i wanted more!

filled star filled star filled star star unfilled star unfilled
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this is a YA historical fiction moment that takes place in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War when Franco has come to power and imposed Catholicism as law. we follow Ana, a girl from Madrid working at a hotel to help support her family and Daniel, who is visiting Madrid and staying in the same hotel with his family as his father negotiates an oil deal with Franco himself. my biggest praise with this book is that the side characters brought so much life to the story and wove so many strings together. i also think Ruta Sepetys does such a great job of creating vivid and visceral pictures of the past and transporting the reader into the time period and place to understand the characters and what they are going through. my biggest complaint is that i just wanted *more* out of the story. right when things were getting exciting, the plot cut out and jumped 18 years ahead and i was just like..... are u kidding. also it was tricky for me to believe that Daniel and Ana had developed this amazing love that would persist over space and time when they really didn’t spend that much time together and kissed maybe once and had a “fade to black” sleepover moment. maybe it’s just because i read too many adult romances now to find YA romances believable but i just honestly didn’t care about the relationship. i was much more intrigued by Puri (Ana’s devout cousin) and the shady shit that goes down at the orphanage. right when we figured out the huge plot twist and all of the earlier threads of the story were starting to come together, the book just abruptly ended. i wanted more!!!!! i wish the timeline had not been split in two and instead evolved from one moment in time to the other. it’s annoying to have all that time occur off the page and you just kinda get a summary of it once the story picks back up. i rarely want books to be longer but the plot that *was* there was so interesting and easily digestable that i could have devoured another 150 pages of this for the sake of drawing out the drama and giving the reader some more personal understanding of the years that transpired off the page.