Review: Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Description (from cover):

‘One house, two worlds…
Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.
For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name–but it would mean giving up her one true love…someone she could never persuade her father to accept.
Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting…at Somerton.’

My thoughts:

I initially picked this book up for the ‘Downton Abbey’ factor. This book has the lives of the rich and society ladies and the below-stairs drama as well. I typically don’t read young-adult fiction, but I thought that I would give it a try. I tried to read this book with an open mind, but I now remember why I don’t really care for young-adult fiction generally. This book was so obvious, it was like a slap in the face. Every twist and turn of the plot, I saw coming miles away. I loathe books like that. Every single thing was so obvious. Maybe it’s because it’s geared toward a younger audience, but I was like come on. 
The characters, I felt, lacked depth. They have nothing to them. Ada is your typical rebel in the face of society, Rose is your typical housemaid, who lacks self-esteem and respect, and so on. Everyone is just bland and like a million other characters in other books. Nothing makes them stand out and nothing makes them remarkable. I was highly disappointed because I felt this book had a lot of potential and could really have been a better read if everything wasn’t so obvious to the reader.
I liked the setting and the great house of Somerton. I didn’t overall like this book all that much. I honestly think that it was because it is geared to a younger audience and not for someone who reads a lot of adult fiction. I have read other YA fiction and those books didn’t necessarily make me feel this way. I think it takes something special to make a younger book appeal to an older audience. Sadly, this book lacks that in droves.

Overall Rating: 2

Title:  Cinders & Sapphires
Author:  Leila Rasheed
Series:  At Somerton #1
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date:  December 10, 2013
Pages:  416
Genre:  Young Adult Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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