Thursday, October 4, 2012

Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Published: February 1st, 2011 by David C. Cook
Pages: 369
Rating: 5/5

What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaeologist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological 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.
Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. [Description from Goodreads]
Meet Gabi. She’s just a regular teen, spending her summer in Italy and wishing she were elsewhere. Her parents’ obsession with their work as archaeologists leaves Gabi and her sister Lia spending their summers in Italy, usually at a digging site as their mom hunts for the “next big find.” But one afternoon changes all that. After sneaking into an ancient tomb and getting sucked through time, Gabi is not only separated from her sister, she’s plopped in a different century. Psh, more like a different time period! As she emerges in the thick of a fierce, bloody battle between two warring knights, she realizes she’s not in Kansas anymore… I mean Italy. *grin*
I absolutely loved this book. I’ve honestly heard not one negative word uttered about this series. That, combined with the fact that it involves time travel, hot knights, and history, and I knew I was in before I cracked the cover.
Lisa joined just the right amount of “modern” and “historic” to keep our attention and keep us entertain, but also to make the facts believable in a non-boring way (If that makes a lick of sense). To put it simply: Reading Waterfall was like a history lesson, but with a whole lot of fun thrown in (not that history isn’t fun, but let’s be honest here). After reading her book, I’m thoroughly convinced that Lisa is such a cool adult. She uses words and phrases that “normal” adults don’t use, and while she claims to get her slang from her readers in her focus group (consisting of her daughters and other young women), I think she’s just cool like that. *wink*
 I wasn’t completely sure how Lisa was planning on pulling off the whole time travel bit, but she did marvelously. Not only was it believable, it wasn’t ridiculous, either. I know, major shocker, right? Most books that involve time travel completely botch the whole thing and you’re sitting there thinking, “A three year old could have come up with a more convincing story.” But Lisa obviously had this well thought-out, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I was kind of surprised at the gritty action and battle sequences this book featured. Just wasn’t expecting it, I guess. Don’t get me wrong- it wasn’t gory, I was just prepared more for the girly, prissy kind of character, but Gabi turned out to be a pretty awesome heroine. She could stand her own. I’m considering taking fencing lessons now, because it sounds like it could be a useful tool when fighting off pervs. Just sayin’.  J
Marcello! Try imagining him
with curlier tresses, and you'll
get the picture. See? I told you
he was hot.

And now, the part you all have been waiting for. Yes, that part. The part when I talk about the romance and how hot the guy was. Prepare yourself: it was pretty amazing. It topped a lot of what I’ve been reading recently. Actually, somehow Lisa stirred up this hot romance between Gabi and Marcello and kept it completely clean. I was in awe, to be completely honest. She’s like a book magician. (Can I learn some of your tricks, Lisa? Pretty please???) I won’t go into too much detail, because  then what fun would that be, but I will say that 1) Marcello is very hot, 2) I got green with envy over Gabi and Marcello’s relationship, mainly because it’s so stinkin’ unrealistically perfect, and 3) For some reason, I kept thinking that Luca was going to get together with Gabi, and thankfully, that never happened, and I don’t know what compelled me to think that, but…that was kind of pointless telling you, wasn’t it? Anyway. *whistles*
Lastly, and something I loved most about Waterfall, was the fact that Gabi struggles with the same things that a lot of us struggle with. Things like waiting on God’s timing, having faith, trusting, obsessing over guys when we really should be obsessing over the God Who loves us dearly, etc. etc. She’s relatable. I love that in a character; in fact, I love it so much that it might be the one thing that compels me to like or dislike a book. But you can rest assured that I most definitely liked loved this book. It’s perfect for teen girls of any and all ages, and even more perfect for group discussions. It stands out in the book world where “young adult” is rarely linked in the same sentence with “historical fiction,” and even more rarely “clean Christian fiction.” My point: there needs to be more books like this one. Because this one was plain awesomesauce. Go read it.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None
Violence: Moderate- Heavy (mostly battle violence- some brief description of wounds/blood)
Sexual: Mild (Some kissing/PDA; a failed attempt at rape, nothing described)

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