A Darkly Beating Heart By Lindsay Smith

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I wasn’t sure what to expect this book, since I hadn’t heard anything about it. I picked it up only because it was on a list of books with bisexual main characters.  This book honestly surprised me, I was expecting it to be a three star book, but I honestly loved it.

Reiko is a tough character, and at first she’s a little hard to like. She’s angry and you can almost feel it radiating off the page, which speaks to how great the writing is. But once her backstory is unraveled I found her to be a very sympathetic character.

This story really tore my heart out, I enjoyed the writing, the time travel jumps, and a lot of the characters. The twist at the end wasn’t what I expected, which was really good for me.  And it was good because the ending of the story is definitely a grey one, which is my favorite. It doesn’t end completely happy and 100% better, but it doesn’t end badly either. It’s very hopeful.   So without going into too much detail, I just want to say that it’s a great story and you all should read it. 🙂  I gave it four stars on Goodreads.

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