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Can love last beyond the grave?

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’ s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

"Lush with Southern atmosphere, The Splendor Falls expertly weaves together romance, tension, and mystery. Haunting and unforgettable!" --Carrie Ryan, bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

"Sylvie's voice is sharp and articulate, and Clement-Moore . . . anchors the story in actual locations and history. . . . Her ear for both adolescent bitchery and sweetness remains sure, and her ability to write realistic, edgy dialogue without relying on obscenity or stereotype is a pleasure."-Publishers Weekly

"Long, satisfying and just chilling enough, this will please a wide audience and leave readers hoping for more."-Kirkus Reviews


From the Hardcover edition.
Published: Random House Kids an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Sep 8, 2009
ISBN: 9780375893698
List price: $9.99
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When I started reading this book, I was a bit cautious, as the blurb sounds quite a lot like some other books of the same genre (i.e. Fallen, Hush, Hush, and even Need and Evermore), however I was quite pleasantly surprised when I started reading it. I pretty much read the whole second half of the book in one sitting; I just couldn’t put it down.The book has sections based on the past as well as the present, and a lot of the focus is around Sylvie’s connection to earlier members of her family that lived in the house she is now in.One part of the storyline that I enjoyed was Sylvie’s investigation into what happened to the girl who had once lived in her room, and what the ‘presences’ in the house were.I found some parts of the novel sufficiently creepy to send a chill down my spine, and the book is quite well written, so you can imagine being in Sylvie’s place.The book kept me guessing almost until the end; I only worked out what was happening a little before it was revealed in the book.All the supernatural elements of the book are well balanced with the regular difficulties of being the ‘new girl’ in a small town; making friends and finding out about what is expected of her is another challenge Sylvie has to overcome.Sylvie was alright as the main character, but she was a bit annoying, and like most main characters, did some pretty stupid things. I didn’t really have a favourite character, although Sylvie’s dog Gigi (stupid name, but whatever) was kind of funny.Some parts of the book dragged along a little, and the book could probably have been made a little shorter by cutting some of the unnecessary parts out, but all in all I enjoyed the book, and look forward to reading some more of Rosemary Clement-Moore’s books.Reviewed by Ros.read more
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Parts of this story were intriguing: ballerina with a shattered leg who begins to see things that occurred in the past, but I felt it was slow in many parts, the romance felt predictable, and I wanted more of an explanation of the Colonel's actions in the end.read more
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I LOVED Rosemary Clement-Moore's other novel Texas Gothic, but I have to say I was really disappointed with this book. The premise is great, a former ballerina whose career has ended. As a result, she's shipped off to a spooky town in Alabama. Sounds great, right? I thought so. Until I actually started to read it.The exposition is over one hundred pages, with nothing truly happening. Sylvie was a character who is obsessed with repeating the same thoughts over and over. She, and the ever-mentioned dog Gigi, are boring. It's hard to build up any interest in the story; it feels as though nothing will ever happen.I couldn't bring myself to enjoy this book, and I had to stop before the half-way mark.I had high hopes, but ended up really disappointed.read more
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I really liked this book. It was a pleasant surprise and addition to my YA collection. I didn't mind how long the book was because the length enabled us to truly see who Sylvie is and to know her as a person. I loved the plot and felt that it moved at a good pace. The writing was smooth and easy to follow. I would recommend that any YA reader give this one a try.read more
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I consumed a lot of Nancy Drew materials when I was growing up and the best parts of this book reminded me of those stories--lots of going around the small town and talking to local people, trying to subtly find out information about this big mysterious mystery. I found Gigi to be a really endearing character and thought she made Sylvie a more likeable protagonist. The last few chapters were really confusing and the epilogue was even more confusing because of how tidy it was--things went from a huge mess to entirely resolved with no real explanation to the reader who's been following the whole story. I think the whole 'earth magic' bit could've been revealed earlier on and explored more without taking away too much of the suspense of the rest of the plot.read more
