Val's Pick: "Gallant" by V.E. Schwab
Merilance School for Girls has been Olivia Prior’s home since she was left there as a baby. The only information she has about her family is written in her mother’s journal - until a letter arrives for her from her long lost uncle. Olivia’s uncle asks her to return to Gallant, her family’s estate. Unfortunately, Gallant is also the place from which her mother escaped and, in her journal, warns Olivia to never return if she wants to stay safe. Torn between her mother’s warning and her desire to finally have a home of her own, Olivia decides to take her chances at Gallant.
Gallant by V.E. Schwab is a beautifully written book but it took me a bit to really sink into the story. However, after a slow start, I found myself quickly turning the pages to discover the secrets of Olivia’s family and of Gallant itself. This middle grade/young adult novel has a very gothic feel to it and fans of Neil Gaiman or even Edgar Allan Poe would enjoy it. If you are participating in the public library’s Frankenstein Community Read and want more of that style of writing, Gallant would be a great book for you.