I'm excited to give you the third and final review in Lory Kauffman's Verona Trilogy.
The Loved and the Lost
They are three time travelers desperate to return to 14th-century Verona to reclaim their medieval family s shattered lives. It is a mission fraught with danger and the risk of unexpected consequences for themselves and for their worlds. For all three, it is a matter of the heart. For one, though, it is truly the only thing that matters, as the fate of his eternal love and the life of their unborn child is the prize to be won or lost forever. In this, the final book of THE VERONA TRILOGY, Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln go on the boldest adventure of their lives. They will face hardship, tragedy, and threats from sources they couldn't have imagined all in an effort to wrestle a future from the steely grip of an unforgiving past.
I am going to say again that the history aspect of these books was an unexpected highlight for me. I usually steer clear from history books because I hated history in high school. Hated it, but that's for another day. I do like the concept of History Camps and it'd be fascinating to have something like this so that high school kids could experience what it really was like before so they can get a greater appreciation for what they have now.
The great thing about this book in particular is that it really highlights the dangers of changing history, of changing time. We all know realistically that would be bad because present day is the result of culminating events in history that we build on. It's important. Bad things in the past are important to the current day and even the future.
I love how the characters found their own. Lincoln got his life together and found his calling. Shamira found a love who has the same interests as her in art and that's a big deal. And Hansum, who I really like and I have liked his character in the other two books, is kind of lost. He was married to a woman in 14th century Verona and he has to leave her behind, he can't save her. It's a very different twist to a Romeo & Juliet love story. It seems particularly cruel that they can go back in time with their teachers to see what they did wrong because it shows them what could have been. It was really hard to remember that essentially, these are still teenagers. They make a lot of mistakes and they have poor judgement and I was frustrated with them and had to remind myself that this is what teenagers do, it's normal. I found it most interesting that for three kids who were so against going to 14th century Verona, they end up preferring that to their home in the future. And I really thought that was great, like they really understood the lesson and they picked up something from it.
I really liked this book. I do appreciate that the book had an ending that was good that I didn't totally expect. It feels like there could be a fourth book but it wouldn't be unsatisfying if there weren't. I definitely recommend this series to anyone. It is a YA series, but as an adult I really enjoyed it. I think it's challenging to write a book that is geared toward YA but is still enjoyable to an adult and Lory hit the mark.