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I have some mixed feelings while reading The Splendor Falls. I loved Sylvie's dynamic and her personal issues of healing herself both physically and mentally. And the Southern Gothic setting lent a very creepy atmosphere to the story overall. However, I felt a lot of the plot elements- like the constant references to Sylvie's family but without the explanation- were rushed and weren't resolved until the huge climax near the end. Overall, a good read, but it has some issues.read more
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The Splendor falls by Rosemary Clement-MooreReviewed by Moirae the fates book reviewsSylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well? (Synopsis provided by goodreads)When I first heard about this book I just had to read it. As an avid reader and an ex-ballerina I couldn’t pass this one up! I was not disappointed, this book delivered. I loved the southern setting of the book and the eerie feel of the whole story.It’s difficult not to give away anything in this book there is so much that happens! It’s non-stop and packed with twists and turns that kept me glued to the book all day. I really enjoyed the character of Sylvie, she was such a welcome change from the heroins of teen books that are popping up everywhere. She was different. She was strong and she had flaws. I loved that!I would recommend this book to anyone who likes darker romances and anyone who is or has been a ballerina.Overall rating ***** 5 out of 5 starsCover art the new art for the paperback is simply beautiful.Obtained I was sent a copy by the author for review thank you!read more
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The Splendor Fallsby Rosemary Clement-MooreGenre: Young Adult SupernaturalCan Love Last Beyond the Grave?Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand. Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?Summary: Sylvie Davis is sent to her late father's ancestral home for the summer in Alabama to recover from "The Accident" that ruined her career in ballet. Bitter and distraught, Sylvie begrudgingly adapts to her new historical residence even though there are some unsettling rules (i.e. no dogs in the house), bewildering small-town beliefs/superstitions, and two young men that she develops conflicting/unbalancing feelings for. Even though the lush green gardens outside her home brighten her days, Sylvie's nights are haunted by a watcher in the windows and high-pitched howling noises from the nearby woods. Any attempts to discover the secrets of her father's Old South legacy are usually interrupted by the Teen Town Council (i.e. Shawn Maddox) or the local ghost town (Cahawba) archaeological dig volunteer, Rhys Griffith. And when the legendary ghost stories begin to become reality, Sylvie takes it upon herself to set the past straight by uncovering the mysteries of Bluestone Hill.Review: Sylvie was a rocky character for me, she either came off a stubbornly strong or frustratingly vulnerable and as much as I wanted to recognize her as an independent female lead, in my eye, she only succeeded in lacking confidence. I know she had good reason to be gloomy, but her coarse actions towards events in the story dampened my feelings towards her. On the other hand, Rhys was a highly witty and delightful character. He portrayed a compelling figure that actually revealed many of the stories historical facts and much-needed revelations that moved the tale along. Shawn also depicted a vibrant character who shined greatly as the small-town's favorite son, but who also had a darker more complex and intense side. The side-characters were all entertaining enough (somewhat excluding cousin Paula who was more of a downer than anything else) without distracting from the main leads -- a plus!The story had an intriguing concept full of ghosts, folk-lore, history, mythology, etc. that it instantly appealed to me, but there was almost too much going on in each of those areas that they kind of eclipsed each other. Also, sadly, some parts that I felt were very important in the story were either anti-climatic/down-played and only slightly revealed right at the end (i.e. the whole 'past-life' concept), thus I would have like a bit more development altogether. I was entertained though by the spook-factor created from the local ghost beliefs/visions which added a little supernatural thrill. Plus, the romance sparks were there, just slightly hollow. Likes: Personally, I did enjoy Sylvie's soy milk drinking/meat-substitute eating lifestyle since recently I've adapted to becoming a part-time vegan and got a hoot out of her reactions to the southern dishes. Also, the Welsh mythology was something all together new for me (and that's saying something for a historical/folk-lore Nut like me)!Dislikes: The overall story's plot development was too lethargic and disordered for my reading taste. The ending left me asking questions that, I felt, weren't fully answered as well as confusion in some of the misleading directions the story took. All in all, it left me a bit baffled!read more
