A DARKLY BEATING HEART by Lindsay Smith

A DARKLY BEATING HEART

Age Range: 14 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two worlds collide in this dark tale of time travel.

After a relationship that ends catastrophically and some toxic family drama, Reiko, an American-born Japanese teen, is left feeling angry and hurt. To get away from it all, she travels to Japan. Here she works on “mastering the path of hatred.” When work takes Reiko to Kuramagi (a fictional village), she knows she has found the perfect place to plot her revenge. In this historically preserved village, Reiko accidentally travels back to the 1800s, where she occupies the life of Miyu and finds herself entangled in a dangerous plot to overthrow the shogunate. In Miyu, Reiko finds many parallels to her own life, but the more she learns about the darkness within her host, the more she begins to lose control of her own reality and already fragile sanity. Reiko is a character with a lot below the surface. She’s on meds and frequently resorts to cutting. She takes readers on the ride as she gets lost in her hatred—along with Miyu’s—and begins to spiral into a sort of madness, at points becoming more a caricature than a character. The novel has many compelling moments, but the wrap-up is rushed.

Grounded in Japanese culture and Edo period history, a breezy yet layered read. (Fantasy/thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62672-044-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2016




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