Published by Henry Holt & Company on January 28, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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A Castle in the Clouds follows a girl as she navigates secrets, romance, and danger in an aging grand hotel.
Way up in the Swiss mountains, there's an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year's Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways.
Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure--and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.
This was my very first Kerstin Gier read and I couldn’t resist picking this up when I saw it while browsing Audible. I had heard good things about the Ruby Red series and the cover of this book looked so cute. While I enjoyed the setting of the book a lot, I couldn’t connect with the characters or the plot… and found it all to be sort of boring.
A Castle in the Clouds is set at an old, majestic hotel in the Swiss mountains and we follow Sophie, an intern at the hotel. The first two-thirds of the book follows the day-to-day running of the hotel and Sophie’s interactions with the various guests who are staying there over Christmas and the new year. But as Sophie gets closer to some of the guests, she slowly discovers that some of them are not who they say they are. And this makes her job of making sure that everything runs perfectly in the hotel a lot harder.
I listened to the audiobook so I’m not quite sure how to spell some of the character’s names… but I didn’t really connect with any of them anyway. I despised Sophie as the main character for most of the book, until the action ramped up towards the end. I found her to be haughty, self-righteous and not the most pleasant person to be around. Which made it really difficult to read from her perspective. I also didn’t really like the narrator of the audiobook, so I’m not sure how much the narration played into my dislike of Sophie. But I just found that I couldn’t relate to her and her actions at all.
Sophie was also sort of portrayed as the glue that held the place together and I just couldn’t really see why she was so special. Not to mention, all the guys are interested in her too and I’m really just too sick of love triangles to even be remotely interested in any of the romance going on in the novel. At least the love interests weren’t as annoying as Sophie though, and I did find some of the hotel guests to be entertaining and unique.
I did start to warm to Sophie towards the end of the book when there was slightly more action. The plot moved a lot faster in the last third of the book and there were fewer inner musings from Sophie, which made her more bearable and more likeable. I did enjoy the last part of the novel, and this brought up my rating of the book dramatically. Having said that, I’d recommend giving the book a pass for some other exciting 2020 releases, rather than sticking it out for the ending.
I wasn’t too impressed by A Castle in the Clouds, though it is a short read for anyone looking for something easy and quick. I couldn’t connect with Sophie, the main character, and the plot was too slow-moving for me at the start. I do enjoy a hotel mystery though and this one wasn’t too bad of a read.
Rating: 3 out of 5
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