Monday, August 13, 2018

Book Review: Victorian Town by Nancy Thorne

Abby Parker has a modern life. Too bad someone in the 19th century needs it.

Victorian Town
Abby Parker planned out her whole life: complete her final year of high school, go to college, get a job, move away from her insane family, stay best friends with Jessica.

But, that was before she broke into the nearby tourist attraction and unwittingly answered a call from a centuries-old spirit who dragged her into the 19th century.

Now she must solve a Victorian mystery without getting herself killed, or worse, spend a lifetime trapped in the past, leaving behind everyone she loves and altering their lives forever.

When she meets gorgeous Benjamin, the future looks a lot like wreckage.

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Excerpt:
I waited for him to make the next move, to tell me how inappropriate, how forward that was of me. As I struggled to think of how best to offer an explanation, he turned to me. Gently but deliberately, he moved his hand up my arm, stopping at the nape of my neck beneath the ribbon of the bonnet.

The moment he leaned in, I closed my eyes. His lips, soft and full, touched mine with the modest pressure of an indecisive act. A warm energy coursed through my body, but the strangest thing was that everything felt unbelievably familiar, like it had all been rehearsed before that moment. I held onto this profound feeling, not wanting it to leave, until Ben removed his lips from mine.

Even with the whistled melodies from a pair of cardinals outside the church's entrance, the following silence felt awkward. It persisted, and I assumed Ben was already regretting kissing me.

"Miss Abigail−"

I brought up a hand and covered his mouth. "It's okay."

We walked down the hill without saying another word. A lot of activity was happening on Main Street: coaches lined the front of the Royal Hotel as travelers zipped in and out of the main entrance; horse carts delivered goods in dashes of haste; store merchants hurried beyond their open doors; street sellers sold goods out of baskets; helpers swept the boardwalk; ladies could be seen purchasing last minute necessities behind the windows of each shop.

Ben accompanied me up the stairs of Town Hall's entrance and stopped on the landing before we reached the front door. I peered through the window. Martha arranged long-stemmed flowers in a vase on a table at the side of the ballroom. A young man placed a candelabra on a table and then another on top of a piano. Ben had already started back to the street when I turned. He waved. I waved back. Still a chance he'll change his mind.

The gloves were easier to remove now that one was missing its button. I placed them, and the button, on the ledge of the window and took off the ring.

Jess was still sitting on my bed when the haze cleared, but her tapping fingers had moved from her chin, which now rested on her knuckles. It was obvious it had taken longer for me to return this time. It made sense to me right then that the ring held within it a finite amount of energy with which to transport me to the past and back home, like a battery depleting its energy with each use. And, I had no idea how to recharge it.
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Review:
When I had an opportunity to review Victorian Town by Nancy Thorne, I jumped at the chance. The book synopsis sounded like something I would love. While I ended up not loving the book like I thought I would, I still thought it was on okay read.

The pacing starts off slow at the beginning of Victorian Town. There were a few times when I thought I'd give up with this book. However, the pacing did pick up fairly quickly. Victorian Town isn't a fast paced book, but it was paced decently enough to keep my attention.

The plot was interesting. Abby finds an ring in a cemetery in a place called Victorian Town. Abby thinks Victorian Town was built for tourists, but she soon finds out that Victorian Town actually existed once she places the ring she found on her finger. Once the ring is on her finger, Abby is in 1876. She believes she is sent back in time to figure out a mystery. I was constantly worried that Abby would be stuck in 1876! I enjoyed reading about Abby's time in 1876 and trying to help Abby solve the big mystery.

The world building is okay. There were times I felt like the world building was a bit rushed like when trying to explain about Abby's home life. I would have liked more information on Jess' and Abby's friendship. Jess and Abby felt more like they were about 13 years old instead of 18 years old. The dialogue felt like I was reading a middle grade novel most of the time, and the way people spoke in the Victorian age, as written in Victorian Town, didn't feel all that realistic sometimes.

I had a hard time connecting to Abby, the main character. I felt like she wasn't fleshed out enough. There was hardly any background info on her. I wanted to know what made up Abby, but I only got Abby in the here and now. While I didn't dislike Abby, I just couldn't relate to her. I almost always pictured her as being 13 or 14 years old even though she was supposed to be 18. I felt the same way about Jess, Abby's best friend. My favorite character in Victorian Town was Martha. For some reason, I loved her character and felt that she was the only character that was actually well written. Martha seemed older than what she was. I was always happy when I got to read a scene with Martha. I wished Benjamin was more fleshed out. I did like him, but I would have enjoyed learning more about him and his backstory.

There are scenes of some violence, underage drinking in the present day and in 1876 (back then, they didn't have a drinking age), and some kissing.

Overall, Victorian Town is an okay read. I wouldn't say it'll be a memorable read, but it's a short read that passes time. It was good enough to hold my attention. I would recommend Victorian Town by Nancy Thorne, especially to those between the ages of 14 and 18.
About the Author:
Nancy Thorne
Nancy Thorne is an award-winning author of fiction inspired by the romance and courage of youth.

Born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, she fostered a passion for creating stories in grade school but hid it much too well. Five years ago she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of telling them.

When she's not writing books or reading, you can find her going on road trips or cooking untested recipes for brave family members and friends.

Nancy lives outside of Toronto with her husband, two sons, and an energetic fox-red Labrador.

She loves to hear from her readers, even just to say hi.

Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads
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I was provided an ebook of Victorian Town by Nancy Thorne by Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
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