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The Splendor isn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life. After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette―the special bond they once shared―has vanished. In a momen The Splendor isn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life. After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette―the special bond they once shared―has vanished. In a moment of hurt and frustration, Juliette steals their meager savings and visits The Splendor herself. When she arrives, she’s taken in by the lush and sumptuous hotel. But as she delves more deeply into the mystery of the place, and how they make their illusions work, she grows more and more uneasy. The Splendor has a seedy underbelly, but every time she gets close to discovering something real, she seems to hit a wall. Meanwhile, Juliette meets Henri, an illusionist who lives and works at the hotel. Henri’s job is to provide Juliette with the same Signature Experience he gives all the guests―one tailored fantasy that will make her stay unforgettable. As he gets to know her, he realizes that not only is he ill-equipped to make her dreams come true, he’s the cause of her heartache.


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The Splendor isn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life. After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette―the special bond they once shared―has vanished. In a momen The Splendor isn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life. After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette―the special bond they once shared―has vanished. In a moment of hurt and frustration, Juliette steals their meager savings and visits The Splendor herself. When she arrives, she’s taken in by the lush and sumptuous hotel. But as she delves more deeply into the mystery of the place, and how they make their illusions work, she grows more and more uneasy. The Splendor has a seedy underbelly, but every time she gets close to discovering something real, she seems to hit a wall. Meanwhile, Juliette meets Henri, an illusionist who lives and works at the hotel. Henri’s job is to provide Juliette with the same Signature Experience he gives all the guests―one tailored fantasy that will make her stay unforgettable. As he gets to know her, he realizes that not only is he ill-equipped to make her dreams come true, he’s the cause of her heartache.

30 review for The Splendor

  1. 4 out of 5

    emma

    This was the Other Mother of YA fantasy. You know - how in Coraline she goes through the creepy little door in her creepy pink apartment building to find her creepy little alternate life where she can eat corn on the cob and have a friend who shuts up once in a while? But ultimately she returns to her real life (after some incredibly high-stakes and skin-crawl-y quests and riddles) because this Other Life has no HEART? That's what this book is all about. This is a very cool story (girl goes to hote This was the Other Mother of YA fantasy. You know - how in Coraline she goes through the creepy little door in her creepy pink apartment building to find her creepy little alternate life where she can eat corn on the cob and have a friend who shuts up once in a while? But ultimately she returns to her real life (after some incredibly high-stakes and skin-crawl-y quests and riddles) because this Other Life has no HEART? That's what this book is all about. This is a very cool story (girl goes to hotel to figure out why her sister returned different) with a very cool concept (magic hotel with water-based memory harvesting), but it had no HEART. No DEPTH. I didn't care about the characters, or the romance, or the friendships or sisterhoods or families or what have you, because there was no way I could have. This felt very shallow. And so, like Coraline, I will be returning to my side of the apartment building, and also going to the grocery store and buying a bag of apples and a whole chocolate cake. Bottom line: Now I want cake. And to have gotten what I wanted out of this book. --------------- pre-review the REAL magic was the inexplicable relationships we witnessed along the way! review to come / 2.5 stars --------------- challenging myself to read as many review copies as possible this month because i'm addicted to projects! ARC 1: spaceman of bohemia ARC 2: in search of us ARC 3: aerialists ARC 4: the sound of drowning ARC 5: unleaving ARC 6: the other side of luck ARC 7: romanov ARC 8: the storm keeper's island ARC 9: gut check ARC 10: when force meets fate ARC 11: sisters in hate ARC 12: before i disappear ARC 13: big time ARC 14: stolen science ARC 15: have a little faith in me ARC 16: invitation to a bonfire ARC 17: the splendor