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Sylvie Davis is a ballet prodigy who is forced to retire at age 17 by a horrible injury. She struggles with losing her dream and her future, and after months of recovery and depression gets sent to her deceased fathers family home in rural Alabama. She struggles to adapt to the southern way of life (Meat! Desserts! Pickup trucks! Y'all!), but she discovers a connection to her dad in the place he spent his childhood summers, and also comes face to face with things she always thought were myth. Along the way she catches the attention of two mysterious guys who vie for her attentions. I thought this book was decent, if a bit on the long side. The action doesn't pick up until at least halfway through and by the time it did I was getting frustrated. I also would have loved if the last 100 pages or so were expanded and the beginning more condensed. The author writes vivid characters that are very likable, especially Sylvie, who is a wonderful female protagonist. The love triangle is nice, though it's easy from the beginning to see who will prevail. As a previous reviewer said, the reincarnation aspect is unclear, which left me a little unsatisfied when it was all said and done. Overall, The Splendor Falls is a good book that could have been great without so much filler and a little more plot.read more
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If you’ve read Beautiful Creatures and enjoyed yourself then you may also want to pick up The Splendor Falls. They both delve into a mysterious background with a touch of romance and a heavy sprinkle of magic. I found the book interesting enough to try to finish it in one day—that didn’t happen because it’s huge. There were times when things started to slow that pow something ignited my attention and forced me to carry on. And then there were chapters where I just didn’t want it to end. There’s a lot of background information that while served its purpose of filling gaps, found it enthralling. I loved how all the pieces came together at one point or another. I found the characters also equally good. While they were the one-dimensional characters Sylvie came alive. The Reverend and Clara popped out to me much more than I expected so while Shawn and Rhys I had hoped delivered more. My biggest complaint would have to be the length. I love a good hardy book worth my money but when most of it is fluff that serves no substantial purpose it becomes dragging. I love Gigi’s (Sylvie’s dog) antics but sometimes I just want to say enough is enough, can we please get on with it. There were the really slow scenes then the super fast ones. The pacing was hard for me as the author set a nice speed in the beginning, dragged it in the middle, and did a marathon towards the end. More of this (magic, explanations, character appearances), less of that (dog walking, dog petting, dog snuggling). But I do have to point out that at times where I was reading scenes from the book I was thinking to myself why did the author include this when it comes back full circle later on in an ohhhhhhhh that’s smart and nicely done. I also have a teensy weensy issue with the epilogue. It was just too happy happy for me. Like everything was too perfect with the bad guy working in a diner. Overall: I definitely think fans of Beautiful Creature should try this book out. It isn’t completely same there are some similar characteristicsread more
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Thrilling and dark, but not too scary. I enjoyed the book but felt it could have been more concise. Some of it seemed to be explained away too easily while other details still feel a little fuzzy to me. Regardless, it was something I didn't want to put down! Recommended.read more
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Sylvie Davies is a ballerina who can’t dance anymore. She’s sent to her cousin’s house in Alabama to spend the summer. There she meets Shawn & Rhys who are both mysterious young men with secrets of their own. She starts seeing and feeling ghosts, so she makes the choice to find out the mystery of Bluestone Hill. It sounds like an interesting story, doesn’t it? Too bad it isn’t. This book was a chore to read. The synopsis made it sound mysterious and interesting, but it was nothing like that. The plot was very thin, and at 500 pages, the book was mostly about the dog. Seriously, most of the book revolved around Sylvie’s dog Gigi. Everything the dog did was chronicled closely. What happened was that a story that should have been much shorter ended up being a huge bore. Sylvie was a very obnoxious character. She complained about everything, even food! I don’t care what book characters think about menial things. I felt bad for her family because they had to stand this girl. I get that she was hurt by her accident, but I didn’t like her attitude towards people. She was not a very nice person. Second, the romance was very blah. Rhys was the one interesting character in the whole book and even he wasn’t that great. I just didn’t feel any chemistry between the characters. Their love didn’t feel real, especially when they had just met days ago. Third, the mystery surrounding the hill was dealt with poorly. If you are writing a mystery book, you should focus on that. Sadly, the mystery on this book was the author’s last thought. The only interesting bits-- which were about Hannah, the ghost that haunted the hill, were resolved in about one page. That was very sad because it was the one good thing about the book. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book. It’s not very good and it’s extremely long for the poor content it has.read more
