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Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
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Cross My Heart

by Sasha Gould

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould is a historical fiction/mystery and is perfectly styled towards its target audience of ages twelve and up. While I enjoy historical fiction with a lot of historical details, I am not convinced that a younger audience is always looking for the same thing in that area, so I find this nicely balance. The setting is historical, but Sasha Gould has done a wonderful job in creating characters and a suspense story line that are more in-depth than the historical piece itself. She manages to keep a nice writing style while keeping it MG/YA. I am always happy to read a book for a younger reading audience that isn't trying to eek out good reviews by writing for their adult reviewers.
The beginning of the story lays the groundwork for the protagonist, Laura, where the reader gets familiarized with her circumstance of living in the convent, her family relations, and then the tragedy that changes everything. From that point on, the suspense builds and romance buds.
This is a mystery, so the suspense element is built better than the romance piece, but I would have liked to have seen a few more real and intimate moments between Laura and her love interest before love was declared. I did love the suspense portion, it is done in a way that leaves the reader unsure of which characters can be trusted until the end, and plenty of unexpected turns that keep the pages turning, which is why I enjoyed this read as much as I did.
I found a lot of pleasure reading about all of the interesting characters that are involved here. One minute I was sure that the Segreta, the secret society, was responsible for the death of Laura’s sister, and the next minute I thought that it could be Laura’s love interest, who is full of his own secrets. I am not going to give anything away here, so if you enjoy MG/YA suspense, give it a try. I hope that you enjoy it. ( )
  StephLaymon | Feb 3, 2016 |
Set in Renaissance Venice, this is a book filled with romance and intrigue. Laura is a strong protagonist, refusing to marry the old man her father has chosen for her. Instead she falls in love with Giacomo, an ordinary painter. Of course he is stunning to look at, but in my opinion rather one dimensional and I guessed his story early in the piece. Their romance is rather ho hum, although I did enjoy the murder and mystery that are woven throughout the book. It took quite a while to really become engaged with the story, which is why I only gave it three stars, but it did end well.

One issue I have with YA fiction at the moment is that every book written seems to be part of a series. "Cross My Heart" is a stand-alone book until the very last page. If there is a sequel I hope it has new characters - Laura's story has been told and it doesn't need to be dragged out in another book. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 22, 2016 |
Very good love story set in 16th century Venice. Love action and secret societies! ( )
  WarriorLibrary | Sep 25, 2013 |
As the second daughter, Laura is shut up in a convent while her beloved sister Beatrice is living a life of luxury, engaged to a wealthy, powerful man named Vincenzo. When Laura is suddenly summoned to her father's house in Venice, she thinks that all her prayers have been answered. But when she arrives in Venice, she learns that her sister is dead, and she is set to marry Vincenzo in Beatrice's place. When her bridegroom turns out to be a disgusting old man, she is approached by a secret society of women who promise her they can take her of her husband to be, in exchange for a secret...

This was a quick read. I finished it in about 2 hours. But I wish it had been longer. I liked the concept, and the setting. The Venice of the period was quite vivid (I'm not surprised to see that the author lived there are a child) and I thought it was the perfect setting for a story revolving around secrets, vendettas, and murders. But I wish that things had been fleshed out more. I would have loved a more dense narrative, and a more complex plot. I found the reveals to be a bit simplistic. The romance felt a little rushed. I think all these problems could have been fixed if the book had been longer. As it was, it felt a bit unsatisfying which is disappointing, because I liked the characters, and the concept, just not the execution.

( )
  shojo_a | Apr 4, 2013 |
As the second daughter, Laura is shut up in a convent while her beloved sister Beatrice is living a life of luxury, engaged to a wealthy, powerful man named Vincenzo. When Laura is suddenly summoned to her father's house in Venice, she thinks that all her prayers have been answered. But when she arrives in Venice, she learns that her sister is dead, and she is set to marry Vincenzo in Beatrice's place. When her bridegroom turns out to be a disgusting old man, she is approached by a secret society of women who promise her they can take her of her husband to be, in exchange for a secret...

This was a quick read. I finished it in about 2 hours. But I wish it had been longer. I liked the concept, and the setting. The Venice of the period was quite vivid (I'm not surprised to see that the author lived there are a child) and I thought it was the perfect setting for a story revolving around secrets, vendettas, and murders. But I wish that things had been fleshed out more. I would have loved a more dense narrative, and a more complex plot. I found the reveals to be a bit simplistic. The romance felt a little rushed. I think all these problems could have been fixed if the book had been longer. As it was, it felt a bit unsatisfying which is disappointing, because I liked the characters, and the concept, just not the execution.

( )
  shojo_a | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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When Laura della Scala's older sister drowns, Laura leaves the shelter of the convent where she has spent the last six years and enters the upper echelons of sixteenth-century Venetian society, while she searches for the truth about what happened to her sister.… (more)

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