A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.
No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.
I loved how dark this book is. The main character, Reiko, is brewing her own darkness and destruction. She was the master of her own downfall and she wanted to fall. But she wanted to bring everyone else with her. I loved how this book alternates between modern day Japan and Imperial Japan. After taking a humanities class all about East Asia, I was thrilled to read A Darkly Beating Heart, and I was not disappointed. Though the beginning was a bit slow but the middle and ending really picked up. I was flying through the pages towards the end. Miyu was an interesting twist to the story. She is full of rage and revenge, like Reiko. However, Miyu is a spirit that has inhabited others who share her rage and revenge. I found this aspect quite fascinating. Overall I really enjoyed this one. It is the perfect standalone about a girl wanting her revenge.
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