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From the beginning, Sylvie has a very strong voice:"It's funny how so much can hinge on one missed step. Not funny ha-ha. Funny that the moment that should have been the pinnacle of my seventeen years on this planet ends up making me famous for the entirely wrong reason. So I really don't mean funny so much as tragically ironic."That is an early passage from the book that illustrates what a strong and perceptive personality she has. She also has a wonderful sense of humor, using phrases like the toes of my right foot were swollen like fat pink cocktail weenies and she feeds me like I'm an underweight turkey in September. There were so many little clever descriptions and asides like that, I could keep quoting for a long time. Sylvie is by far the most developed and fleshed out character in the story.So, as far as the leading man -Rhys- goes...I definitely enjoyed his part in the book. Like I mentioned before, his character wasn't as well developed as Sylvie's, but he still definitely had a voice of his own. As to his name-that is pronounced "Reese" right? Because saying it "rice?" Not as awesome. Just sayin'. Anyway, he is mysterious and Welsh and pretty darn wonderful.Anyway, back to the real star of the show. Sylvie was more than a little petulant at first, but I found it more amusing than annoying. The fact that she had so many misconceptions and assumptions about the South made me laugh. The thought of her relatives opening an inn that would be at least two hours away from the closest airport was unbelievable. The fact that the people that stayed there would come for such mundane and hopelessly rural activities such as antique shopping and hunting? Frightening!I have experience with this type of attitude being from Oklahoma. I’ve been asked everything from “Have you ever seen a tumbleweed?” to “Wow, Oklahoma huh? So do people really live in teepees?” (By the way: yes I have, and no we don't.)The irresistable South (and the irresistable leading man) quickly grow on her though, and she starts embracing her roots and discovering things about her ancestors. I don't want to give anything away on the supernatural end, because the story is pretty slow for awhile as it slowly builds up and Sylvie discovers what is going on. If I explained it, you would be pretty bored for awhile. That is the only gripe I have with the book actually, it just moved too slow. For about the first two hundred pages I didn't mind, because I loved being in the South. But it was the middle section that really lagged for me. Don't let that stop you from reading this though, because if you stick with it the story overall really is very good.Far and away the best thing about this book is the writing. Rosemary Clement-Moore is a wonderful descriptive writer, and she brings the South to life in a wonderful way. It is one of my favorite settings and she does it proud. She was also great at writing tension and chemistry between the characters. Not only Sylvie and Rhys, but just the all the characters' interactions in general.So, overall I definitely recommend giving this a read if you'd like to escape to Alabama for awhile.read more
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After a devastatingly embarrassing and crippling accident onstage that shatters both her leg and her life, ballerina Sylvie Davis isn't sure what to do with the rest of her life. When she accidentally gets drunk at a wedding and sees things that shouldn't be there, her mom and stepfather-to-be sends her to the deep South (Alabama, to her dad's family's old plantation-turned-bed & breakfast) to "dry out". But dry out she does not. Instead, she is faced with a situation more dire than anything that might have happened had she stayed in New York. Once arrived at Bluestone Hill, the old family home, she is faced with a plethora of mysteries involving boys, ghosts, and century-old questions. THE SPLENDOR FALLS has got to be one of my favorite books ever. It's definitely a slow read at first, but I found it enchanting to read about the workings of a small Southern town and a Manhattan girl like Sylvie trying to find her place in such a setting. Clement-Moore sprinkles in a perfect helping of romance and love-triangle dilemma and bone-chilling ghosties. The chapters alternate between idyllic and heart-pounding. The two probable love interests are the right amount of charming and infuriating. Sylvie, the main character, felt like a real and truly fleshed-out character. Clement-Moore does such a good job establishing her personality that I felt like she was a real person. Each character had a unique personality, so I had no trouble distinguishing them. Like I previously mentioned, the book starts out at a stately pace, but in the last...probably, 1/4th of the book, the speed picks up and it's nonstop action after confrontation after action! The only complaint-and a small one at that-that I have with this book is that Clement-Moore puts a little too much emphasis on Sylvie's dog, Gigi, than I'd like. But then again, this might be because I don't have a dog myself, but I felt like there was an overdose of dog-related occurrences. Overall, a wonderful, well-researched, and well-developed book. I really didn't want it to end, but it did...that was the only bad part of the book.read more