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    TW: childbirth, death of a parent, emotional abuse. This was delightful!! One of the most warm, atmospheric books I've read in a while. It filled the hole Caraval left in my reading heart, especially after being let down by the rest of the trilogy. The Splendor may have been a wee-bit predictable or familiar at times, but the atmospheric writing style and mystery were more than enough to distract from it. The alternating POVs really added so much to the book, especially as you begin to unravel th TW: childbirth, death of a parent, emotional abuse. This was delightful!! One of the most warm, atmospheric books I've read in a while. It filled the hole Caraval left in my reading heart, especially after being let down by the rest of the trilogy. The Splendor may have been a wee-bit predictable or familiar at times, but the atmospheric writing style and mystery were more than enough to distract from it. The alternating POVs really added so much to the book, especially as you begin to unravel the mystery of the Splendor hotel. It was one of those stories that pulls you in, right from the start. From the very first chapter, the book had the feeling of a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy day and there's no better description I can think of. This was a story of sisterhood, magic, and the beauty of reality. I enjoyed every second of it and I recommend it to anyone looking for a cozy, magical read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Thank you Edelweiss for the ARC. I wanted to read this ever since I saw the deal for it. Anything that is reminiscent of the Caraval world is a book I need to read. The Splendor was absolutely delightful. I loved the fantasy elements, the story, the writing and the characters. It was so much fun. This is my type of story with beautiful flowery writing. It was perfect. You should read it. 5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scottie Draughon

    "They'd heard the legends–everyone had. But was it true that The Splendor could make you feel like you were falling in love? Like you were singing on a stage in front of a thousand adoring fans? Like you were flying? Everyone said The Splendor could give you things you didn't even know you wanted." Orphaned sisters Clare and Juliette have long looked to The Splendor for escape. Every time they passed by the hotel's grand front, they wished for a taste of the magic it promises. Dreams come true, "They'd heard the legends–everyone had. But was it true that The Splendor could make you feel like you were falling in love? Like you were singing on a stage in front of a thousand adoring fans? Like you were flying? Everyone said The Splendor could give you things you didn't even know you wanted." Orphaned sisters Clare and Juliette have long looked to The Splendor for escape. Every time they passed by the hotel's grand front, they wished for a taste of the magic it promises. Dreams come true, fantasies fulfilled. So when Juliette saves up to buy Clare a reservation, she doesn't expect it to go so wrong. Clare comes back cold and unfeeling, as though she doesn't know who Juliette is, as though all of her love from Juliette is gone. Upset and angry, Juliette goes to The Splendor herself to get the answers she seeks. Nothing there is what it seems though. The entire hotel runs on illusions and magic, kept up by a staff of illusionists and managed by a boy named Henri. As a last-minute guest, Juliette is his responsibility. He has to find out her greatest desire so that he can weave her Signature Experience, the grand illusion of her stay. Juliette is more complicated and unrelenting than he expected, and between them, The Splendor's greatest illusion begins to unravel. The Splendor is filled with a particular kind of magic. Shields really gets into the descriptions, but she leaves enough room for the reader's mind to fill in the gaps, much like the magic system in the novel itself. I found myself defaulting to some type of Great Gatsby-style lavish decor–but that's one of my favorite types of splendor. The magic system is a little vague, and I'm not sure what the actual rules are. At some points, it seems like the illusions need a 'base', something to work off of. At other points, it seems like the illusions can just come from nothing. I do like the concept behind the magic system though. The characters are fun! Juliette is plucky and curious and determined, which all make for good main character qualities. Henri is just the right amount of uncertain and reluctant to balance that out so the pair doesn't just go barreling through everything. I didn't have a good read on Clare. She isn't in much of the novel, what you get is through Juliette and her memories. It's fine, since overall the story isn't about just her, but it did mean that I wasn't really invested in the more personal aspect of the plot as much as I was the overarching question. The insidious nature of the villain was great, just, fantastic. Completely understandable, believable, and realistic motivations. I enjoyed this! I read through it fast because I had trouble putting it down, especially toward the end. The story really builds momentum and functions similarly to the hotel: It's an escape. Definitely recommend. ***I received this ARC in a giveaway***

