Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Waterfall (ARC)

Waterfall (River of Time, #1)Waterfall

Series: River of Time, #1
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA fantasy, historical fiction
Features: Time travel, 14th century Italy
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Source: Author for review
Links to Buy: Amazon|Barnes and Noble|

*Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.
Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life. 
     In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.
Okay, I admit it. I don't like writing reviews. It's kind of like homework. I'm still in school, so having homework on top of homework kind of turns me away. However, it doesn't stop me from reading or blogging. That being said, I think this was the first time I've ever been excited to write a review. Why? Because I want to spread the word about how wonderful this book was, and tell all of you to read it.

I was instantly hooked right after the first couple pages. A typical American girl, on "vacation" in Italy, just suddenly being thrown back in time? This book had everything: romance, adventure, battles, action, humor, hot Italian boys... 

I also loved the strength of Gabi and her sister. They may have knights at their disposal, but they can fight pretty well themselves, too. Speaking of knights, Marcello and Luca were absolutely swoon-worthy. I was really hoping everything turned out alright with them, because Marcello had long been betrothed to another and Lia, Gabi's sister, seemed to be clinging onto her old life more than this new one.

I finished off this book in two sittings, but only because the first one was in the middle of the night and I had school the next day. I would've kept reading I could. It's a fast-paced adventure that you will not put down until you've finished the last page, leaving you wanting for more and more. I immediately started Cascade that very same night. I was reading it obsessively to the point of jeopardizing my health, but I loved it. This is one book that is perfect for lovers of any genre, or even people who don't love books. I recommend it to readers of all ages. The River of Time series is a must-read, and I can't wait to see what new novels Ms. Bergren will come up with.

Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
I had trouble writing that review. There were just too many good things to talk about, and I just couldn't decide what, so I tried to be a little vague with this review. In other words, you should just pick up the book and find out for yourself. Words can't describe how much I enjoyed this one. :)
By the way, isn't that a gorgeous cover?? I need all three books on my shelf.

Beginning Excerpt:

Read an excerpt on Ms. Bergren's website here.

Favorite Excerpts:
He began counting the dance, turning me at count five and seven. I moved with him, without hesitation, and the eighth count found my left hand in his, at chest level, and my right hand above my head, facing him. Our mouths were inches away from each other. "I believe you have this mastered, m'lady," he said, still not releasing me, still staring into my eyes.
     "I believe you have taught me well, m'lord," I returned, staring steadily back at him. Oh my gosh, I thought. I so wanted him to take me into his arms and kiss me for all I was worth. I had never been kissed like that. And in that moment, I was clear on who I wanted to be the first.
     I turned away when no matter the cost cascaded through my mind.
     It could cost a great deal. For me. For him.
     "Lady Betarrini?" he asked. "Gabriella," he said, dropping his tone, in such an enticing manner, I nearly turned.
     "You need to go, Marcello," I said. "Depart." Vamoose, I added, in my thoughts. Hasta la vista, baby. "I only represent danger for you. Loss. All you need is below us, in this house."
     "How can you be so certain? Might there be a new path for me? One my parents might never have foreseen?"
     He was speaking of me. I drew in a shaky breath. What could I promise him? A wife who disappeared, into the future? No, it wasn't fair....
     I looked back to give him a pretty speech, some small comfort, but he was already gone through the gaping door, taking my hesitation as answer enough.
     I stared for a long time at that empty doorway, recognizing that I had killed any chance to be with the hottest guy I had ever run across. But it was for a good reason, a solid reason. I was being responsible.
     I tried to swallow the regret that filled my throat, tried to feel assured, courageous. But I couldn't even manage that.
     My mouth was dry.
     And my heart was empty.

I was about to watch Marcello die.
     But she was already moving forward, calmly crossing the courtyard like she owned it, ignoring Luca's harsh whispers. Her attention was on the first knight, pulling back his bowstring, taking aim. She paused, sensed the wind, and revised her aim, then let her arrow fly.
     I watched it, as if in slow motion, as it shot across space and split through the first knight's throat.
     But Lia was not done. She was already on one knee, squinting and taking aim at the second as he turned, spotting us. She let the next arrow fly, and the arrow struck him in the chest, driving backwrad, over the parapet wall.
     "Saints in heaven, I believe I'm in love," Luca growled, running past me, sword drawn, to go to Marcello's aid. He glanced from my sister to me with a wink.

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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