Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2) by Rachel Harris - Ashley's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: A Tale of Two Centuries
Author: Rachel Harris
Year Published: 2013

My Pre-Reading

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?


Review: When I got this book, I totally missed the part about it being a sequel. I was prepared to be so confused and have to put it aside until I could go read the first book in the series. Luckily though, this wasn't the case! Without knowing any of the characters or the back story, I was still able to figure out the important information and thoroughly enjoy the book. 

I loved all of the characters in this book. Everyone was so real, and even though Alessandra seems out of place in the 21st century, I thought she was very well written as a lady of the sixteenth century. I even though that Harris did a great job throwing her into the 21st century and making her learn the slang and conventions of teenagers today. It was interesting to see how a 21st century teenager would teach someone from another time what the trends and slang are. Sometimes I feel like I need a list of slang words and trendy topics just so I can keep up with what's "popular," so I totally empathize with Less. 

I know this is a romance book, but I thought the romance was really well done. It's a major part of the plot, but it isn't overwhelming and it doesn't move too fast. I mean, it's like two weeks, but it feels like much longer. Less and Austin are not looking for a fairy tale romance, but end up with a happily ever after anyway (once they manage to work out their differences and the conflicts they encounter). They both have issues and secrets, but they work them out. The relationship is fun and innocent, and it was actually enjoyable to read about. The plot moves along quickly enough, and I never felt like there were too many details or too much information or anything. So major props to Harris on that. 

The little bit of gypsy magic that's involved really makes this story unique, and I think the gypsy is my favorite character. Plus, she gets to teach some life lessons and that's always a plus. And it kept this from being just a contemporary YA romance novel, so that was nice. Not knowing when she's coming back gives everything a sort of urgency, and I think it would have been pretty slow if that hadn't been there.

This book really surprised me, and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I was going to. I'm even interested in seeing what Cat's story was in My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, and finding out about her and Lorenzo. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fun twist on contemporary YA romances, and also to anyone who has read the first book in the series. But, even if you haven't, it's still a good, fun read that won't leave you confused or begging for answers to too many questions. A surprising 4/5 from me on this book! 


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