Valley of the Moon by Bronwyn Archer (ARC Review)



Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 4/5


“There’s just one semester left at the Briar School for Girls in Sonoma, CA. But it will take more than straight As for Lana Goodwin to survive . . .

Senior year is not going well for 17-year-old Lana Goodwin. Her father’s vintage car business is about to crash and burn, the nicest (and cutest) teacher at school was fired under a cloud of scandal, and her hot sort-of boyfriend may or may not have something big to hide.

She’s also totally over being the class pauper. It’s bad enough her dad was briefly married to the head of the board—the rich, cruel, impeccably groomed Ramona Crawford. What’s worse is going to school with her vindictive ex-stepsister, who never misses an opportunity to make her life hell. Not ever.

It also happens to be the tenth anniversary of her mother’s suicide. No one knows why Annie Goodwin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge the day after Christmas. She didn’t leave a note. She wasn’t sick. Even Lana’s father can’t explain it. Ten years later, someone—or something—starts sending her clues about her mother’s past.

Before Lana can escape to college, she finds herself in a life-or-death race to uncover her mother’s long-buried secrets.

Can she claim her birthright before her future and her life are snatched away?

Valley of the Moon is a modern-day fairy tale with some intense themes.

A contemporary YA romantic mystery for ages 14 and up.”

My Review:

TRIGGER WARNING: Mention of rape and child abuse


I did not like Valley of the Moon. “But wait, Paige. You gave it 4 stars?” Yes, I did. The reason for the rating is quite simple. Even though I didn’t like it, the book still was written well.

The writing was excellent. I loved the similes Archer included like, “His face blurred, like a wet photograph smeared by a thumb…” and “The sound of her heels was like a metronome in the quiet showroom. TICK TICK TICK TICK.” Archer’s writing style is sound and keeps a steady pace. I could see the different reactions of characters and imagine the details provided as if I was watching a movie. The dialogue was great too with realistic responses that varied from character to character.

Of all the characters, I liked Lana the best. I felt that she was strong, even though life had beat her like eggs, put her in a frying pan, and then scrambled her. I didn’t agree with some of the choices she’d made, or the way she would ignore obvious issues, but she was still a good character. I can’t say I can relate to her, but I’m sure some people can.

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