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When I started reading this book, I was a bit cautious, as the blurb sounds quite a lot like some other books of the same genre (i.e. Fallen, Hush, Hush, and even Need and Evermore), however I was quite pleasantly surprised when I started reading it. I pretty much read the whole second half of the book in one sitting; I just couldn’t put it down.The book has sections based on the past as well as the present, and a lot of the focus is around Sylvie’s connection to earlier members of her family that lived in the house she is now in.One part of the storyline that I enjoyed was Sylvie’s investigation into what happened to the girl who had once lived in her room, and what the ‘presences’ in the house were.I found some parts of the novel sufficiently creepy to send a chill down my spine, and the book is quite well written, so you can imagine being in Sylvie’s place.The book kept me guessing almost until the end; I only worked out what was happening a little before it was revealed in the book.All the supernatural elements of the book are well balanced with the regular difficulties of being the ‘new girl’ in a small town; making friends and finding out about what is expected of her is another challenge Sylvie has to overcome.Sylvie was alright as the main character, but she was a bit annoying, and like most main characters, did some pretty stupid things. I didn’t really have a favourite character, although Sylvie’s dog Gigi (stupid name, but whatever) was kind of funny.Some parts of the book dragged along a little, and the book could probably have been made a little shorter by cutting some of the unnecessary parts out, but all in all I enjoyed the book, and look forward to reading some more of Rosemary Clement-Moore’s books.Reviewed by Ros.
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Parts of this story were intriguing: ballerina with a shattered leg who begins to see things that occurred in the past, but I felt it was slow in many parts, the romance felt predictable, and I wanted more of an explanation of the Colonel's actions in the end.
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I LOVED Rosemary Clement-Moore's other novel Texas Gothic, but I have to say I was really disappointed with this book. The premise is great, a former ballerina whose career has ended. As a result, she's shipped off to a spooky town in Alabama. Sounds great, right? I thought so. Until I actually started to read it.The exposition is over one hundred pages, with nothing truly happening. Sylvie was a character who is obsessed with repeating the same thoughts over and over. She, and the ever-mentioned dog Gigi, are boring. It's hard to build up any interest in the story; it feels as though nothing will ever happen.I couldn't bring myself to enjoy this book, and I had to stop before the half-way mark.I had high hopes, but ended up really disappointed.
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I really liked this book. It was a pleasant surprise and addition to my YA collection. I didn't mind how long the book was because the length enabled us to truly see who Sylvie is and to know her as a person. I loved the plot and felt that it moved at a good pace. The writing was smooth and easy to follow. I would recommend that any YA reader give this one a try.
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I consumed a lot of Nancy Drew materials when I was growing up and the best parts of this book reminded me of those stories--lots of going around the small town and talking to local people, trying to subtly find out information about this big mysterious mystery. I found Gigi to be a really endearing character and thought she made Sylvie a more likeable protagonist. The last few chapters were really confusing and the epilogue was even more confusing because of how tidy it was--things went from a huge mess to entirely resolved with no real explanation to the reader who's been following the whole story. I think the whole 'earth magic' bit could've been revealed earlier on and explored more without taking away too much of the suspense of the rest of the plot.
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I have some mixed feelings while reading The Splendor Falls. I loved Sylvie's dynamic and her personal issues of healing herself both physically and mentally. And the Southern Gothic setting lent a very creepy atmosphere to the story overall. However, I felt a lot of the plot elements- like the constant references to Sylvie's family but without the explanation- were rushed and weren't resolved until the huge climax near the end. Overall, a good read, but it has some issues.
