August 15, 2011

Book Review: The Splendor Falls

Title: The Splendor Falls
Publisher: Delacorte Press (a registered trademark of Random House Inc.)
On-Sale Date: January 11, 2011
Length: 513 pages
Format: Trade paperback

Sylvie Davis has been sent away.  She’s going to be spending some time with her deceased father’s cousin, Paula.  Most importantly, she’s going to have some time away from her life.  Sylvie will be staying in Bluestone Hill Inn as Cousin Paula is the owner.  It is the perfect place for Sylvie to have some time to herself, and to explore the large property that surrounded her.
After the nasty accident of breaking her leg on stage, (otherwise known as "The Accident"), Sylvie became a different person.  She can’t dance anymore, and is devastated.  So, her new step-father, along with her mother, decide that some time away from home would be best for everyone.
Sylvie arrives at Bluestone Hill with her chihuahua, Gigi, and in a less than cheery mood.  She didn’t ask to come there, but if anything, maybe it’ll bring her closer to her dad again.
Despite her less than stellar attitude, Sylvie doesn’t seem to have trouble making friends.  Two people in particular are immediately interested in Sylvie.  There’s Rhys, the mysterious guest, and Shawn, the all-around golden boy.  There’s definitely animosity between those two,  and could Sylvie be the cause?
Although Sylvie is drawn to both boys and the secrets they keep hidden, she’s even more curious about the story surrounding Bluestone Hill.  And who is that she keeps seeing running through the darkness?

I truly enjoyed reading The Splendor Falls.
It was a scary story with its own twist.

One of the main characters was Sylvie’s chihuahua, Gigi.  It isn’t often that a main character has four legs and barks.  I loved this puppy.  She was the best furry friend to Sylvie.  Gigi was a friendly counterpart to her owner’s snappy moods and surly attitude.  She made the entire town and tenants of Bluestone Hill melt.  I have never been a huge animal lover, but my heart was touched by Gigi throughout the story.  She was just as important to the story as Sylvie.

Sylvie lost everything.  She lost her whole life.  Dancing was everything to her, and breaking her leg nearly broke her.  Sylvie knew no other lifestyle, but had to build one on a broken dream.  Her mother, step-father, step-brother, and psychologist all believed that they knew what was best for her.  Unfortunately for everyone else, (Team Help-Sylvie-Get-A-Life), Sylvie was the only one who could figure it all out for herself.  Still, they made the decision for her to spend her summer with Cousin Paula in a small southern town far from her native Manhattan.  It was there that Sylvie was supposed to find her bearings.  It truly was a good place to start, because this was where her father, who meant everything to her, spent his summers growing up.  She was lost when her father died.   She really needed to find a part of him again.  Even dead, Sylvie’s dad was there for her more than her mother ever was.

Sylvie had such a presence.  She didn’t quite know who she was yet, but she made herself known.  Sylvie was confident despite the seemingly downward spiral she had been caught in.  She had a level head on her shoulders, but had trouble believing in herself, because the people that surrounded her no longer trusted her completely.  She didn’t want to cause any upset because this felt like her last chance.  Sylvie had made some mistakes that were taken the worst way, so she was shipped off to a distant family member.
Fortunately, this ballerina was much more than just beauty.  The fact that she wasn’t cuddly and prickled those around her, just added to her character.  Quite ironically, her closest friend was a puppy.  Sylvie was only gentle and caring with Gigi, and normally she bristled around everyone else.
She followed her instincts and didn’t let The Accident slow her down.  
When Sylvie danced she knew who she was, but when it was ripped away from her, she was forced to see who she could be without it.

There was a story hidden in Bluestone Hill, and it seemed like Sylvie was the one that was meant to uncover it.  Sylvie was almost convinced that she was truly going crazy.  She saw the unexplainable, but in a place with such history she wasn’t the only one that did.  There were many clues laid out for those who cared to look.
Sylvie wasn’t only meant to find herself that summer.  The story was more than her.  She was meant to find truth and answers, so the story could finally be put to rest.

The two boys interested in Sylvie from nearly the beginning, didn't make for a conventional love triangle.  The relationships between Sylvie, Rhys, and Shawn took continuous twists and turns until the reader was left in a constantly confused state.  Each boy had Sylvie questioning him, and it wasn’t until the end that it all made sense.  It was a well plotted mystery, because all the intricate pieces fell into place at the end.

The Splendor Falls was a wonderful, wonderful read.

Premise: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a finished copy from the author. This did not influence my review in any way.

1 comment:

  1. I was sold at chihuahua! =D I have one that I adore. I didn't realize this author had other books -- I still need to read Texas Gothic!