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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Book Review: The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore


Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 528 Pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 8, 2009)

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

When a freak accident leaves her unable to dance, Sylvie Davis’ dreams are shattered. Things go from bad to worse when she is shipped off to the Alabama home of a distant cousin she's never even met. To complicate matters further, Sylvie begins to see strange apparitions soon after arriving. After she has lost so much, is she about to lose her sanity too?

When I began The Splendor Falls, I expected a gripping, spine tingling thriller. But it’s not that kind of book. It’s more of a slow, steady read that takes the reader on a journey rich in mystery, history and romance. Though extremely slow to build, I thought the different plot elements all blended into a mixture interesting enough to keep me holding on for more. I enjoyed how many supernatural mysteries were mixed in with the town's folklore. Clues along the way hinted toward the deep, exciting secrets within Sylvie’s family. This really drew me into the novel. I could tell a large amount of research went into The Splendor Falls, and the back story was well explained and fascinating.

Of the two guys who became a focus in Sylvie’s life, Rhys, the handsome and elusive British guest of her cousin, was by far my favorite. Trying to figure out just how much he knew or was hiding definitely kept me turning the pages. I wanted him and Sylvie to get together very badly. Gigi, Sylvie’s dog had so much personality I saw her as a real character.

Readers who enjoy a little romance with mystery should appreciate Sylvie’s strong, witty character and the mysteries of The Splendor Falls.

Buy at Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Indiebound

I’ve been writing stories all my life, even when I should have been doing other things, like studying Algebra. My first paying job was as Chuck E. Cheese. I worked in theatre for years, and now I’m writing full time, which is my dream job, because I get to work in my pajamas and take a break every afternoon to play Guitar Hero.

To learn more about the author visit her Official Website & Blog.


Book Crazy Jenn said...

;) Wonderful review...I thought the same things about Splendor Falls...a slow beautiful read.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O I like slow steady reads :) Cool!

The Graef Family! said...

Great review. This sounds like a good book. I will have to go pick it up!

MarceJ said...

I got to chapt 18 and couldn't continue, it was way to slow for me. I did say I would continue trying to get to the end though.

Glad you enjoyed it.

Dwayne said...

I started this but stopped because of school work- I agree it was rather slow, but I didn't mind at all. Will definitely get back to it some time.