21-year-old Thalia Vandergruen is struggling to find both the meaning of love and the meaning of her life. Her mother died soon after her birth and she was raised by her wealthy grandparents, who have long shielded her from the truth about who she really is. Now she desperately wants to break free from her life of privilege. But her long-time boyfriend, Will – the one person she thought she could trust – isn’t planning to let that happen.
Meanwhile, Sofi Aguilar, a clairvoyant who is Thalia’s only connection to her late mother, has finally been visited by the ghost she has been longing to see for decades—but who she has also feared the most. At the urging of the ghost, she begins to write Thalia’s story in a notebook with a gold cover. As she writes, events begin to unfold that will change everything for Thalia – and Sofi – forever.
As Sofi predicts, Thalia travels to the darkly mysterious south side of Cuba, to Santiago and a coastal village that holds the key to the mystery of her birth and her mother’s death, as well as the secrets of her mother’s friendship with Sofi. While there, Thalia witnesses Will begin to make dangerous plans. She also finds a passion that takes her by surprise in the form of Yahriel, a Cuban dive master who shows her the kind of life she can lead if she’s willing to take the ultimate risk of being true to herself.
As of late, it’s been quite rare that I actually enjoy a self-published book to the point that I can’t stop reading so I’m really happy to be giving this book such a high rating.
I loved the plot. It was set in Cuba which I found out the author actually travelled to in preparation for this novel. I really enjoyed getting to experience Cuba through this book because I honestly don’t know much about it except for the war and realistically, I don’t know if I ever will visit Cuba though I really do want to.
The story brought in a lot of aspects such as fortune telling, witch craft and abusive relationships but for some reason, all the vastly different themes came together in a beautiful medley that was spectacular to experience.
You would think that it would be really hard to weave together a story that was so impossible but Juliana did it seemingly with ease.
She turned a situation that was unbelievable into something that made sense and she did it in a way that wasn’t cringe worthy.
Sofi is a very hard charachter to sum up I feel like.
She was in a way the person that held everything together and she weaved the different storylines together into one big picture that made sense.
I really liked how mild she was yet when she started to write in that notebook, she almost became this completely other person and she became strong and opinionated and I really liked that.
It’s already said in the blurb that Yahriel and Thalia get together and I think that was largely why I didn’t fancy Thalia all that much.
While hers was my favourite point of view to read from, I found that I didn’t enjoy the decisions she made. Even thought Will was a disgusting human being, I don’t think cheating on him was an appropriate way to go about solving her problem.
I also felt that she was very ‘damsel in distress’ which I thought was a little annoying.
But those were minor issues and overall she was just as well developed as the other characters.
I really liked Yahriel despite the fact that he was involved with Thalia. I felt like he was very innocent in a way and he was very relatable in the sense that he just wanted to find his true love.
I thought he was a vey nobel charachter and I liked that we got to experience the point of view of a local Cuban. I think that really added to the whole experience.
I really enjoyed this book and I think it had amazing characters and a unique storyline that really saved the book from all the bad decisions made by the characters.
I honestly recommend that you pick it up because you will honestly feel transported to Cuba and you will feel like you are learning a whole new culture.
*A copy of this book was provided to me to read and review by the author however all opinions are my own.*