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    This story was an interesting mystery to unravel and the dual POV of Henri and Juliette gave us an outside and inside perspective of The Splendor. I really felt for Juliette as she struggled to enjoy the delights of The Splendor while trying to uncover the secrets it was hiding, and looking for answers as to why her sister treated her like a stranger when she came home. It was difficult not to compare this to Caraval, there was something about the sister bond and the mystery of the Splendor that This story was an interesting mystery to unravel and the dual POV of Henri and Juliette gave us an outside and inside perspective of The Splendor. I really felt for Juliette as she struggled to enjoy the delights of The Splendor while trying to uncover the secrets it was hiding, and looking for answers as to why her sister treated her like a stranger when she came home. It was difficult not to compare this to Caraval, there was something about the sister bond and the mystery of the Splendor that felt a little too similar. On top of that, I did feel that the world building outside of the Splendor itself was lacking, to the point where I couldn't picture it at all. I couldn't picture the streets, the buildings, the era or even the clothing they wore with much detail. I loved that the early stages of romance between Juliette and Henri never felt forced, as a full on romance would have got in the way. I only wish for the story that there was just, more. Something about the conclusion of the story felt like it was in Middle Grade territory and I did leave feeling like I was missing something I can't quite put my finger on.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    What could be scarier than losing all your memories? How about having your memories taken from you? Hotel guests at The Splendor spend their days and nights living out their wildest fantasies, but they pay a steeper price than they realize for having their dreams come true. I couldn't help but think that the owner of The Splendor could have accomplished the same thing if she just paid her employees a living wage instead of providing illusions. Use your money to fix the place up instead of pretend What could be scarier than losing all your memories? How about having your memories taken from you? Hotel guests at The Splendor spend their days and nights living out their wildest fantasies, but they pay a steeper price than they realize for having their dreams come true. I couldn't help but think that the owner of The Splendor could have accomplished the same thing if she just paid her employees a living wage instead of providing illusions. Use your money to fix the place up instead of pretending the dump was a prestigious hotel. Maybe I'm letting the economic situation of today cloud my mind but it does seem like the owner could have spent a little on upkeep. And not make your employees available 24 hours a day and have to sleep in the attic. Sheesh, the exhaustion of poor Henri made working in an Amazon warehouse look good. One of the ways to gain sympathy when writing novels is to make the protagonist an orphan. Here we have two orphan protagonists, at least one thinks he's an orphan. And, they are likeable characters. For awhile their lives and problems slogged along for me, but once their lives were in danger the pace really picked up and became exciting. But, they did have a lip-biting problem. I think every character in the book bit his or her lip. My lip-bite-o-meter topped out. On top of that, the re-action to most things was to ball the hands into fists and dig the fingernails into the skin. I'm going to have to add a hurt-o-meter because the only way characters think in books today is when they intentionally hurt themselves. Why has this become a thing in YA? Are we all masochists now? If I didn't burst into laughter every time someone bit their lip or dug their fingernails into their skin, I would have enjoyed the book more. At least there wasn't much eyeball rolling. Thank God for small favors. Thanks to Netgalley for loaning me an ebook of The Splendor in return for an honest relationship...er, review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Isabella K.

    I was in love from the very first chapter! The characters are lovable and the premise was absolutely fascinating. A beautiful book both inside and out!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Diana N.

    What's not to like about a hotel full of magic and illusion. People thrive on fantasy, so why not make sure they have an enjoyable custom experience. Extracting memories, what could possibly go wrong? Vivid fantasy description intertwined with mystery and a unique plot concept peeked my interest early on! Once this story got going I couldn't put it down. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a digital copy of this ARC for my review. What's not to like about a hotel full of magic and illusion. People thrive on fantasy, so why not make sure they have an enjoyable custom experience. Extracting memories, what could possibly go wrong? Vivid fantasy description intertwined with mystery and a unique plot concept peeked my interest early on! Once this story got going I couldn't put it down. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a digital copy of this ARC for my review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

    Thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc to review. I have read every single book by this author and I can’t ever tell you how much I love her writing. It’s always beautiful and invokes a lot of emotion. This book was no different than her last duology that I adored. The Splendor is a unique hotel where your wildest dreams come true. The book follows Juliette who has grown up with her sister by her side. They have that sibling bond that I always adore seeing until something goes amiss afte Thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc to review. I have read every single book by this author and I can’t ever tell you how much I love her writing. It’s always beautiful and invokes a lot of emotion. This book was no different than her last duology that I adored. The Splendor is a unique hotel where your wildest dreams come true. The book follows Juliette who has grown up with her sister by her side. They have that sibling bond that I always adore seeing until something goes amiss after Clare’s visit to the hotel. In this way it kind of reminded me of Caraval when Scarlett went off to help her sister. Even though their bond is a big part of the plot there is more than meets the eye. On her first day at the luxurious hotel called The Splender, she meets an employee by the name of Henri. He does get his own point-of-view as well. I wasn’t sure how the dual perspectives would work since the blurb felt like the story would be more about the sisters but he does play a significant role in things and also realizing that maybe there is more to his past than he realizes. He is definitely a cinnamon roll and I loved the very small but sweet moments between him and Juliette. If you are looking for a book with romance this may not be for you since it’s very few and far in-between. I personally liked this since it meant there was more focus on the sisterly bond and the mystery surrounding the hotel. The setting is very unique and one that I have not come across before. The Splendor is a hotel I would like to visit after all of the details the author included. Each guest gets their own personal experience and it makes me wonder what I would choose if given the chance. It’s very magical. Although if there is one thing that we learn from fantasy is that all magic comes with a price. When it comes to standalones sometimes endings can feel a bit rushed but I didn’t have that issue with this one. Everything wrapped up and gave us a taste of what happened next for these characters. The ending was actually quite surprising, although the whole book was! Haha. I can understand the choices certain characters made and it makes me ask the question if I would do the same. Sometimes a character’s choice isn’t just black or white. Overall, this held up to my high expectations as an anticipated read. It’s magical, mysterious, and makes me cherish my sisters even more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... Review: 4 Stars I picked up this book because I had just finished a long fantasy and I needed something fast paced and captivating. The Splendor grabbed my attention right away and I found it hard to walk away from. I really loved this magical read about the bonds of sisterhood and the allure of fantasy. I tore right through this book and I was really impressed with it. I expected a lighter read that was magical, but I didn You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... Review: 4 Stars I picked up this book because I had just finished a long fantasy and I needed something fast paced and captivating. The Splendor grabbed my attention right away and I found it hard to walk away from. I really loved this magical read about the bonds of sisterhood and the allure of fantasy. I tore right through this book and I was really impressed with it. I expected a lighter read that was magical, but I didn't expect it to explore some deeper themes. The Splendor definitely reminded me of Caraval at times, but it was also very different and wholly unique. Right away I loved Juliette because of her devotion and love for her sister Clare. While Clare is only present for a short period in this novel, the bond of sisterhood and Juliette's love for her sister is a driving force throughout the entire story. Juliette was a fun character to follow and she was easy to relate to. I really liked her relationship with Henri, it was easy to feel their connection and I wish that the romance was explored a little bit more. There was a lot going on in this novel and I feel like it could have been a little bit longer and would have had the time to explore certain things a bit more, like the romance. I absolutely loved how magical this story was. It was so vividly written and the descriptions really brought the luxury of the Splendor to life. The magic system was really cool and I loved learning about how the illusions really worked. This book was very fast paced and the plot was really compelling. While there were some parts that were predictable the way it all came about still surprised me. I found myself emotionally invested in the plot and wound up ranting to my dad about the book because I was so distressed with what was happening. The Splendor really was exactly what I needed, a fast paced book filled with magic and a plot that kept me invested from start to finish. I didn't expect much from this book, but it grabbed me from the very beginning and I finished it in a weekend. If you are a fan of Caraval, or if you enjoy magical books about the bonds of sisterhood I highly recommend that you check out The Splendor.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The Splendor has such a cool premise, and happily, was executed well to boot. It did not end up as I expected at all, but I was fine with how it did turn out, so yay! Juliette goes to The Splendor hotel, basically to see if she can figure out what the heck happened to her sister while she was there. They used to be thick as thieves, and now Clare pretends Juliette doesn't exist. So... why You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The Splendor has such a cool premise, and happily, was executed well to boot. It did not end up as I expected at all, but I was fine with how it did turn out, so yay! Juliette goes to The Splendor hotel, basically to see if she can figure out what the heck happened to her sister while she was there. They used to be thick as thieves, and now Clare pretends Juliette doesn't exist. So... why? Upon entering, Juliette finds opulence beyond belief, and she's catered to beyond her wildest dreams. But she's not here for that, she wants answers. Only, no one at the hotel seems particularly forthcoming. Enter Henri, an illusionist who is being raised by the hotel's owners. He probably has some answers for Juliette, but he is not exactly volunteering. They take a bit of a liking to each other, but they're both hiding a lot, so you know how well that will work. Without giving too much away, there is far more (or less) than meets the eye at The Splendor. I quite enjoyed the story, it moved quickly, and I loved uncovering the secrets behind the hotel, the illusionists, and what exactly happened to Clare. Juliette was sympathetic, as Clare is really the only family she has, and she is so alone. She's also quite smart, and willing to do whatever it takes to get what she came here for. Overall, it was a win for me, despite a few minor questionable choices that I cannot explain for spoiler reasons, but I promise, they are not at all dealbreakers. Bottom Line: A really unique story with a ton of twists and revelations.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Thrilling and magical! A phenomenal read on fantasy, reality, power, and love.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elisa (The Overflowing Bookshelf)

