Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day GeorgeSilver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Series: Silver in the Blood #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on July 7, 2015
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 358
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

A New York Times bestselling author brings dark secrets to life in a lush new YA perfect for fans of Libba Bray or Cassandra Clare.

Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.

With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.

When I first started Silver in the Blood, I was so excited. The sassy Dacia, with a boy in every place she goes, charmed me. If Silver in the Blood had remained a novel of gowns and flirting, I probably would have liked it. YA could use more fluffy historical romance in my opinion. Then again, I also think it could use a lot of good paranormal novels; ufortunately, the paranormal elements left me cold.

For about half the book, Dacia and Lou are trying to discover their family’s secret. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a surprise to the reader, but I sure hope not because most will see it coming a mile away. Heck, it’s in the book’s description. Watching Lou and Dacia try to puzzle it out for so long like what-could-it-be??? was so boring. They’re also both so blown away to find out that View Spoiler ». The fact that the girls were so slow to catch onto things made the pace drag and drag. The Romanian setting is great, but it can’t carry the book alone.

Then the paranormal stuff actually starts up, and I didn’t feel like any of it was compelling or original. The most original thing was probably the amount of time people spend having conversations while naked in Silver in the Blood, due to the realities of shifting. I wouldn’t mind that if most of them weren’t related. Literally, there was a scene where Lou undresses Dacia (to allow her cousin to shift) and then goes and has a conversation with her naked Aunt and male cousin. Sure, being comfortable with the naked human form is a healthy thing, but family naked time is a whole different thing.

One thing I did really appreciate about Silver in the Blood is that it’s very woman power. The Florescu family has women and men with the power, but women dominate all across the board. Men take orders from the ladies. Dacia and Lou try to turn to men (Lou’s Dad, Lord Johnny, Theo, Radu) for assistance, but they always end up saving themselves.

Dacia, whose personality I loved at the start, begins to waffle between being helpless and her original sassy self. Lou, meanwhile, goes from being shy and obediant to a boss bitch in charge. While I think the swap in their dynamics is interesting and not unrealistic for how people might react to the news that they can shapeshift, it still felt artificial, perhaps because I didn’t feel anything at all.

The romance could have been a saving grace, but there’s not enough time spent on it, so it feels like a double instalove. View Spoiler » You guys know I’m a huge shipper, and all I can say is that I didn’t ship either of the ships. I mean, I didn’t unship them, but I super don’t care about them either. I also thought it was a shame that Dacia went from loving having the chance to flirt with different boys to seeming to settle on one. It mostly seems like a reaction to the trauma of her time in Romania, not like her real self.

Silver in the Blood is my second George novel and my second time being underwhelmed. I have her middle grade series, so I’ll try that at some point. If it doesn’t work for me, I think I’m accepting that, much as I love George’s premises, they’re not for me.

Favorite Quote:

“Explain yourself, or I shall get my parasol and smack you,”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif tired wolf
This book made me want a wolfy nap.

8 responses to “Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George”

  1. Awww, I’m sorry this was a bit of a disappointment. I really love Jessica Day George, and I am still excited for this one. But I will keep my expectations a little lower.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Express Lane Review: Joyride by Anna BanksMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I’m also sorry about it. I hope you have better luck with it than I did. Lower expectations can often make all the difference. Good luck!

  2. Oh my gosh, the naked family line lol! When I saw you tweet that, I was like whaaaat is this book… unfortunately the only Jessica Day George book I’ve read is her Cinderella retelling which I didn’t care for. I think I’m in the same boat as you where I love the ideas but not the execution. I’ve been hesitant to try another of hers since and your review makes me feel like I made the right choice. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more!

    • Christina Franke says:

      Hahaha, I couldn’t resist tweeting it. I mean, it wasn’t like a thing that they thought about much. But I’m just like “NAKED YOU ARE ALL NAKED PLEASE PUT STUFF ON.” I read Princess of the Midnight Ball, and I didn’t love that retelling either. Since I have the middle grades from BEA last year, I’m going to give her one more go before accepting that her writing isn’t my jam.

  3. Kim says:

    “Men take orders from the ladies. ”

    Misandry alert. *Delicious, evil smirk*

    Too bad the rest of the book couldn’t live up to it. I started this one but wasn’t really feeling it and I’m glad my instincts were right. Also, huge no thank you to a double dose of insta-love. Romance is what usually makes or breaks a book for me so thank you for the reassuring review!
    Kim recently posted…Classic Readalong: To Kill a MockingbirdMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Hahaha, it’s not quite misandry, but it was a nice touch.

      Oooh, good to know. Romance is totally what makes or breaks a book for me in most cases. Sometimes I feel judged for this, but I just want my ships dammit. I shall not be shamed. The romance is most definitely subpar. I’ve got some other things I can shove at you instead. :-p

  4. Lyn Kaye says:

    Alright, that’s it. This is going into the giveaway pile. Meh.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Epic Recs Review: I Am the MessengerMy Profile

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