I've always loved reading books where you're still on the first chapter and the story just pulls you in. It's what happened to me while I was reading Waterfall. The story just grabs you and the next second you find yourself immersed in the story so much you didn't want it to end. That's how deeply engrossing this book is.
Title: Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Release Date: February 1st 2011
Published by: Cook, David C.
Source: Won from Lisa via Armchair BEA contest
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Summary (from Goodreads):
Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life.
In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.
While other teens their age get to do what they want during summer holidays and vacations, sisters Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini spend theirs with their archeologist parents, searching for priceless artifacts and long-forgotten castles. Gabi and Lia are with their mother in another archaeological site, in the city of Tuscany, after finding an Etruscan city. Still recovering from their father's death six months before, Gabi and Lia just want to spend this summer on their own. But being transported to medieval 1332 in the midst of battle between two families isn't really their idea of summer. Or is it?
When I first featured this book on my Waiting on Wednesday post, I already have a feeling I'm going to love every moment I'll spend reading it. I was right. Sometimes you get a feeling like that about books and trusting your instinct works.
Waterfall just made me love historical YA fiction books more. Lisa was able to write about Tuscany, Castelo Forelli and its surrounding cities in such a simple yet attractive way. The kind that lets your imagination run wild with descriptions that entice you. It makes me want to visit Italy and explore the places mentioned in the book. The great world building adds to the attractive plot, making Waterfall such an irresistible read.
I am glad that YA books today portray female protagonists as strong willed women, stubborn but not to be trifled with. Gabi is a perfect example of that. Maybe part of it is because she's from another time, and ladies during the medieval times do not wield swords or ride horses bareback, but Gabi was a girl who would stand up for herself. I love her strong sense of family and sticking by what she thinks is right. Even Lia, younger and more oblivious of the ways of the world, with her amazing skill in archery, found courage in herself when Gabi was in danger. The Betarrini sisters are exceptional and loyal to each other. Their father will be proud of them! It's funny how they were only able to discover these qualities when they were transported back in time. It's what makes them attractive and fascinating to those in Siena, they really are she-wolves, brave women who only wants to save each other at first, and ended up saving hundreds of people.
And of course a great story wouldn't be complete without the element of romance. Waterfall had an abundance of Italian Knights, and it was highly entertaining and fascinating to read of how medieval men behave during those times, so different from the men of today. Chivalry and honor were very important then. Marcello share Gabi's strong love for family, and what started as a responsibility to help Gabi find her family turns out to be a new path for Marcello, one with Gabi in it. I'm still curious how Marcello and Gabi's relationship will work out. Time is a big factor, and you can see the flashes of struggle to understand each other in the book. Will love be enough for whatever it is they have, survive? I don't know about any of you but I am cheering them on!
Luca, Marcello's right hand man is such a joy to read. Charming, witty and funny, Marcello could use a few lessons on how to be a lighthearted, bright person from Luca. I look forward to reading more of Luca in the next two books. And I am still rooting for him to be with Lia. My hopeless romantic heart still thinks they have a chance together.
Waterfall has all the right elements that will make readers fall in love with it instantly. A story set in one of the most attractive cities in the world, with diverse characters brought to life by such wonderful writing, filled with action all throughout and knights you can't help but like. Grab a copy of this book and tell me what you think! But be warned, Waterfall is highly addictive. If you manage to fall in love with the book, it will leave you wanting for more! I am dying to read Cascade!
Waterfall is definitely on my list of 2011 best reads!
Content (plot, story flow, character):
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
One word: Gorgeous.
One word: Gorgeous.