Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult

That is just sweetest thing!

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

sweetest dark

The Skinny: Lora gets the opportunity to do something many in her situation never get to – attend a prestigious school for girls, the scholarship student of a Duke who “owns” the school. After her troubling past in the orphanage, Lora embraces the opportunity, despite the snide and cruel girls who attend the school. It doesn’t help that Lora is… different. For some reason she can hear things, music that doesn’t exist. The answers lie with two boys – Jesse, the school’s groundskeeper, and Armand, the arrogant son of the duke. With their help Lora must understand who she is and what she must become.

BFF?: I’m gonna just say it: I didn’t like Lora. Was she well written? For the most part, very much so. Was her voice authentic and lovely and all those good things? Yes. I felt for her, I triumphed with her, I even cheered for her at some points. But truthfully… she was kind of… well… a bitch. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the people she was rude to totally deserved it, but sometimes just said snide comments without any pushing. No wonder no one likes you. You’re mean to them!

Readability: This book was absolutely beautiful to read. BE-U-TI-FULLLL. The imagery, the lush poetic writing, the way words flowed into the other… I haven’t read anything like this in a long long while.

Crush Level: 5 & 2
Let’s start with Jesse. Everyone thinks he’s mute because he doesn’t talk. But actually, he just talks to Lora. Which is kinda sweet, because she’s really all he cares about. In fact, I kind of loved him. Like a lot. Why the low crush level though? He just didn’t do it for me. Yes, there were some scenes that were pretty swoony, and they mainly involved him, but I dunno… just not for me.

Then there’s Armand. First, his name. I don’t like it. It even sounds pompous. Secondly, OMG he is the most pompous pig out there. Sure, there are redeeming moments when he’s not too bad, but for the most part yuck. He’s mean to Lora, he’s condescending, and he’s broody. And not in a good way.

Bonus Points:
Castle School
Who hasn’t wanted to go to school in an old castle, raise your hand. None? That’s right. It was awesome.


Maaaaaaybe it’s me missing Downton Abbey, but I love this era. Not really the war, just the era. Where people still grasped onto the ways of the old while they were on the cusp of the future.


There is SO MUCH talk about purple in this book it simply becomes another element of it. Purple skies, purple clouds, purple sunsets, purple, purple, purple. It’s absolutely stunning!

Commencement Speech: I hadn’t heard a lot about The Sweetest Dark before I read it. I’d read a few reviews, some negative, some positive. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but thoroughly enjoyed it once I was there! There were a few surprises, a few twists and turns… nothing was obvious but nothing was jaw-droppingly OMG did that just happen? The one thing that I really loved was the writing. It blew me away with how beautiful it was. There was one part… I’m pretty sure it was just kissing… that made me feel like I needed a cold shower. Just from the writing! Phew! Overall… great book. I’m looking forward to where the next one takes me, especially considering the explosive ending!

Yearbook Quote: “What am I to make of you?” I muttered into it. “Are you DARK?” I will be delicious, was all the orange seemed to reply.” (yeah, my food says that to me too)

“Secrets could live here, tucked between tree trunks, hidden in the boughs, and no one would ever see. Secret things, secret hearts, could open up wings and thrive.”

Superlatives – Most likely to make you want to paint everything purple

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6 thoughts on “That is just sweetest thing!”

  1. I actually got this book from Netgalley last year I think, but I never read it. I’m kind of curious about it, but I’m not liking the fact that the main character is a jerk.

    I do like purple, though, so maybe I should move it up my TBR list 🙂


    1. She’s not a TOTAL jerk… more like just a huge chip on her shoulder? I dunno. She had both good and bad moments. It’s worth checking out though!


    1. Totally get it! I actually kept thinking about your review the entire time I was reading. 🙂 I think some elements worked well for me… others did not. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series though, just to see where it takes me.


  2. The readability was my favorite factor – it really was beautiful, especially the first half! I think it’s enough to make me want to read the second book…


  3. I didn’t swoon particularly hard over Jesse, either. I felt like I didn’t really get why he felt that way for her, considering he’d never met her. Their relationship was just really odd. I did, however, feel for Armand (although every time someone called him “Mandy” I eye-rolled quite hard). I think I could come to really root for the two of them, but he’ll need to cool it with the arrogance first.


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