    When you first hear the words “magic hotel”, anyone’s first instinct is to experience the magic for themselves. However, in The Splendor by Breanna Shields (which comes out on September 28th), one girl realizes that sometimes separating fantasy and reality can be a dangerous thing. This book was a really engaging read! The mysteries of The Splendor Hotel and the allure of magic was well written and the plot was entertaining. I can totally picture this book being made into a movie or something in When you first hear the words “magic hotel”, anyone’s first instinct is to experience the magic for themselves. However, in The Splendor by Breanna Shields (which comes out on September 28th), one girl realizes that sometimes separating fantasy and reality can be a dangerous thing. This book was a really engaging read! The mysteries of The Splendor Hotel and the allure of magic was well written and the plot was entertaining. I can totally picture this book being made into a movie or something in the future since everything was so detailed. Figuring out the secrets of the hotel through Juliette and Henri’s eyes was fascinating and made this YA novel a fun escape from reality (similar to The Splendor itself). I found some parts of it to be predictable, while others were shocking. However, to a younger audience, I think this book would be so enrapturing. I think this is a great YA book for those just looking for a fantastical mystery, especially for younger readers on the YA spectrum. If you’re looking for a standalone fantasy that will be a quick read, then I highly recommend Shield’s novel! *I received an ARC from Page Street Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Minju Kim

    The Splendor is a magical hotel where anything can happen, from a dream you’d like to a day’s adventure out anywhere you want. This book first pulled me in with the pretty cover, but the synopsis is what made me request a copy. I’d definitely say that this author’s writing style is similar to Stephanie Garber’s. The characters read the same, had similar personalities, the worldbuilding was similar, all of it. However, the issue for me is that (especially after reading Once Upon A Broken Heart) I The Splendor is a magical hotel where anything can happen, from a dream you’d like to a day’s adventure out anywhere you want. This book first pulled me in with the pretty cover, but the synopsis is what made me request a copy. I’d definitely say that this author’s writing style is similar to Stephanie Garber’s. The characters read the same, had similar personalities, the worldbuilding was similar, all of it. However, the issue for me is that (especially after reading Once Upon A Broken Heart) I despise her style. The characters are annoying, the protagonists are flat, I just cannot personally stand it. So, going into this book, I had high hopes. But after the first few chapters, the protagonist was whining on and on, and I wasn’t sure if I could finish it. I did manage, however, because the only semi-interesting characters are the villains. The magic system was meh, and didn’t have much depth to it, and as for everywhere outside of the hotel itself, well, not very interesting. The book itself is short, but the plot is slowly drawn out, and only the ending was nicely paced. Since most of the story takes place in one small setting, I was expecting to have more of a personality, and it really didn’t. I was literally yawning trying to read it, and there was nothing sticking with me or helping make a connection. So sadly, I’m not able to give a review as in-depth as I would’ve liked, because it plainly didn’t captivate my attention. I really wish I could say more, but there wasn’t anything that stuck out or made the book unique. But as I mentioned before, if you like Stephanie Garber, then you might enjoy this one! Very similar in terms of story and tone, as well as characters, so it might just be the book for you. Personally, I’ll give it 2/5 stars, and hope other people enjoy it more than I did. Thank you to Manda Group for the ARC! The Splendor is out September 7th, 2021.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    The Splendor had me hooked by the second chapter...okay, so maybe the premise alone is what actually had me hooked, but those first few chapters grabbed me and told me to hold on 'cause this is going to be quite the ride! Well, those chapters were right. The Splendor is quite the ride! It has beautiful, descriptive writing...missing no small detail of the world. Magic just oozes from this story and it makes you literally crave turning to the next page. "She spoke sentences delicious enough to eat. The Splendor had me hooked by the second chapter...okay, so maybe the premise alone is what actually had me hooked, but those first few chapters grabbed me and told me to hold on 'cause this is going to be quite the ride! Well, those chapters were right. The Splendor is quite the ride! It has beautiful, descriptive writing...missing no small detail of the world. Magic just oozes from this story and it makes you literally crave turning to the next page. "She spoke sentences delicious enough to eat." There are alternating POVs between Juliette and Henri so you get a good look into the story from both characters eyes which I greatly appreciated. You will literally be swept away into the wonder that is The Splendor. But, be prepared for unexpected plot twists on top of plot twists and for your heartstrings to be pulled on as this book is heartbreakingly beautiful. I could not recommend it more. Definitely pick this one up! Huge thank you to Page Street Publishing for the ARC to read, enjoy, and honestly review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lexi Dacy

