Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting.
2/2.5 Star Rating
My Recommendation: Good enough to buy the paperback or ebook. I would not rush out and get it though.
Recommended Age 13+ The story reminds me of a Lynn Kurland or a Mckennon book. It has been done SOOOO many times that unless the storyline is extra intriguing or the writing extremely well done, it's hard to keep the reader interested. The only author to do this a little differently and break the mold is Diana Gabaldon. This was not a bad effort for a young adult book.
Plot and Pace: Hmm..just couldn't get as into it as I could have. Too many holes in the storyline for me and not enough clear backstory. Why are the two families fighting again? It would be nice to have a little more history detailed in the story. Italian history was not a major part of high school, so giving me the name of a few political groups and family names doesn't really tell me what the conflict should be. The tomb is the main focal point of how they travel in time and no real information is given? No mystery to unravel, ancient secrets to reveal?? So much more could have been included to make this story a little unique from the rest. Maybe the next books will get into this, but a mysterious hook would have been nice.
Action and Imagery: None to blog about
Romance and Humor: I'll skip on the humor and talk about the romance. Very little of it, but it was....cute? The attraction of Marcello to Gabriella is written pretty well. She's not like the rest of the women in his time; more forward, not as demure or agreeable. But why is she attracted to him? Because he's handsome?? Is that it. This was a big disappointment.
Characters: Another disappointment. Not enough character involvement at all. How you love or hate the characters is what makes an amazing book and determines how INTO the book and how invested I become in the story. The villain of the story, not a good villain. Why do we hate him again, other than he hates the main character? And the sister! Don't get me started....she just reappears. We don't get to know about how she came back, what she's been doing in more detail?
What Irked The Shiznit Out Of Me: Nothing really bothered me.
What Blew Me Away: Nothing amazed me.