Friday, August 19, 2011

Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Local Library 
Read: Aug. 19, 2011

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.

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Fair warning folks, I’m in the minority on this one so try to keep an open mind. My feelings won’t be hurt if you disagree with me, but I’d hate to think of my word being gospel as most readers seem to really enjoy this series. 

Bergren’s prose is alright, but I personally found it rather immature and while I’m not part of the target age group for this novel, I can’t help feeling my sixth grade-self would have groaned over the verbiage in this piece. "I'd never encountered such Italian hotness outside of Roma." Yeah, I definitely would have balked at that. 

Continuity is another element I felt Bergren mishandled. Most of the novel takes place in 1332, a time that is utterly foreign to Gabi Betarrini. She doesn’t understand the culture, she doesn’t understand the protocol and she doesn’t understand the terminology. Bergren exploits this detail to add humor to the piece, but I couldn’t help noticing that many fourteenth century scenes felt inauthentic. Call me crazy, but I find it difficult to find Gabi’s ineptness amusing when her situation lacks validity. 

Waterfall was recommended to me because of its historic content, but the only thing I really liked about it was Bergren’s treatment of faith. The religious aspects weren’t grating or preachy and I felt the incorporation of content appropriate to both the story and situational drama. 

I’m not ruling out the rest of the series, but they definitely aren’t at the top of my TBR list.

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I finally meet a guy who's interesting and who seems to have a half-interest in me and it is TOTALLY the wrong time and place.
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