Friday, 30 March 2018

Review of Jessica Titone 'Stolen'

Review of 'Stolen' by Jessica Titone


Ella’s no stranger to sacrifice. Pursuing a professional career in ballet demands that she risk everything, including remaining in war-torn London to continue her training. Dancing has always been her singular desire, until reserved American Jesse Cohen transfers to her school. When partnered in a production of Giselle, Ella glimpses a new side of Jesse. A tentative friendship blossoms into romance, but happiness is not theirs to keep.

Jesse mysteriously vanishes, confounding the authorities. When all searches fail to locate him, Ella takes matters into her own hands. She begins with the attic - their secret meeting spot - where a strange melody pricks her ears. Its call leads her through an unusual attic door, down a dark path, and into an idyllic, magical realm called Arcadia.

A gruff forest dweller named Wren teaches Ella survive in the new world. Safety is guaranteed as long as she follows two simple rules : Don’t eat the red berries and steer clear of the mountain queen’s forces. Over time, Ella comes to suspect that Jesse is in Arcadia. Armed with nothing but a strong conviction and the knowledge that all boys end up at the mountain, she vows to find him. Her will is strong, but her path is plagued by crippling self-doubt, hidden treachery, and resistance from a powerful foe. A substantial sacrifice must be made to secure Jesse’s safety, but Ella’s unsure if her heart can withstand it.

My review

I enjoyed the delicate opening to this novel; the budding relationship between Ella and Jesse as it develops through their love of dancing. When, suddenly, he disappears I was desperate to find out what had happened. Then, the novel takes a sharp and magical twist and I was thrust into a different world. A world that took my breath and left me page-turning desperately to find out more. Wow, the book stepped up a gear at this point from being a charming romance to something completely engaging. I won't spoil what happens but I wasn't even thinking of something like this. It's rare a novel throws me.

The book crosses many different areas and is hard to define, but overall a really enjoyable young adult novel with elements of fantasy, romance and history. I wasn't expecting a story like this from the description and was very pleasantly surprised. I do feel, however, I wanted to know a little more about the characters as feel there was a lot of mystery left and I craved some more depth. I enjoyed this novel as a sweet romance novel with certainly a surprising difference.

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