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The Splendor falls by Rosemary Clement-MooreReviewed by Moirae the fates book reviewsSylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well? (Synopsis provided by goodreads)When I first heard about this book I just had to read it. As an avid reader and an ex-ballerina I couldn’t pass this one up! I was not disappointed, this book delivered. I loved the southern setting of the book and the eerie feel of the whole story.It’s difficult not to give away anything in this book there is so much that happens! It’s non-stop and packed with twists and turns that kept me glued to the book all day. I really enjoyed the character of Sylvie, she was such a welcome change from the heroins of teen books that are popping up everywhere. She was different. She was strong and she had flaws. I loved that!I would recommend this book to anyone who likes darker romances and anyone who is or has been a ballerina.Overall rating ***** 5 out of 5 starsCover art the new art for the paperback is simply beautiful.Obtained I was sent a copy by the author for review thank you!
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The Splendor Fallsby Rosemary Clement-MooreGenre: Young Adult SupernaturalCan Love Last Beyond the Grave?Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand. Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?Summary: Sylvie Davis is sent to her late father's ancestral home for the summer in Alabama to recover from "The Accident" that ruined her career in ballet. Bitter and distraught, Sylvie begrudgingly adapts to her new historical residence even though there are some unsettling rules (i.e. no dogs in the house), bewildering small-town beliefs/superstitions, and two young men that she develops conflicting/unbalancing feelings for. Even though the lush green gardens outside her home brighten her days, Sylvie's nights are haunted by a watcher in the windows and high-pitched howling noises from the nearby woods. Any attempts to discover the secrets of her father's Old South legacy are usually interrupted by the Teen Town Council (i.e. Shawn Maddox) or the local ghost town (Cahawba) archaeological dig volunteer, Rhys Griffith. And when the legendary ghost stories begin to become reality, Sylvie takes it upon herself to set the past straight by uncovering the mysteries of Bluestone Hill.Review: Sylvie was a rocky character for me, she either came off a stubbornly strong or frustratingly vulnerable and as much as I wanted to recognize her as an independent female lead, in my eye, she only succeeded in lacking confidence. I know she had good reason to be gloomy, but her coarse actions towards events in the story dampened my feelings towards her. On the other hand, Rhys was a highly witty and delightful character. He portrayed a compelling figure that actually revealed many of the stories historical facts and much-needed revelations that moved the tale along. Shawn also depicted a vibrant character who shined greatly as the small-town's favorite son, but who also had a darker more complex and intense side. The side-characters were all entertaining enough (somewhat excluding cousin Paula who was more of a downer than anything else) without distracting from the main leads -- a plus!The story had an intriguing concept full of ghosts, folk-lore, history, mythology, etc. that it instantly appealed to me, but there was almost too much going on in each of those areas that they kind of eclipsed each other. Also, sadly, some parts that I felt were very important in the story were either anti-climatic/down-played and only slightly revealed right at the end (i.e. the whole 'past-life' concept), thus I would have like a bit more development altogether. I was entertained though by the spook-factor created from the local ghost beliefs/visions which added a little supernatural thrill. Plus, the romance sparks were there, just slightly hollow. Likes: Personally, I did enjoy Sylvie's soy milk drinking/meat-substitute eating lifestyle since recently I've adapted to becoming a part-time vegan and got a hoot out of her reactions to the southern dishes. Also, the Welsh mythology was something all together new for me (and that's saying something for a historical/folk-lore Nut like me)!Dislikes: The overall story's plot development was too lethargic and disordered for my reading taste. The ending left me asking questions that, I felt, weren't fully answered as well as confusion in some of the misleading directions the story took. All in all, it left me a bit baffled!
