Review: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris


Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format: DRC
Status: Book 2 in the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series. At least one more book is in the works with the potential for more.


Disclaimer: An advance copy for this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

Review:
So, at first it doesn't seem like it, but A Tale of Two Centuries (hereafter known as ATTC) picks up directly after My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (hereafter known as MSSSC). It doesn't seem like it because MSSSC is in Cat's pov and ATTC is in Less's. So Less is screwed over by a boy, meets gypsy girl Reyna, and is catapulted to Cat's time with a little more information (in the form of three mysterious clues) as to when her adventure will be over.

First of all, I actually like Alessandra a bit more than I like Cat. Cat just seemed somewhat avoidant. She has Mommy Issues, which enable her to push potentially good people, like Jenna away. Alessandra, on the other hand, is pretty open to relationships with new people. Sure her Italian boyfriend turned out to be a tool, but she allows others to enter her heart fairly easily. I also like that Alessandra's adventure is more focused on her, as in her character, who she is as a person. I love the small and big revelations Less has throughout ATTC, the eureka moments when she realizes she's strong, talented, beautiful. It's fantastic to see a heroine discover how empowered she is and really embrace that. Brava, Rachel!

I also really liked Austin, who I found to be kind of the male version of Cat. Austin has severe Daddy Issues as well as Ex Issues, leaving him with the overarching Trust Issues. It seems like the only things Austin cares about are surfing and his little sister Jamie, at least until Less comes on the scene. I like that Austin and Alessandra challenge each other in a good way. He encourages Less to be more open to life and new experiences; she helps him open up to people, just like she does for Cat. Plus, Austin is just yummy and thoroughly lustable.

Each adventure is fairly commonplace for those of us from the modern world, which is probably all of us, but I don't know that there aren't some of you reading this that are from the 1600s. :) Seriously, swimming at the beach and riding a roller coaster aren't foreign experiences, but to Alessandra, these are dangerous and even life-threatening activities. Yet, she bravely faces each new challenge Austin throws her way with grace, grit, and determination. Also, a lot of laughter. I found myself giggling uncontrollably throughout the novel as I witnessed this newbie try things that I've been doing since I was in the single digits. It's just as fun to read about as it is to do myself.

Overall, I found A Tale of Two Centuries to be a charming read. It's a good sequel with cute boys and strong girls who, if they didn't know who they were at the beginning, figured it out througout the course of the novel. Alessandra's moment of self-discovery is beautiful and exciting. Heroines who stand up for what they want aren't greedy and selfish; they're assured and confident and brave. I'm really excited for book number three, My Not So Super Sweet Life, out this winter (possibly December, I think), and after that, Rachel is leaving it open for more stories. It really depends on Entangled, her publisher, and also us, the readers. So if you'd like more stories about Cat, Alessandra, Austin, Lucas, and LORENZO (the poor guy desperately needs his own Happily Ever After, you guys!), then buy the books, request them at the library, share your reviews with your friends! Let's do this!


Book Links:
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About the Author:
Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother, and staying up way too late sneak reading her mama's romance novels. As an adult, she continues to stay up late reading romances, only now she does so openly. 
 
A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.
She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!  

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