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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The Rosegiver by Sandy Benitez is a beautifully written mix of supernatural, mystery, and romance for young adult readers, but adult readers will still get a lot of entertainment by reading it. Set against the English rural landscape in the late 1800s, a young girl with the rare gift of reading people travels to her aunt, Judith Constantin, to help her with household chores at the Rosethorne Inn in Thistle Grove. Before she could reach her destination, she learns about the disappearance of girls within the locality and the presence of vampires, which rouses Rachel’s curiosity. The reader is introduced to Rachel’s world with her strange dreams and desperate need to learn about the vampires, and find out what is happening to the missing girls. Will she discover her destiny as she develops her gift as the rosegiver and be able to solve a mystery that baffles everyone?
Sandy Benitez writes well and has a gift for descriptive prose. The idea of the rosegiver is original, or at least, I haven’t read anything like it before, and it drew my attention to the book immediately. The author did a great job in character development and readers can really see how Rachel grows in confidence, harnessing her gift. From the beginning, readers are introduced to the characters, and the sense of mystery created at the beginning of the story will be a great hook to many. For instance, readers will begin to ask questions about the scratching Rachel hears on the walls of her train compartment and the long and broken fingernail she finds the next morning. The plot has enough to keep readers guessing, but what is so beautiful about this book is the prose and the feeling one gets that Sandy Benitez is a master storyteller. The Rosegiver was, for me, a satisfying read. Great story. Great setting.