Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren (River of Time #1)
Published February 1, 2011 by David C. Cook, 386 pp.
Source: Free (on Kindle)
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 archaelogist 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.
How goes it?
Honestly, it doesn’t take much to convince me to read something. A pretty cover and a summary that piques my interest is all that I need to pick something up and read it. Look at that cover, that summary! Does it not have the makings of a great YA novel?!
However, while it is categorized as YA (the heroine, Gabriella, is 17 years old, her sister 15) for me it reads like a middle grade novel. Much of it is familiar: heroine dropped in a time long past, hotties all around that all like her, suddenly has skills vital to survival, a rival for the hero’s affections… Really we’ve read this all before.
You know, this actually reminds me of fanfiction. Not in the way it’s written, but in how I read it, like it’s a written through an OC’s* eyes. Most people, I think, would refer to this as a “Mary Sue”, but I don’t like using it since it sounds like such a bad word in the world of YA lit. Which is why I’d classify this as “middle grade” rather than YA, because if you’ve read a good number of books in the genre, you’ll find this familiar, and probably not in a good way.
The religious aspects of this also surprised me – it’s not often you see heroes and heroines praying to an almighty being for deliverance, or just simply before eating. It isn’t overly religious, but more of a “maybe He put you here for me” destiny kind of approach. It’s more than your usual “oh my god” exclamation though.
Overall for me, this is an okay read. I’d recommend this to someone a bit younger than I am, but to someone in the same age range, not so much.
If there’s one thing I got from this book, it’s that I need more time-traveling heroes and heroines.
3 paper planes, for the enjoyment and light and fluffy fun Waterfall brings.