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Merin is a teacher, a book blogger, a baseball addict (Go Cardinals!), lover of music, movies and TV crime dramas, and YA/MG connoisseur. Follow me on my blog at http://ahandfulofconfetti.wordpress.com!

Currently reading

Her Highness, the Traitor
Susan Higginbotham
Progress: 23/323 pages
Jane Eyre
Ruben Toledo, Charlotte Brontë
Progress: 162/453 pages
The School for Good and Evil
Soman Chainani
Progress: 40 %
Rainbow Rowell
Progress: 46/433 pages
Cross My Heart - Sasha Gould 3.5/5 stars, but rounding up because it really was a nice, suspenseful, well-written story.Thank you to Random House Children's Books and Delacorte BFYR (via NetGalley) for the e-galley of Cross My Heart.Laura della Scala was sent to a convent when she was ten years old, when her father decided he couldn't raise both her and her sister after their mother's death. Several years later, she's been recalled to her father's house, where she finds out that her sister, Beatrice, has died, and it's now fallen to Laura to marry Beatrice's fiance, Vincenzo, in order to save their father from ruin. Vincenzo, however, is a disgusting old man, and Laura despairs over the turn her life has taken. She is therefore surprised when a group of women known as the Segreta approach her and tell her they can save her from Vincenzo, if she can provide them with a worthwhile secret. And thus, Laura is launched into a new life where no one can be trusted, and she must learn to find her strength and stand up for herself if she's to have the life she wants.I really enjoyed this book. I felt like Laura was a sympathetic character who goes from being thrust from one situation to another as she tries to adjust to her new life outside of the convent (with no help from anyone) to a heroine with a definite backbone who stands up to her father and tries to figure out the truth behind her sister's death. She doesn't know who to trust, because while she realizes how powerful the Segreta are - they do manage to get her away from Vincenzo, after all - she starts to suspect that they may have played a role in her sister's death. There's also a handsome painter who ensnares Laura and has his own secrets, and her sister's best friend who is perhaps hiding some things as well. I really liked Laura's journey in this story; I was really pulling for her happily-ever-after. The atmospheric prose was also first-rate, especially that describing Laura's night-time wanderings and gondola rides. All in all, this was a really engrossing, engaging read that I enjoyed from beginning to end.Cross My Heart will be released on March 13, 2012.