Not knowing Libby from the first book was no problem- I felt like she was my long-lost little sister by the end of Chapter 1. This girl loves history and historical reenactment….clearly, she’s darling. I also loved Dev, despite his unrealistically over-the-top nature. Every time I started feeling like he was a characature instead of a character, the author dropped some unexpected personality quirk in there, and I stopped being suspicious. Both teens end up on a wacky summer-long adventure of living history that had me itching to call up the Washington Civil War Reenactment HQ. Or jump right into AL.
I won’t give you any spoilers, but I applaud Strohm’s handling of the romantic relationships and tensions within the book. She took a topic that often has a predictable outcome and turned it on its head….realistically. At first I wanted to root for The South (well, he *is* perfect, and I didn’t know Garrett or his good qualities from book 1, and I hate petty jealousy), but Libby showed rare foresight…and insight…and I like that Strohm took an adult approach to it.
I also adored the little historical reenactment details she put in there (even when she caged them in dialogue to give us readers a less-pedantic lecture on how cool history is). The whole coffee situation was hilarious to me, both as a coffee addict and a renaissance faire brat, and the ghost story mystery added just enough dialogue to interest people who, unlike me, weren’t utterly delighted at the descriptions of the period gowns.
A book that makes me want to sew Victorian-era dresses is a winner, in my opinion!
I recommend this book for lovers of historical reenactment and living history, fans of emotionally mature but still rompy YA, those who enjoy a main female character with a quirky sidekick, fans of the South, book readers who like exploring the modern perspective on the Civil War, fans of young romance, and folks who like the romance of a wistful summer adventure. And, of course, fans of Strohm’s first book.