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- Publisher: Random House Children's Books
- Publication date: 3/13/2012
- Pages: 272
- Source: eARC from NetGalley/Random House for reveiw
When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura's father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice's fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura's prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister's death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.
I decided to try my luck out with another book that is a bit different than what I would typically read, and I was pleasantly surprised with it. Did I love it? No, but I did enjoy it. The story kept me interested, and I did feel for Laura. I didn't connect as well as I would have liked to, but I really liked her character. The story moves a long nicely, and is never overwhelming. I do wish we were given a bit more information on certain things, but that's okay.
Laura is the main character. We go through the book in her head. I have read a lot of books in multi-PoV's lately, so this was kind of nice. She is living in the covenant when we first meet her, and it's pretty awful. When her sister ends up dead, her father brings her home to essentially take her place and marry the man who Beatrice was intended to marry. Laura has to learn how to adjust to life outside the covenant. She doesn't really have any experience in how to socialize or how to act when out at social events. I have to say that her character is brave. She isn't some super heroine who is snarky or has any special qualities, but she is a girl who won't be pushed around. Yes, she makes a few bad choices, but she knows what she has done, and though she is scared, she wants to do what is right. She ends up involved with the Segreta, but ends up not knowing who she can trust.
I thought the romance was a bit too quick, but given the situation I suppose at least for his part, that it makes a bit of sense. I really love the painter. He is so sweet. There is much more to him than we think though. There are a lot of secrets in this story. A lot of people are not who they seem to be. It kind of bothered me that the Segreta wears masks to be secretive and conceal their identities, but yet we really knew who each person was for the most part. It wasn't really as much of a secret as it's supposed to be. I didn't like the father at all. To be honest I thought he was a self-centered and selfish jerk. I thought maybe by the end of the book I might grow to like him, maybe he would change, but no luck. If anything I disliked him even more.
I really enjoyed the writing and the story overall. I still was a bit undecided and thrown off on what to think of the Segreta though. At the end I thought that some of it was also rushed, like we were running out of time to get to the end of the book so it had to be condensed. Things seemed to just happen and be okay, and it didn't seem to fit quite right for me. This book is relatively short and is a great quick read. I did really enjoy it besides a few minor things. 3.5 out of 5 stars.