ARC Review || A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

review_-3

3b6b1c3a7da5b41a06f492c4c4a5d3f9

Title: A Darkly Beating Heart
Author: Lindsay Smith
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction > Time Travel, LGBT
Edition: eARC Kindle (272 pages)
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Oct. 25, 2016)
Date Read: 2/12/2017

Goodreads || Amazon || Book Depository


c0a82baf69c8be44a1dd41d59be94394

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.


70e22bd75c03a589416d9b622eec9baf

Trigger Warning: This book contains thoughts and acts of attempted suicide and cutting.

If you go searching through my blog, you’ll find that I have published a few posts mentioning A Darkly Beating Heart and how I couldn’t wait to read it. Although it took me a little bit longer to get to it than expected, my anticipation finally won out and I actually sat down and read it! Woo! Yay for me, right? Well, yes and no…

“I have mastered the path of hatred, and I know now where it ends. It ends with my revenge.”

A Darkly Beating Heart was on my radar for a while, especially when I realized how diverse it was. Our main character, Reiko, is Japanese, bi-sexual, and suffers from anger, anxiety and depression, which she takes medication for. Majority of this story takes place in Japan, where Reiko goes with co-workers, thinking getting away from home may help solve her problems. Although this book is labeled as LGBT, and Reiko claims to be bi-sexual, it isn’t proven within the story. She has no female love interest, which is kind of what I was hoping for when seeing the LGBT tag. So I was slightly disappointed on that level.

“I clench my fists at my sides as a wave of anger rolls over me. I’m just livid, but I don’t even know what I’m angry about. I want to see blood pouring down that stage, feel the bones of someone’s head condense and crunch between my hands…”

When we are first introduced to Reiko, we can clearly see how angry she is. So, so angry. I wanted her to find the peace she was looking for. Whether that be in Japan, at home, or wherever. But that never happened. Reiko was angry throughout the entire story, until the very end. It was continually pounded into our heads how angry she was, so much that it just became boringly repetitive. I understand the author wanting her readers to become as consumed in Reiko’s anger as she was, but there comes a point where it just becomes too much. And this book hit that point, unfortunately.

The main focus here was Reiko, but I would have liked a little more development in some of the secondary characters as well. Her boss, Aki, was the only character that truly stood out to me because she had such a loud personality. Although she wasn’t likeable as a person, I enjoyed Aki as a character in this story, simply because she HAD personality.

“I am nothingness. An empty vessel. The core of me is rotted away, and I can never get it back. There’s nothing left to fill me but anger. There’s nothing left for me to sense but pain.”

Traveling through time between modern day Japan and historic Japan, Reiko encounters another angry soul like herself. I would have been more intrigued had the author not made historic Japan sound so terrible. I get that this was done for the plot, but a few niceties could have been thrown in every now and then, right?

Overall, I really did not enjoy this book. I feel the author used Reiko’s anger as filler throughout a lot of the story, and for a while I felt it was going no where. The very end of the book is when I started to like it, and by that time, it was over. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you want to hear over and over and over again how angry someone is. I hate that I was so disappointed in this novel when I was looking forward to it for quite some time. But they can’t all be winners, can they?

*I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Rating: untitled-design-15

fullsizerender-4

About Megan @ bookslayerReads

A 25 year old mom and avid reader from Louisville, Kentucky. Loves reading just about anything, but her favorites are Historical Fiction, Fantasy, YA, and Mystery. She enjoys relaxing with good books and vanilla lattes.
This entry was posted in ARC Reviews, Reviews, Two Stars and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to ARC Review || A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

  1. I read the synopsis and thought this sounded fantastic, but immediately saw where the big flaws lie with your review. I honestly do not think I would connect with or care for Reiko. The constant anger would not fit with me. I also agree that no qualifiying factors to make this a true LGBT read would be a disappointment. Very honest and insightful review! Thank you 💖

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ashley says:

    I feel like with so much anger in this book as you have described, I wouldn’t enjoy reading it. I want to enjoy the books that I read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW! from reading the synopsis this book sounds grand, I might have to pick it up later this month! Good post! Have an AMAZING DAY!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ugh it sounded so promising, great synopsis it would have been convincing for me. I like your review, very good points.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, no, how disappointing. This one’s been on my radar for a long while too and I had high hopes with the combo of horror/scif-fi & fantasy with a bisexual protagonist. But alas, it was too good to be true!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh such a shame this one didn’t work for you cos the blurb sounded so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Donna says:

    Sorry to hear this one did not work for you! When I read “Japanese, bi-sexual, and suffers from anger, anxiety and depression” I immediately thought oh oh, things you don’t find Japanese people talking about every day! It reminded me of how many subjects I couldn’t mention when I was living there.. Anyway, one reader can only take so much anger, I mean, what’s the point if the protagonist is just as angry in the end than she was at the beginning? I might would have been curious about the Japanese side of the story but I don’t think I’ll read it. Great and honest review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Donna! Yeah, I’m a little upset it wasn’t as good as I was hoping, but that’s alright. I was interested in the Japanese aspect myself, but the author makes old Japan seem so absolutely terrible and horrific… it really wasn’t what I was looking for or expecting.

      Like

  8. Sorry you didn’t like it. D; I’ve seen this book described as very angry and that could definitely be a turn off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s alright. The anger, the terrible representation of historic Japan, along with the fact that I didn’t get any girl-on-girl action, was quite disappointing. But who knows, someone else may love it to pieces! It was just didn’t meet my expectations 😦

      Like

  9. Oh I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Megan. It would have turned me off as well. Thanks for sharing. Hope your next read will be better. 🙂
    Awesome blog, btw. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s