    I was lucky enough to be given an Advanced Reader Copy of this book and ended up reading it in 2 weeks. As a busy mom, I can tell you that had I not had my hands full with a little one I would likely have read this book in 2 days! And I'll tell you why - it is SOOOO good!!! It has been a long time since I devoured a book so quickly, with so much fervor and excitement. I could not put this book down. I absolutely loved it. I felt so invested in Henri, Juliette, and Clare's story. It was such an e I was lucky enough to be given an Advanced Reader Copy of this book and ended up reading it in 2 weeks. As a busy mom, I can tell you that had I not had my hands full with a little one I would likely have read this book in 2 days! And I'll tell you why - it is SOOOO good!!! It has been a long time since I devoured a book so quickly, with so much fervor and excitement. I could not put this book down. I absolutely loved it. I felt so invested in Henri, Juliette, and Clare's story. It was such an emotional and thoughtful book, yet also funny, playful, and sweet. It felt cozy and deliciously magical. But also with an air of turmoil, with a sinister secret hanging in the background. The mystery was so fun and sneaky. I couldn't wait to find out the answers to secrets. It was incredibly ROMANTIC without being raunchy or crass. The ending was better than I could have imagined between Juliette and Henri. I LOVED this book and can't recommend it more! In fact... where is the next one? I am ready for more of The Splendor.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jan farnworth

    A hotel that promises to give your heart a desire is a hotel I like to visit. Steeped in fantastic illusion, The Splendor is the fantasy trip of a lifetime. The book starts by showing us a genuine relationship between Juliette and her sister Clare. Clare has just returned from a week-long stay at this fabulous hotel, but something isn't right, and Juliette is determined to find out what has happened at all costs. What Juliette discovers at the hotel is far from what she imagined. The book altern A hotel that promises to give your heart a desire is a hotel I like to visit. Steeped in fantastic illusion, The Splendor is the fantasy trip of a lifetime. The book starts by showing us a genuine relationship between Juliette and her sister Clare. Clare has just returned from a week-long stay at this fabulous hotel, but something isn't right, and Juliette is determined to find out what has happened at all costs. What Juliette discovers at the hotel is far from what she imagined. The book alternates chapters between Juliette and Henri, an illusionist who works at the hotel. Together the two develop a friendship and, in the process, undercover the absolute truth behind The Splendor hotel. Don't miss the fantasy mystery out in September from Page Street Publishing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tara Goedjen

    Delightfully enchanting, THE SPLENDOR follows one girl’s search for the truth in a place where everything is an illusion. Breeana Shields so vividly brings to life her characters and their heart-felt dreams, and I absolutely loved immersing myself in the lush, imaginative setting of the mountaintop hotel—where nothing is as it seems! Highly recommend for fans of sweet romances and magical settings.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Berrett

