out of the United States, but I've dreamed of traveling across Europe. Cross My Heart only made my desire to visit Venice even greater. The pictures that Ms. Gould paints are easily seen in my mind. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see Venice the way Laura does.

I assume the characters are realistic for their time period. I haven't made many stories based in Italy, and none of the ones that I have read were set in Venice. So I'll have to believe the author. In my opinion, the story was fluent and the ideas sound. Basically, I'm saying I believe that the author is faithful to the era she wrote about.

There is a goodreads page for a second book. Cross My Heart would've been a great standalone novel. I was very surprised to see that book two, which is titled Heart Of Glass, is supposed to be released this year (I think that's a mix up seeing as book one was released in Spring 2012). While I'm shocked that the author is writing a followup to Cross My Heart, I am very interested to see where she will take us next!

I received and e-copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

1 comment :

  1. I love my historical YA fiction! It's all so magical and wonderful and pretty, and Italy is a beautiful place for it to be set in. I must check this out some time soon. Great review!

    Teenage Fiction


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