Review: Cross My Heart

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

Review: Cross My HeartCross My Heart by Sasha Gould
Series: Cross My Heart #1
Published by Delacorte BFYR on March 13, 2012
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Pages: 262
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Venice, 1585.

When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura's father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice's fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura's prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister's death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.

heart went out to Laura from the beginning. How could I not feel for all of the poor girls that were thrust into convents for such awful reasons, regardless of the girls’ own inclinations. Laura’s narration was rather heartbreaking. As you start reading, it’s just so evident that she is completely without hope for her own life; she has given up entirely. So young and her life is already effectively over. Although she is not the brightest (and she lacks worldly knowledge because she spent so many years in the convent), Laura does the best that she can, and, because of this, she made a good heroine. The hero was pretty great, too, but I’ll leave him a surprise.

Secret societies aren’t generally my cup of tea. This one, though, I found much more scintillating than usual. What I loved was that it was a group of women, marginalized in society, but controlling Venice behind the scenes. No one is safe from the actions of the Segreta, even the Doge, the ruler of the city. Of course, they’re just as corrupt as male political groups, but I do like to see women getting revenge on the patriarchy.

I also found myself doing a lot of thinking about courtship in that time period. Of course, I knew already that fiancees were regularly swapped to a different child, as though they are interchangeable, and that marriages were arranges after only a handful of meetings. So, none of it was new, but, for some reason, I found myself really thinking about the reality of living that life. Even the guy she gets a crush on, she only meets him a couple of times before they begin an illicit relationship of exchanging letters and talking when they catch a moment alone. Given the limited freedom women had, relationships escalated so quickly.

Cross My Heart is well-written and entertaining. If you love young adult literature or historical fiction, you’ll want to get your hands on this one. I know I’ll be reading more novels by Sasha Gould! Plus, look at the pretty cover!

4 responses to “Review: Cross My Heart”

  1. That cover is pretty. Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of covers coming out recently with masks? Are they the new prom dress??

    Anyway..haha. This sounds good to me! The blurb about it is enough to make me want to run out and buy it. I haven’t read much historical fiction, but I really want to because everytime I have, I really enjoy the books. I have to branch out! 😀

    • Christina says:

      Hmm, I don’t think I’ve seen to many masks, but I would so be okay with that being a thing!

      This one’s good fun!

    • I’m sure there’s more that I had in mind, but all I can think of at the moment is Remembrance by Michelle Madow and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Though I definitely think there’s a few others I’ve been seeing recently because I was inclined to make a list of them.

    • Christina says:

      Now that you mention them, those totally do have masks. Memory fail. That would make an awesome list!

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