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Sylvie Davis is a ballet prodigy who is forced to retire at age 17 by a horrible injury. She struggles with losing her dream and her future, and after months of recovery and depression gets sent to her deceased fathers family home in rural Alabama. She struggles to adapt to the southern way of life (Meat! Desserts! Pickup trucks! Y'all!), but she discovers a connection to her dad in the place he spent his childhood summers, and also comes face to face with things she always thought were myth. Along the way she catches the attention of two mysterious guys who vie for her attentions. I thought this book was decent, if a bit on the long side. The action doesn't pick up until at least halfway through and by the time it did I was getting frustrated. I also would have loved if the last 100 pages or so were expanded and the beginning more condensed. The author writes vivid characters that are very likable, especially Sylvie, who is a wonderful female protagonist. The love triangle is nice, though it's easy from the beginning to see who will prevail. As a previous reviewer said, the reincarnation aspect is unclear, which left me a little unsatisfied when it was all said and done. Overall, The Splendor Falls is a good book that could have been great without so much filler and a little more plot.
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If you’ve read Beautiful Creatures and enjoyed yourself then you may also want to pick up The Splendor Falls. They both delve into a mysterious background with a touch of romance and a heavy sprinkle of magic. I found the book interesting enough to try to finish it in one day—that didn’t happen because it’s huge. There were times when things started to slow that pow something ignited my attention and forced me to carry on. And then there were chapters where I just didn’t want it to end. There’s a lot of background information that while served its purpose of filling gaps, found it enthralling. I loved how all the pieces came together at one point or another. I found the characters also equally good. While they were the one-dimensional characters Sylvie came alive. The Reverend and Clara popped out to me much more than I expected so while Shawn and Rhys I had hoped delivered more. My biggest complaint would have to be the length. I love a good hardy book worth my money but when most of it is fluff that serves no substantial purpose it becomes dragging. I love Gigi’s (Sylvie’s dog) antics but sometimes I just want to say enough is enough, can we please get on with it. There were the really slow scenes then the super fast ones. The pacing was hard for me as the author set a nice speed in the beginning, dragged it in the middle, and did a marathon towards the end. More of this (magic, explanations, character appearances), less of that (dog walking, dog petting, dog snuggling). But I do have to point out that at times where I was reading scenes from the book I was thinking to myself why did the author include this when it comes back full circle later on in an ohhhhhhhh that’s smart and nicely done. I also have a teensy weensy issue with the epilogue. It was just too happy happy for me. Like everything was too perfect with the bad guy working in a diner. Overall: I definitely think fans of Beautiful Creature should try this book out. It isn’t completely same there are some similar characteristics
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Thrilling and dark, but not too scary. I enjoyed the book but felt it could have been more concise. Some of it seemed to be explained away too easily while other details still feel a little fuzzy to me. Regardless, it was something I didn't want to put down! Recommended.
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Sylvie Davies is a ballerina who can’t dance anymore. She’s sent to her cousin’s house in Alabama to spend the summer. There she meets Shawn & Rhys who are both mysterious young men with secrets of their own. She starts seeing and feeling ghosts, so she makes the choice to find out the mystery of Bluestone Hill. It sounds like an interesting story, doesn’t it? Too bad it isn’t. This book was a chore to read. The synopsis made it sound mysterious and interesting, but it was nothing like that. The plot was very thin, and at 500 pages, the book was mostly about the dog. Seriously, most of the book revolved around Sylvie’s dog Gigi. Everything the dog did was chronicled closely. What happened was that a story that should have been much shorter ended up being a huge bore. Sylvie was a very obnoxious character. She complained about everything, even food! I don’t care what book characters think about menial things. I felt bad for her family because they had to stand this girl. I get that she was hurt by her accident, but I didn’t like her attitude towards people. She was not a very nice person. Second, the romance was very blah. Rhys was the one interesting character in the whole book and even he wasn’t that great. I just didn’t feel any chemistry between the characters. Their love didn’t feel real, especially when they had just met days ago. Third, the mystery surrounding the hill was dealt with poorly. If you are writing a mystery book, you should focus on that. Sadly, the mystery on this book was the author’s last thought. The only interesting bits-- which were about Hannah, the ghost that haunted the hill, were resolved in about one page. That was very sad because it was the one good thing about the book. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book. It’s not very good and it’s extremely long for the poor content it has.
