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The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
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The Splendor Falls

by Rosemary Clement-Moore

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Sylvie has suffered some losses, her father has died of cancer, her mother has remarried and her leg breaks in an onstage accident that leaves her ballet career broken before it really starts. Right now the only thing she can rely on is her dog Gigi who gives her unconditional love the only way a rescue dog can.

She goes to visit her aunt in the family home. There she meets with Shawn the local golden boy and Rhys who is visiting from Wales and some of the resident ghosts while she works on repairing herself mentally and the garden physically.

I liked the story and found the characters appealing. I liked the pace and the attitude of the characters to their situations. I thought that the aunt and mother should have given her some latitude for the accident and her grief at her father and her dreams. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Nov 18, 2013 |
RATING: 4 stars

The Splendor Falls is another one of those books about which you don't really know what to say. One of those books that fall into so many clichés along the way but in the end there is something brilliant about them that makes you like them.

Two good words to describe this book: atmospheric and beautiful. I loved the descriptions of the South, of the archeological dig, of anthropology and folklore... of course I myself an archeologist, so that may be why, but I like how the author always seems to incorporate the history of the land, so to speak, in her books. And how her prose seems to evoke something magical in the most simple of things, like grass, trees and a river.

I liked the story and I thought it was properly developed (not rushed as so many YA books are), but I think the author lacks a proper sense of pacing (sometimes the book was almost boring). I noticed the same problem with her other book, Texas Gothic. Both books start out ok (although I did take a while to warm up to Sylvie, this book's heroine), the pace is great at first and everything develops slowly and mysteriously enough. But then, just before you reach the most interesting part, the book speeds up and everything feels rushed. So all the plot lines, mysteries and happenings seem to have very anticlimactic resolutions.

I didn't care all that much for the romance (because it wasn't as fleshed-out as I thought it should have been). The connection between Sylvie and Rhys was badly explained and I must say I'd have liked Rhys to appear more and not be there just to be a mysterious hot guy that says "strange things are afoot" or whatever. I felt like the character wasn't well developed enough and the old "we've met in another life" part of the story was too much; I'd have preferred if they were just normal young people. Shawn was also a bit of a disappointment. Sylvie grew on me throughout the book but I never warmed up to her enough. I guess Gigi was my favorite character.

Overall, a good book within the YA paranormal romance genre. I liked reading it, but thought that like her other book, the author seems to have some pacing problems and also character development issues, especially in the 'romance department'. Her characters never seem to have very believable feelings; their motivations for doing things seem mostly false. Still, the plot was mostly good and the writing was great. Recommended. ( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
I consumed a lot of Nancy Drew materials when I was growing up and the best parts of this book reminded me of those stories--lots of going around the small town and talking to local people, trying to subtly find out information about this big mysterious mystery. I found Gigi to be a really endearing character and thought she made Sylvie a more likeable protagonist. The last few chapters were really confusing and the epilogue was even more confusing because of how tidy it was--things went from a huge mess to entirely resolved with no real explanation to the reader who's been following the whole story. I think the whole 'earth magic' bit could've been revealed earlier on and explored more without taking away too much of the suspense of the rest of the plot. ( )
  amwsmith | Apr 1, 2013 |
I have some mixed feelings while reading The Splendor Falls. I loved Sylvie's dynamic and her personal issues of healing herself both physically and mentally. And the Southern Gothic setting lent a very creepy atmosphere to the story overall. However, I felt a lot of the plot elements- like the constant references to Sylvie's family but without the explanation- were rushed and weren't resolved until the huge climax near the end. Overall, a good read, but it has some issues. ( )
  princess-starr | Mar 31, 2013 |
Thrilling and dark, but not too scary. I enjoyed the book but felt it could have been more concise. Some of it seemed to be explained away too easily while other details still feel a little fuzzy to me. Regardless, it was something I didn't want to put down! Recommended. ( )
  rnc0909 | Feb 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
The book is well written, told from Slyvie's point of view. While It could have done without the constant interactions with Slyvie's dog Gigi, the story of magic and ghosts kept my interests peaked.
 
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Epigraph
Genius is another word for magic, and
the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable.

--Dame Margot Fonteyn, Prima Ballerina
Dedication
To Mom,
For a thousand and one reasons.
First words
Prologue

For months, I relied the pas de deux in my dreams, in that multisensory Technicolor of a memory I'd much rather forget.
Chapter 1

I wanted to hate Alabama, and nothing about my arrival disappointed me.
Quotations
The steel was definitely absent from her magnolia voice.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Sylvie Davies is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but what broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage. Still reeling Sylvie is shipped off to stay with relatives in the back of beyond. Or so she thinks, in fact she ends up in a town rich with her family’s history . . . and as it turns out her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, is the expected choice. But handsome and mysterious Rhys has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand

Then Sylvie starts seeing things – a girl by the lake and a man with dark unseeing eyes peering in through the window . . . Sylvie’s lost nearly everything - is she starting to lose her mind as well?

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Dark secrets linking two Alabama families and their Welsh ancestors slowly come to light when seventeen-year-old Sylvie, whose promising ballet career has come to a sudden end, spends a month with a cousin she barely knows in her father's ancestral home.… (more)

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