Making Music (ARC Review)



Quote This…

“I’ll be the star above them both, watching. Singing.”




Fun fact about Misty #54682: I know more random information than useful information. Why is this relevant? Because it helps me write reviews (and dominate at Trivial Pursuit.) For example…did you know that today is National Appreciate a Dragon Day? I mean…it’s also National Fig Newton Day, Martin Luther Kings birthday and National Nothing Day (yes, there is indeed a “nothing day”) but in the interest of staying on task…Hey!!!! It’s National Appreciate a Dragon Day! And…The Sweetest Dark is, guess what, about DRAGONS! (You see how I did that? Awesome right. Random Misty for the win!)

“Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

Before I get into the highs and lows of Abe’s little Dragon do-dah, let me tell you how long this book has been sitting on my shelf, and why that is important.

I first received a copy of “The Sweetest Dark” last July as an ARC. The publication date on the binding said August 21st, so in my mind…eh, I had some time. Then August rolled around and I gathered my books for the month. Being the good little blogger that I am (insert cheesy smile) I decided to verify pub dates…couldn’t hurt, right? Everything was copacetic until I got to TSD who’s pub date now said February 2013. WHAT!? So…I put the book aside again. A few weeks ago, I made out my January blogging schedule and threw TSD into the mix. Checked pub dates, and BAM! the date had again changed…to APRIL 2013!!  Well, at this point I realized I was going to have to take matters into my own hands. I would read this book. Review this book. And let everyone else worry about when it comes out. So I popped it back into my pile and went about my day.

A few days ago, I picked up TSD and started reading….I was pleasantly surprised. And then I was HUGELY surprised. See, after all these months I had completely forgotten what TSD was even about. I don’t go back and read the synopsis after my initial time and the copy that I have does NOT have that very beautiful picture on the front, so I was totally in the dark.

Dragons?? This book is about dragons? I thought it was about some random girl being drawn into something predictably paranormal. This was something new! Something exciting!!! Yay book.

Now, looking back I should have guessed the premise of TSD. Shana Abe is (after-all) very well-known for her adult Drakon books. A YA Victorian version (of said books) shouldn’t have been that much of a stretch. But to tell you the truth, I was kind of glad I didn’t realize it at the time. It made reading this book an adventure.

So, Misty…what was so spectacular about these dragons?

Well, for starters…Dragon. As in one. Or, at least in this book. We “know” of a 2nd, but he doesn’t really show us his pretty wings, or dive-bomb blimps like his cohort does. Instead he tries to charm/push/weasel his way into Lora (and the readers) heart by way of arrogant chauvinism. (Aka…rich boy on the loose.)

However, where there is a lack of a 2nd dragon (boo!) there is Jesse. The Groundskeeper.

Jesse is quiet. Pensive. Beautiful and completely sacrificial. In short…he is perfect. Which makes his character difficult to read. You know when everything in life is going grand and you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop? That is Jesse’s existence…waiting for the other shoe. It makes reading his journey a tad sad, but at the same time compelling.

Add Jesse’s lyrical beauty to Lora’s honest snark and the two become a bit of a dream team couple. (Oh come on… you had to know they were going to be a couple right? That’s not giving too much away!) They push and pull off of each-other like magnets and it makes their dialogue and clandestine encounters unbelievably absorbing. Not to say Armand didn’t have his moments…several of them in fact. I just happen to think the uniqueness in Jesse and Lora’s relationship trumped that of poor sad Armand’s.

So what did I think overall?

I liked it.

The beginning was a little choppy, but by the end I was telling my family (not very nicely) to “GET OUT OF MY ROOM!” so I could finish. I will warn you of one little tick though. Even with the obvious suspension of reality that the initial concept of this book demands (hello… dragons!!) there are a few times (not many) when you are just going to have to nod your head and go with it.

Happy reading my fellow Kindle-tes and remember: It’s a book, not real life. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!

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About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.