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From the beginning, Sylvie has a very strong voice:"It's funny how so much can hinge on one missed step. Not funny ha-ha. Funny that the moment that should have been the pinnacle of my seventeen years on this planet ends up making me famous for the entirely wrong reason. So I really don't mean funny so much as tragically ironic."That is an early passage from the book that illustrates what a strong and perceptive personality she has. She also has a wonderful sense of humor, using phrases like the toes of my right foot were swollen like fat pink cocktail weenies and she feeds me like I'm an underweight turkey in September. There were so many little clever descriptions and asides like that, I could keep quoting for a long time. Sylvie is by far the most developed and fleshed out character in the story.So, as far as the leading man -Rhys- goes...I definitely enjoyed his part in the book. Like I mentioned before, his character wasn't as well developed as Sylvie's, but he still definitely had a voice of his own. As to his name-that is pronounced "Reese" right? Because saying it "rice?" Not as awesome. Just sayin'. Anyway, he is mysterious and Welsh and pretty darn wonderful.Anyway, back to the real star of the show. Sylvie was more than a little petulant at first, but I found it more amusing than annoying. The fact that she had so many misconceptions and assumptions about the South made me laugh. The thought of her relatives opening an inn that would be at least two hours away from the closest airport was unbelievable. The fact that the people that stayed there would come for such mundane and hopelessly rural activities such as antique shopping and hunting? Frightening!I have experience with this type of attitude being from Oklahoma. I’ve been asked everything from “Have you ever seen a tumbleweed?” to “Wow, Oklahoma huh? So do people really live in teepees?” (By the way: yes I have, and no we don't.)The irresistable South (and the irresistable leading man) quickly grow on her though, and she starts embracing her roots and discovering things about her ancestors. I don't want to give anything away on the supernatural end, because the story is pretty slow for awhile as it slowly builds up and Sylvie discovers what is going on. If I explained it, you would be pretty bored for awhile. That is the only gripe I have with the book actually, it just moved too slow. For about the first two hundred pages I didn't mind, because I loved being in the South. But it was the middle section that really lagged for me. Don't let that stop you from reading this though, because if you stick with it the story overall really is very good.Far and away the best thing about this book is the writing. Rosemary Clement-Moore is a wonderful descriptive writer, and she brings the South to life in a wonderful way. It is one of my favorite settings and she does it proud. She was also great at writing tension and chemistry between the characters. Not only Sylvie and Rhys, but just the all the characters' interactions in general.So, overall I definitely recommend giving this a read if you'd like to escape to Alabama for awhile.
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After a devastatingly embarrassing and crippling accident onstage that shatters both her leg and her life, ballerina Sylvie Davis isn't sure what to do with the rest of her life. When she accidentally gets drunk at a wedding and sees things that shouldn't be there, her mom and stepfather-to-be sends her to the deep South (Alabama, to her dad's family's old plantation-turned-bed & breakfast) to "dry out". But dry out she does not. Instead, she is faced with a situation more dire than anything that might have happened had she stayed in New York. Once arrived at Bluestone Hill, the old family home, she is faced with a plethora of mysteries involving boys, ghosts, and century-old questions. THE SPLENDOR FALLS has got to be one of my favorite books ever. It's definitely a slow read at first, but I found it enchanting to read about the workings of a small Southern town and a Manhattan girl like Sylvie trying to find her place in such a setting. Clement-Moore sprinkles in a perfect helping of romance and love-triangle dilemma and bone-chilling ghosties. The chapters alternate between idyllic and heart-pounding. The two probable love interests are the right amount of charming and infuriating. Sylvie, the main character, felt like a real and truly fleshed-out character. Clement-Moore does such a good job establishing her personality that I felt like she was a real person. Each character had a unique personality, so I had no trouble distinguishing them. Like I previously mentioned, the book starts out at a stately pace, but in the last...probably, 1/4th of the book, the speed picks up and it's nonstop action after confrontation after action! The only complaint-and a small one at that-that I have with this book is that Clement-Moore puts a little too much emphasis on Sylvie's dog, Gigi, than I'd like. But then again, this might be because I don't have a dog myself, but I felt like there was an overdose of dog-related occurrences. Overall, a wonderful, well-researched, and well-developed book. I really didn't want it to end, but it did...that was the only bad part of the book.
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