My first ever ARC!! Squeeeee!!
Lions in the Garden fits a genre niche that is underdeveloped, in my opinion. It’s a purely historical fiction young adult novel. Not fantasy. Not steampunk. No vampires, werewolves or witches. Just pure historical fiction, which I don’t personally find much of in the young adult shelves. So for that, I’ll give it extra points.
The story itself is good, if lacking a bit of the depth that I like in my normal historical fiction. Perhaps, that is because it’s YA and that tends to be a more fast-paced genre. I would have liked to get to know more about the characters thoughts and motives, but perhaps that will come in later books. Mila does have the unfortunate tendency toward naively believing what she is told, and a lot of the book follows her charging ahead with whatever assumption she is currently working under, only to see her find out her mistake and switch gears mid-stream. For me, this fits with her age (she’s 17) and the temperament that goes with teenagers, so I’m a bit willing to overlook it.
Overall, I liked this book. The flaws mixed with the originality of genre and what the author was attempting left me with a solid 3 charms. I will read the next one, because I would like to see what happens to Mila and Marc next!