I hadn't expected to read a "young adult" fiction book. But this book caught me and swept me into the "river"!! Absolutely wonderful, fast moving, and it catches the imagination. No worries recommending this book to your teens as a wholesome pick!!
Imagine falling back through time to 14th century Italy with your sister or best friend, would you be able to survive? Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini two modern-day teens stumble upon an ancient tomb in the Italian countryside and are somehow separated on an impossible trip through time. Waterfall is the story of Gabi's search for her sister and a way back to the future and her mother who was left behind. In spite of the lack of modern day conveniences, conflict, and political unrest there's one thing Gabi never thought to find-love.
Rescued by a hot Italian who appears to be a part of some Renaissance reenactment Gabi is desperate to find Lia. With the help of said hot Italian (aka Marcello), his family and fellow knight Luca who also happens to be a hot Italian Gabi faces down some pretty fierce fellows in her quest to find her sister. Not only does Gabi become a warrior but a healer and friend to the eldest Forelli, Fortino. If Gabi ever finds her way back to the present she will not have done so without leaving a huge impact on the residents of the "castello" and making a few enemies out of the Paratores. Fourteenth century Italy has never been more interesting or intriguing-or dangerous.
With as much action as The Hunger Games and enough drama to put Gossip Girl to shame Waterfall is sure to please both teens, their moms and romance fans alike. The only disappointment that you will face when reading this is when you turn the last page. As part of a trilogy you don't get a lot of closure and you will suffer if you don't have book two, Cascade, close at hand...trust me! Be warned that this isn't a Janette Oke type story like your mom read when she was a teen, this book is action-packed! The Betarrini sisters aren't afraid to kick some serious tail! That said if you want a good clean story with just the right amount of thrill and romance consider picking up a copy of Waterfall!
What do you do when your knight and shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
"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 Fourteenth-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 Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another." - Goodreads review
My Two Cents
While the Betarrini's are still suffering the death of their father & beloved husband, they continue in their search for the long lost Etruscan city bringing Evangelia and Gabriella in complete boredom. While searching for something intriguing and unique, Lia and Gabi discover a tomb which totally changes the Betarrini lives forever. With only the touch of warm hand prints which only activate a time portal by only Lia and Gabi's touch the world starts spinning. Loosing Lia in the process, Gabi finds herself lost and alone in the middle of a battle scene in Fourteenth-Century Italy! Battles. Knights. Horses. and Italian hotties! Being captivated into this journey, you can't let it go. The gripping words, and intense wars keeps you wanting more!
But when Gabi finds out that her sister, Lia, is in enemy hands, she'll do anything to help her. But when she tries to fight Castello Paratore, she finds herself falling for one Italian hottie, who is betrothed to Romana Rossi. Marcello also has eyes for Gabi, but how will their love affair be complete with Lia in enemy hands and his betrothed forcing him to carry on with his nuptials?
Marcello and Gabi finally allow their covert affair to arise which then forces many problems in the Forelli family and even when the close death of Marcello's oldest brother finds it's way into the family affairs, Gabi is then poisoned in the healing process of a stab wound by the assassin, and then seeing that returning to the 21st century is the only way to heal her, Marcello and his cousin, Luca, bring her to the tomb saying their dreadful goodbyes. Will Gabriella ever see Marcello again?
This book filled me with excitement, anger, fear and love.
Nothing to be told here, it was a clean Christian book which leads me to say that I would recommend this book to ages 13+.
You remember when your parents always pointed out to you that "just because your friends do something doesn't mean you have to do it, too?" More specifically, I believe the correct question was, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?" Well. Dear old mom and dad just didn't know about the River of Time, and the "bridge" that took us there, did they? *wink*
Yep, I jumped off a bridge and into a book that far exceeded my expectations. I have always known that Lisa was an exceptional author, but she's gone and made me a fan for life with Waterfall. I found myself smiling, laughing, and wishing that Gabi and Marcello could've met each other in the same century realistically.
I loved all of Gabi's 21st century thoughts as she wished she could go to Google for medicinal cures, or wondered why there was no deodorant, or most importantly, why there was *no* indoor plumbing (seriously, that'd be it for me...chamber pots just aren't my thing). Lisa also did a great job with the language as Gabi was clearly out of her element at first. Thank heavens, we have progressed enough to say "tomorrow" instead of "on the morrow," and that the use of "mayhap" has gone by the wayside.
But what impressed me the most was that this did not feel like a young adult novel. Sure, there were some moments when Gabi's maturity faltered a bit, but overall, she was a believable teenager who handled this unusual journey through time quite admirably. It was also nice to know that there are *great* books out there suitable for a younger audience that aren't full of vampires, zombies, or sex (not that I read any of those, but I'm tired of seeing them on bookstore shelves just the same).
So, I'm back on dry ground, no longer in the River of Time, but I'm itching to jump back in! This book left me hanging in the worst sort of way, and the only way I'll recover will be to immediately find the next one, Cascade. And if it wasn't already obvious, Waterfall has earned a well-deserved 5-star rating from this non-YA person, and a high recommendation for all audiences of Christian fiction. :o)
My sister raved about "Waterfall" after she read it a few weeks ago. The question was, would I love it too? The outcome...We are both anxious to read the next two novels in the River of Time series. Although "Waterfall," is classified as a young adult novel, it can easily be enjoyed by adults. Its fantasy aspect brings to mind the "Twilight" series, which of course is popular among many age groups, but I found "Waterfall" to be more exciting and with more likable characters.
"Waterfall" is set during the Middle Ages in Italy, and is complete with knights, dungeons, sword fights, damsels in distress, castles, and villains. I am usually not a fan of novels set in the Middle Ages, but this was an exception. Bergren balanced the medieval qualities with Gabi's modern day perspective. As a result, the reader gets the "best of both worlds." The plot is full of adventure, breath-holding close calls, and perilous situations. These elements are tempered by the budding romance between Gabi and Marcello, as well as Gabi's growing faith and her struggle with reconciling her medieval life with her life in the present day.
The time travel fantasy is one not often approached in Christian fiction, but it offers a welcome escape from the real world while conveying meaningful lessons. I have no idea how the "River of Time" series will end. Will Gabi and Lia choose to live in the present or past? Where will their time travel take them and what new dangers will they face? A journey down the "River of Time" is one adventure that readers will not soon forget.