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Review: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

W a t e r f a l l (R i v e r  o f  T i m e  #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Release Date: 2/1/11
Publisher: Cook
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 384
Word Blurb: Fantastical, mesmerizing, and magnetic!
"Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.
Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved...
and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know...and love itself.

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds… until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?"

Honestly, I do not know what I was expecting coming into this novel. Really, despite all the reviews I'd read, I didn't know what I was getting into until I read it for myself. And now, I'm caught between really liking it or loving it... Being set in Italy, then intermingling time-travel, was what had initially pulled me in. But, once I'd opened up to page one, the book handled the rest, fascinating me at every new turn and twist, luring me deeper and deeper into the enchanting story circling sixteenth-century Italy. The wars fought over land... the excruciatingly hot and sexy 16th-who-cares-when-they're-from males... intrigue and adventure... blood and power... unbreakable bonds and loyalties... heart-quivering love... This book is rich with these elements, compelling components that kept me desperate for more!

I fell for Gabi, with her no-nonsense attitude, her willingness to take up nearly any challenge, and the well of love she possesses for her sister, all of which had me rooting for this girl throughout the book. I wanted her to teach the boys of the century how women handled themselves, successfully find her sister, pay back the bad guys, and all the while manage to snag her guy right from under the snotty nose of... well, I don't want to say too much, now do I? *grins evilly* Adding to the allure of the story, the thrill of being transported to another time entirely, there was this world-hazing, heart-pounding, soul-jolting romance that had me aching for these two, Gabi and Marcello. They were just so beautiful together! And what made it better was the fact that I utterly adored and lusted after Marcello!

And speaking of gorgeous, hunky male specimens, I cannot forget to mention my beloved Luca. That boy had me breaking out into laughter in sporadic intervals! He provided some of the best of comic reliefs. And in talking about him, I have to talk a little about Lia, Gabi's sister. Wasn't that girl just fabulous? Wasn't she? You know what sold me, though? The bow and arrows. After that, I was a goner, just as much as Luca was. I wonder if there really will be a romance between those two... I have my suspicions, but I'm not sure!

You know what else I'm unsure of as well? I'm unsure of whether or not I should toss the book out the window now or later, after reliving that bittersweet ending. What a freaking painful cliffhanger! How could Bergren do something like this to me? It's not right. Now, I'm all anxious and sweating for the sequel. I can barely restrain myself from obsessively wondering about what's going to happen next!

Quick. For those of you who have read WATERFALL, are any of you getting ideas about their... let's call it method of time-transportation? Hm...

So, there were some insanely good, ridiculously delicious moments that I'm duty-bound as a book blogger to reveal:

"After a moment, I sensed I wasn't alone. I slowly opened my eyes and saw Marcello, five feet away from me, hands on the castle wall, staring outward as I was. I straightened and touched my hair.
'Nay, do not,' he said kindly, lifting a hand in my direction. 'It suits you,' he said, studying me with those warm, penetrating eyes. 'Your hair about your shoulders. Is that how you wear it in Normandy?'
'If it is not in a braid,' I said. 'Or pulled back.'
'Ahh.' He looked at me from the corners of his eyes until I felt the heat of a flush climb my neck and jaw" (106 | 384)
'My eyes fluttered open. And encountered Marcello...
I looked up to Marcello and stared hard into his eyes. 'And what the lord wishes is to dance with a sword-carrying girl with a penchant for running off?' I asked.
'Tonight that is my wish,' he said, his voice strangely husky, his eyes unwavering. He began to count off the dance again, and I, apparently devoid of will, followed it" (188 | 384).
"I was starting to squirm out of his magnetic pull when he moved an arm around me and tugged me closer. 'Gabriella,' he said lowly, tracing my temple and cheek with the back of his right hand. He stilled, staring at me. So tender. So warm. I melted. 'There is something I must know,' he said, 'something I've wondered about for days'" (252 | 384)

Ohmigod, I don't know what to do with all of that... intensity... Maybe you do...?

Thanks for reading! And happy blogging!


Logan E. Turner said...

I'm so glad you liked this one Asher! It's such a fun book!

Marathon said...

Logan - So am I. I was so worried that I wouldn't. You know, the hype and everything. But, it turned out to be fantastic! :D

Lisa Tawn Bergren said...

Just discovered your blog, Asher! Thanks so much for diving into the River with me!!

Marathon said...