I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
Published by Roaring Brook Press on October 25, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Format: Electronic, E-book ARC
Source: the publisher
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A troubled girl confronts her personal demons in this time-travel thriller alternating between present day and 19th century Japan.
No one knows how to handle Reiko. She is full of hatred; all she can think about is how to best hurt herself and those people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt at her home in Seattle, Reiko's parents send her to spend the summer with family in Japan, hoping she will learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping backward in time into the nineteenth-century life of Miyu, a young woman even more vengeful than Reiko herself. Reiko loves escaping into Miyu's life . . . until she discovers Kuramagi's dark secret and must face down Miyu's demons as well as her own.
Our Prompt for Lindsey:
“Being a Slytherin in a Gryffindor World”
Why being yourself and banging to your own drum is more important than fitting into someone else’s prescribed box.
We live in a Gryffindor world. Countless books, movies, and shows sing the praises of the plucky kids who bravely fight against evil for the greater good and always know right from wrong. We tie the concept of ambition closely with cunning and manipulation, and with villainy—whether it’s dark lords or corporate raiders or bratty pureblooded wizard kids.
But Slytherins get a bad rap. Our ambition gets the ball rolling. It gives us the drive to reach for things that others tell us we can’t achieve. It helps us search for solutions, no matter how stacked the deck is against us. And when we screw up, we learn, we adapt, and we keep chasing that target.
In fiction, we tend to value a certain type of heroine more than others: the girl who always fights for the right thing, who makes all the right choices and stands up for injustice and demonstrates bravery and perseverance and loyalty and love. And these are all wonderful characteristics to have! But often, especially when writing about teenagers who are still learning who they are and what they stand for, it can ring false, or even end up discouraging those who worry that they fall short.
I love writing about the angry girls, the ambitious girls, and most of all, the girls who make mistakes—sometimes huge ones—and have to learn how to come back from them. For teenage readers especially, I think it’s so important to see yourself represented in fiction, and that includes a wide range of personality traits. Whether it’s an ambitious Slytherin too easily written off as “bad” or just a girl still figuring out who she wants to be and how she wants to be it, I love digging into these characters and giving them a chance to demonstrate their worth.
I never would have gotten published in the first place if I hadn’t wanted it so badly. I didn’t stumble into it through luck or connections, though for a long time the belief that that was the only way it happened kept me from even trying. Whenever I wrote something terrible, or experienced some setback, I had a good cry, I learned from it, and then I got back to work.
Sometimes I’d love to be able to courageously get it right the first time and always know exactly how to do something, but it’s not how I’m wired. I have to learn through trial and error, and cling to my determination to help me work past my doubt. I love being able to write characters who can do the same thing, even when it feels like everyone they know can do no wrong and can rely on their close network of friends to see them through. I love writing for the loner girls, the driven girls, the “bad” girls who have a lot to learn. Slytherin aren’t evil, after all—we just get the job done, even if we screw up monumentally along the way.
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A BIG THANKS TO THE AUTHOR AND THE PUBLISHER!!!