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A Reader of Fictions: Secret - The Pierces

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Secret - The Pierces

Cross My Heart

Author: Sasha Gould
Pages: 262
ARC Acquired from: Delacorte BFYR via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Laura was sent to live in a convent as a child. Her parents could not afford to give her a dowry without reducing the marriage prospects of her elder sister, Beatrice. Laura hates life in the convent, so she is thrilled when she finds out that, after years there, she now gets to go home. She imagines a life with her sister. When she gets home, she discovers that her sister has died, has drowned despite her excellent swimming skills. Not only that, but she has been brought home to marry her sister's odious older fiancee. To escape this awful fate, she makes a bargain with the Segreta, a secret society of powerful women. They save her, but there's always a price...

My heart went out to Laura from the beginning. How could I not feel for all of the poor girls that were thrust into convents for such awful reasons, regardless of the girls' own inclinations. Laura's narration was rather heartbreaking. As you start reading, it's just so evident that she is completely without hope for her own life; she has given up entirely. So young and her life is already effectively over. Although she is not the brightest (and she lacks worldly knowledge because she spent so many years in the convent), Laura does the best that she can, and, because of this, she made a good heroine. The hero was pretty great, too, but I'll leave him a surprise.

Secret societies aren't generally my cup of tea. This one, though, I found much more scintillating than usual. What I loved was that it was a group of women, marginalized in society, but controlling Venice behind the scenes. No one is safe from the actions of the Segreta, even the Doge, the ruler of the city. Of course, they're just as corrupt as male political groups, but I do like to see women getting revenge on the patriarchy.

I also found myself doing a lot of thinking about courtship in that time period. Of course, I knew already that fiancees were regularly swapped to a different child, as though they are interchangeable, and that marriages were arranges after only a handful of meetings. So, none of it was new, but, for some reason, I found myself really thinking about the reality of living that life. Even the guy she gets a crush on, she only meets him a couple of times before they begin an illicit relationship of exchanging letters and talking when they catch a moment alone. Given the limited freedom women had, relationships escalated so quickly.

Cross My Heart is well-written and entertaining. If you love young adult literature or historical fiction, you'll want to get your hands on this one. I know I'll be reading more novels by Sasha Gould! Plus, look at the pretty cover!

Rating: 3.5/5

"Got a secret
Can you keep it?
Swear this one you'll save
Better lock it in your pocket
Taking this one to the grave
If I show you then I know you won't tell what I said
'Cause two can keep a secret if one of them is dead"

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Blogger Kali Skittles said...

That cover is pretty. Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of covers coming out recently with masks? Are they the new prom dress??

Anyway..haha. This sounds good to me! The blurb about it is enough to make me want to run out and buy it. I haven't read much historical fiction, but I really want to because everytime I have, I really enjoy the books. I have to branch out! :D

April 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hmm, I don't think I've seen to many masks, but I would so be okay with that being a thing!

This one's good fun!

April 2, 2012 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Kali Skittles said...

I'm sure there's more that I had in mind, but all I can think of at the moment is Remembrance by Michelle Madow and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Though I definitely think there's a few others I've been seeing recently because I was inclined to make a list of them.

April 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Now that you mention them, those totally do have masks. Memory fail. That would make an awesome list!

April 3, 2012 at 6:16 PM  

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