by Jessica Day George
Amazon / Goodreads
Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.
With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.
Review:There were many things to love about this story - the focus on and the strength of two heroines who are each very different in personality but have a great friendship and are easy to empathize with. The story's setting is exciting too - I love the Victorian era, and it was intriguing to read a bit about the culture of three different countries - America, France and Romania. The spin on werewolves and other supernatural creatures was wonderful as well - very different and unpredictable, which made the story suspenseful.
The story took awhile to really capture my interest though. It is told through both of the girl's POV, with diary entries and letters augmenting the story. I didn't think using letters and personal diary entries added too much to the narrative. Instead I felt that it lengthened out the mystery of the Florescu family secret too much. But once you get halfway through the book, there is more action and a bit more plot to keep the reader riveted.
The best part of the book for me was getting to know Dacia and Lou. It's wonderful to read about a strong friendship, and these two complemented each other beautifully. They both grow as characters in this book too - and I liked seeing how they adjusted and lived up to their potential. They each have a fun sense of humor as well which made me like their characters more.
This is a book for the younger YA set I think, and feels a little light in terms of story depth, but it is still a lovely read, with fantastic characters and a chilling aspect to the supernatural element.
(I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review.)