January 27, 2012
The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
I actually really enjoyed this book. Despite it being the 2nd in the series, I don't feel like I missed too much, although I do plan on going back and reading the first book. I really liked the characters, and the writing in this book.
After losing her fiance to a grisly death, Zora finds herself unwillingly to go on with her life. She doesn't want to get over him, so she publicly ruins herself, causing her mother to send her to a widowed aunt out west. There, she finds a new calling. Zora is what is known as a springsweet, water witch, dowser; several other names would describe her skill. She can find water easily, and it proves to be both a gift and a burden. She also finds someone that makes her heart beat again, and he has a special skill all his own.
I really liked Zora's character. She had some melancholy about her, but she still was pretty rational in thought and knew what she wanted. She was also pretty humble, which is refreshing compared to a lot of young adult novel heroines. Her love interest wasn't too bad either, although I would have liked to see more of him in the book and had more questions answered about him. He manages to dodge questions about himself quite well. I think the real standout character though was Theo, a wanna be courter for Zora. He just seems like a real good guy and I hope he continues to be in the series as it continues.
This novel was extremely well written with a nice tone. I liked the language and voice used by the author for Zora and it seemed fitting to the time. You can tell she did a little research. Since its young adult there isn't anything too objectionable. Pretty mild overall actually, although it does describe a little bit of violence from Zora's past. My one complaint would be that the ending was way too rushed. I got a little confused as a result and combined with the ending it was kind of unsatisfying.
I'll definitely continue on with this series. I find it intriguing and a nice quick read.