Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Series: Rivers of Time #1
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pub. Date: February 2011
Genre: Christian Fiction/ YA/Historical Fiction/Time Travel/Romance
Rating: 5 Kisses
Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life. In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in sixteenth-century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the sixteenth-century—and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.
My Ramblings and Reveries: Oh. Emmmm. GEEEE!!! I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved this book. I’m not a huge fan of Christian literature-mostly because I usually get the author-stuffing-it-down-my-throat feeling which can be overwhelming. Well, not this one. I didn’t even know it was Christian literature until I went online to the author’s website.
Waterfall is about twin teenaged girls, Lia and Gabi getting pulled back in time to medieval Italy. They become separated during their time traveling. The book follows Gabi and her quest to find her sister. After getting caught and rescued in the middle of a battle by super hot Marcello and his men, Gabi is taken under the protection of the Forelli’s. Gabi, being from the future, doesn’t realize that by wearing her hair down, preferring to wear pants, using her sword, and being outspoken, everyone labels her unusual. After telling a few lies, almost everyone accepts her as a “Norman.” Well, everyone except Marcello’s fiancé, daughter of one of Sienna’s Nine. All Gabi wants is to go home with her sister, but a war between the Forelli’s and the Paratore’s has placed them right in the middle. Now she and Lia’s survival, as well as the Forelli’s depends on Gabi.
Gabi’s is such a great role model. She is so confident and is not afraid to be herself. Even in medieval Italy, where women were seen and not heard, Gabi refuses to be the weak damsel in distress. Instead of sitting in the castle while the men fight and try to find her sister. She takes her sword and goes out with them- though they do try to talk her out of it. Her bravery and confidence attract Marcello. He embodies the Italian male. Nothing like a hot Italian man to make one double take. Too bad he is already engaged. His fiancé is a piece of work. Her character is like the popular you-know-what (begins with a B) you can find in every high school. She gives Gabi hell throughout the book. She is truly nasty. What she does (I won’t give any spoilers) at one point in the book is just unbelievably terrible. Lia, Gabi’s twin, annoyed me. She was a loving sister, but still, she could have been more supportive of Gabi and her relationship with Marcello. I thought it was too cute how Luca liked Lia. His reaction to Lia when they first met was adorable.
Bergren explores sibling relationships in Waterfall. Gabi’s relationship with Lia reminded me of my own relationship with my sister. My sister and I look and act like twins but we are two years apart. Gabi does everything she can, risking her own life several times to find her sister. Marcello’s relationship with his brother is also carefully written. Marcello is the younger brother and he has no interest in inheriting his father’s title even though his older brother is very sick and not expected to live much longer.
I love love LOVE LOVE LOVE L.O.V.E.D. this book. I was giddy the entire night I read it. You’d have to pry my dead fingers off this book to get me to put it down- and even then, I’d come back and haunt you for taking it away. That is how obsessed I am with this book. The adventure was amazing. The romance was beautiful. The setting, Italy, was gorgeous. The characters were real. The action was riveting. Everything in this book was perfect. There was even a twist at the end, which left me screaming for more. I read Waterfall three times within a 24 hour period. I couldn’t get enough of Marcello. All I wanted to do was go into the book and be Gabi. If only time travel was possible. This book not only exceeded my expectations, but it has become one of my favorite books. READ IT! The next book in the series, Cascade, doesn’t come out until June. That is too far away. The last time I got the I-must-read-the-next-book-NOW feeling was after reading Dreamfever. Waterfall is an action-packed adventure story that takes you back in time with a kick-butt heroine, her sister, and a whole lotta handsome Italian men. My recommendation: find a good quiet space without anyone to bother you for a good chunk of time because once you start the book, you won’t be able to put it down until you finish...ANNNDDD then you’ll be throwing a tantrum because you have to wait until JUNE for the sequel, Cascade.