The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

I have students who will clamor for this when I get it in the HS library.

Eleanor, an orphan, is taken on as a charity case at a prestigious school for girls. She hears voices and music in her head but after a couple of years of severe treatment, she’s managed to suppress them. When she is sent to a girl’s school on scholarship her life feels like it could be getting better, only to have the voices come back full force after she meets Jesse, the groundskeeper’s nephew. (Cue love interest #1) She also catches the attention of the duke’s son, Armand, but rebuffs him because she’s not interested. (Cue love interest #2) World War 1 is going on in the back ground of this story, and plays a big part in the climactic ending. Because of the dragon and star imagery, I was reminded of Sara Davis’ Starman during some of the world building. 

Favorite quotes and word pictures:

….Watching billowing steam from the trains wind upward in corkscrews, condense into rows of silvery tears strung along the steel ribs. (Loc 232)

I learned that night that the loveliest, most lonely sound in the world is that of the sea striking the shore. (Loc 579)

There were stairs going down it, too, just as rickety, as clear an invitation to this is a bad idea as anything I’ve ever seen. (Loc 2074)

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