Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 13, 2011)
Source: My Choice; Library

From GoodReads: 

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets.... 

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over. 

As soon as I read the synopsis for Fateful, I knew I had to read it. I'm completely drawn in by anything Titanic. I've seen movies, watched documentaries, read books...I'd probably be a complete Titanic nut if I had more free time. And I'm not just drawn in by the tragic romance stories about the Titanic. This might sound a little weird, but I'm really drawn to anything that makes me feel. Doesn't matter whether it makes me feel euphoric or tragically depressed, if it makes me feel, I want to be experience it. (Spoken like a true therapist, right?)

Regardless of the setting, Claudia Gray's writing took me in immediately. I've never read one of her previous books, but Fateful makes me want to go snatch up her other titles. Not only was she able to capture the story and characters, but she did so in a voice that felt very authentic for the time period. That's not easy to do.

Even though I knew the story took place on the Titanic, I almost completely forgot this fact as I was reading. There isn't any noticeable foreshadowing to the event and the paranormal storyline is so complete, I didn't think about it while reading. Only when the diary-esque headings appeared did I remember we were reading a countdown to the sinking.

Combining this historic event with a paranormal story was genius. It was like a story within a story. All readers know what will happen on the ship, but that doesn't happen till the end. In the mean time, there's this awesome paranormal stuff going on until the iceberg disrupts everything. This helped in a couple ways. First, that's how it would have happened. The passengers on the ship had no idea what would happen, so they lived their lives normally until that very moment. Two, it gave us the opportunity to engage in an intriguing paranormal endeavor. This story could have stood on it's own given a different setting.

At different points, I couldn't help picturing the movie in my head, but Gray smartly strayed from making her love story similar to the popular film. Certain references and moments might bring you back to the movie, but that's because this is a true historic event being written about. Of course there will be similarities between two types of media creating a fictional story around the same historic event.

As a whole, this was a fantastic read. If you like historical, paranormal, or romance, you should give this a try. Even if you don't like one of those three elements, you're still likely to enjoy the book if you like one or two.

Overall thoughts:  Buy it. If hesitant, at least borrow it because it's worth the read. 

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