Saturday, August 20, 2011

Waterfall / (River of Time Book 1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Title: Waterfall (River of Time No. 1)
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergen
Pages: 352
Published: February 1st, 2011 by David C. Cook
Synopsis: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.(from

Gabriella and her sister are along for yet another archeological dig with their mother during their most recent summer holiday. Instead of being home in the States with their friends, they are in Italy, combing through the tombs of Etruscans, dead for thousands of years. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but the grief that surrounds their family from the death of their father pushes their mother into a working frenzy, in which she pays only slight attention to her daughters and mounds of attention to the dead.

Gabriella is tired of it all. She just wants to feel alive again. In Lisa Tawn Bergen's new young adult series, River of Time, Gabriella and her sister Lia find the oddest thing in the tomb of one of the Etruscan's that sends them back in time to ancient Sienna, Italy. A time where life and love are more than just a mimicked thought, but a way of everyday survival.

A story of the past, Waterfall brings everything we could ever ask for in a historical/time travel novel. With ancient tongues and old accents mixed with new age slang and thoughts, Waterfall takes us through the mid 1300's in Italy with a fun twist of excitement when contemporary girls mix with men of an age where woman were to be protected and kept behind the men. The story takes precedence over everything, weaving an epic tale that can't help but capture your heart and mind. Strong heroine's light the pages, making the book feel even more intense and exciting. Ms. Bergen's writing is nothing short of brilliant and captivating and will pull you into Gabriella's world with careless abandon.

However, no story would be complete without a little love and Waterfall gives us just that, a delicate weaving of love that doesn't overtake the story, but works in tandem with it's beauty and brilliance. Marcello Forelli, the son of Lord Forelli, Lord of Costello Forelli, is just as we picture all amazingly gorgeous Italian men of the mid 1300's to be: loving, kind, protective, frustrated with females who don't listen to a thing he says... Which, to me is the best part of their relationship....because Gabriella doesn't miraculously become the lady of the past, she is *still* the lady of the future, who does not like to be told what to do and will do anything to protect her family. Gabriella, while lovely and strong, is not our typical heroine. Gabriella and Lia, her younger sister, are thoughtful and INDEPENDENT, ridding the book of the co-dependency we all detest in fictional-relationships, while instead giving the relationship a deeper and more important feel. A feel where those who are loved do not have to change to be loved, but can retain everything they are and everything they feel and still obtain a love that will be with them for ages.

Waterfall is a gorgeous tale of past and present that will wrap you around it's little finger and never let you go. Your only thought will be that you were lucky enough to pick up this book filled with strong women, amazingly developed and flawed characters, perfectly poised comedic relief, and a love that will stay with you no matter when or where you are.

*I recommend this book to those who are fans of Young Adult Fiction, Adult Fiction, Time Travel and Historical Fiction as well as books that take place in Italy.

(Note: This book is very clean and contains no swearing or anything sexually related. There is kissing and talk of serious subjects including death, torture and war.)


  1. It seems that everything is telling me to pick up this book EXCEPT my review pile! Oh I can't wait to get to it. I think I'll move it up to the top of my personal tbr pile. Such a good review. The heroines sound good!!

  2. I'm so happy you loved it!! You know, it's funny, Gabi's giving up her entire time period to be with a guy, which would probably seem pretty extreme. Except, you're exactly right--she's not giving up who she is and I love that about her.

  3. Yay so glad you loved this one Jen! I'm reading Cascade right now too and have barely been able to put it down. I love how strong Lia and Gabi are without being overdone, and Marcello and Luca are just adorable:)

  4. @Melissa - It's is SO good! I haven't felt this way about a new series in awhile. It was so addicting I couldn't put it down and Cascade was TEN times more addicting. I LOVED them. *how do you really feel Jen* LOL!

    @Small - I know what you mean. She is giving up her whole time period, but she isn't changing herself. I thought maybe Marcello would offer to do the same, but I don't know, it wouldn't feel right. Like contemporary times are just not serious enough to handle it and the whole story would change. I just love that Gabi & Lia don't get swept up in the whole "I need a man" thing!

    @Jenny - I LOVED it so much! Cascade was AMAZING! I was so sad when I didn't have Torrent in hand. :( Luckily it's out on September 1st, but still...I wanted to find out what happened so bad. I absolutely adore Marecello & Luca!

  5. I totally agree with your review. The only thing I found a little too jarring was how Gabriella conveniently knew how to do everything. I know she is from our time, but she is still a teen.

    But the guys are so swooooooon! *melts*

  6. So glad you enjoyed this! And the series just gets better and better. Awesome review :)

  7. Oh dear, now you made me want a book badly enough to ruin my finances! The thing is I wanted to be an archeologist as a child and I would love to spend my summer holliday digging around in the dirt...

  8. I was sort of hoping Marcello would agree to go to our time too, but then I thought about it and came to the same conclusion you do. I don't think it would work. It would kind of undermine everything Gabi discovered about feeling so alive. Plus, I so couldn't see Marcello fitting in (and sans sword! Oh no!)

  9. @Missie - I know, I thought the same thing about her and her "sword usage," but then she kept using it and using it so it made more sense later and I tuned it out, LOL! But, yeah, I get yah there! :D

    @Anachronist - It really is an excellent read. I love the mix of contemporary with historical! I kind of want to visit old Italy.

    @Small - *attempts to picture Marcello sans sword* I can't see it! Something about Marcello in a car and not on a horse just doesn't fit. I don't think our times could give the whole thing the same "alive" feeling. I don't see Marcello fitting in AT ALL! Although...if he wants to come visit me, I'm totally game. :D

  10. OMG I can not agree more. I just love this book.

  11. Thanks for the awesome review, Jen! I really appreciate it. :-)


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XOXO Jen the Bibliophile

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