This book made me stay up past my bedtime. Significantly past my bedtime.

Title: The Cenote
Author: Chelsea Dyreng
Rating: 7.5
Source: From author for review

Description: Forced to marry a complete stranger, Sandpiper tries to adjust to life in her new village. But the mysterious Cenote, a great pool of water, has bewitched the men of the village, and Sandpiper must know why. This moving story of romance and redemption serves as an allegory with a timely message. Filled with drama and heart, it’s a book you won’t soon forget. (From Amazon)

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What I Liked:

I got really sucked into the mystery surrounding the cenote itself, and when I could tell it was going to be revealed soon I literally could not help myself from turning the pages.

My husband always makes fun of me because in an ideal world I would like to go to bed around 8:30 (he laughed when I told him that and said, “Mmmm more like 7.”) When I stay up much later than that I get loopy, cranky, and miserable.

So when I say that I stayed up until 11:30 reading this book, take heed my friends. That’s a big deal.

Often in a book that centers around a mystery, the lead up oversells the reveal. You get so excited and intrigued and are thinking, “What on Earth could be behind Door #3??” And then it turns out to be a monkey in a top hat. Interesting, and kinda different, but not all that original.

This was a very satisfying reveal. That’s all I’ll say.

The simple writing style really helped evoke the ancient setting of the story. The characters were loveable and relatable. The setting was believable and realistic.

Dyreng appears to have really done her research on the milpa farming system! I actually enjoyed reading about corn. I never thought I would ever type that sentence.

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What I Didn’t Like:

I wished that Sandpiper and Lark had more distinct voices. There was a chapter or two where I had to double check who was speaking. Initially they were more separate, but as the book went on they became more similar.

The ending was a bit frustrating for me. I know when emotions get big then people act irrationally, but some of the actions from certain characters seemed odd and out of place. And a part of the final resolution left me with a skeptical attitude.

But what good

Extras:

For the interview with the fantastic Chelsea Dyreng click here.

TL;DR:

A stay-up-past-your-bedtime mystery with a sweet and CORNy love story. (See what I did there?)

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