A Darkly Beating Heart

By Lindsay Smith

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

Published by Roaring Brook Press

My Rating: three-half-stars

A Darkly Beating Heart

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.

I was so interested in this book! The description really captured my interest, as did the setting. I love time travel stories too. This book’s synopsis checked a lot of my boxes!

Oh boy, this book was dark. I don’t say that as a bad thing, but I think there was so much darkness in Reiko and Miyu and I was kind of caught off guard by the intensity of it. But it was something that really drew me in and made me want to keep reading, to know more about what had happened to both of them.

I liked A Darkly Beating Heart but I didn’t love it. I liked the writing and the setting, but the end felt a little too tidy and rushed to me. Not bad, but maybe not one that will stand out for me from the other books I’ve read this year.

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