    I was fortunate to get an advanced copy of this book. It was absolutely fantastic. I was engrossed in the magic from the first page until the very end. Few books have offered up so many unexpected and creative surprises than The Splendor did for me. I loved it so much I have already started my second read!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    This is one of those books that is quiet, but sneaks its way into your heart and burrows deep into your soul. Once you’ve gulped in the last of its words and close it, you never want to forget it. I have never heard of this book. I’ve never seen the cover. I’ve never even heard of this author. But, oh my word, this story was truly something else. It made me feel so much. I haven’t felt true emotions from a book in a long time. A big theme throughout this story is loneliness and how it will eat a This is one of those books that is quiet, but sneaks its way into your heart and burrows deep into your soul. Once you’ve gulped in the last of its words and close it, you never want to forget it. I have never heard of this book. I’ve never seen the cover. I’ve never even heard of this author. But, oh my word, this story was truly something else. It made me feel so much. I haven’t felt true emotions from a book in a long time. A big theme throughout this story is loneliness and how it will eat a person from the inside out, twist their heart into something cruel, and hurt everyone around them. If you were presented with an opportunity to visit a place so beautiful and magnificent, with the promise to make you forget all your sorrows and promise an adventure filled with pure happiness, but absolutely none of it was real, would you go to such a place? After reading this, I’m not sure if I would do it, even knowing all of it would be an illusion, but would absolutely feel just the opposite in every sense of the word. This story is about grief, loneliness, and just wanting a place to belong and somewhere to call home. Juliette and Henri have both lived vastly different lives, but both have the same sense of never feeling content with anything in life or being happy. Juliette, an orphan, adoring her sister, only to lose her to a strange place called The Splendor. Once her sister forgot their love for one another, she knew she had to get to the bottom of it and help her sister find her way back to Juliette. And Henri. Sweet, loyal Henri. He’s lived a pretty lavish and comfortable life. But he’s always felt lonely and like something was missing. He’s able to weave these intricate fantasies for people and to make them happy, but all the while wondering where his happiness is. So much so that, most of the time, the only happiness and peace he experiences is through the eyes of other people. I felt for him the entire time throughout this story. Both him and Juliette were lovely, achingly lonely characters and I truly enjoyed getting to know them both. I’ve become so attached to them that I truly feel as if I know them in real life. You know a story is powerful when you have to remind yourself several times that these characters and this world is not actually real. The magic in this was unlike anything I’ve ever read and it was fascinating. The writing was lyrical and beautiful and I could picture everything in my head clearly. This book is worthy of every star I can give. I’m so, so glad I found this gem in a bookstore and brought it home with me. For just a little while, I felt pain that was not my own. And it was both beautiful and ugly. But it was worth every syllable on every page. I urge you to pick up this stunning, broken, lonely, gorgeous magical, and somewhat of a mystery, story about two characters finding their way to each other and helping one another climb out of the aching loneliness that is their life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    Despite a few elements that jarred me out of the fantasy of this book, I really enjoyed The Splendor. What would you wish for if you could have anything you want? The Splendor is a hotel that makes its guests' dreams come true through magic. Some people come for a week once in their lifetimes, while others visit every year. The staff studies the lives of each person who is coming to see what their wildest fantasies and dreams are, and then use illusion to fulfill their wishes. Juliette has come be Despite a few elements that jarred me out of the fantasy of this book, I really enjoyed The Splendor. What would you wish for if you could have anything you want? The Splendor is a hotel that makes its guests' dreams come true through magic. Some people come for a week once in their lifetimes, while others visit every year. The staff studies the lives of each person who is coming to see what their wildest fantasies and dreams are, and then use illusion to fulfill their wishes. Juliette has come because she wants to know what happened to her sister Clare. Juliette had scrimped and saved to send Clare to The Splendor, to thank her for being a wonderful big sister and taking care of Juliette for many years after their parents died. But after Clare came home, she was distant and uninterested in Juliette. She even told Juliette it was time for her to move out, which shocked her. Juliette takes their savings and books her own week at The Splendor, in hopes she can find out what happened to Clare, and, if not, at least have a wonderful week of fantasy before she goes out into the world to try to make it on her own. Henri is also an orphan, who lives at The Splendor with the owners of the hotel, his aunt and uncle. He is a master illusionist, and works every night to fill visitors' dreams with romance or adventure or whatever they desire. He uses magic to look into their memories and thoughts to find out exactly what would make their visit perfect and fulfill their fantasies. Each guest gets a Signature Experience - their most secret dream come true, and Henri is in charge of making that happen. After working, he goes below the hotel to the hot springs, where the magic comes from, to recharge. When Juliette checks in, he is panicked. She is a late addition, and he hasn't had time to do the necessary research to know which dessert is perfect for her, what activities she'd like to do, and what her Signature Experience ought to be. When he talks to her, and senses her feelings, he realizes she is deeply unhappy, so much that the fantasy and illusion around her isn't anesthetizing her as it does the other guests. Henri's aunt Stella warns him that he must figure her out - the resort's reputation is at stake. So Henri tries harder and harder to figure out what will make Juliette happy, but in the process, falls in love with her and wants to help her figure out what really happened to Clare. I really got caught up in Juliette's story. However, there were several times when things just don't quite make sense. Are the staff members seeing the illusions, or the real hotel? There are other plot holes that I can't reveal without spoilers, so I'll just say there were times where I thought, well that doesn't make sense. How would he/she know that? But overall, this book was thoroughly enjoyable and a sweet, clean romance. Thanks to Netgalley for this advance reader's copy of The Splendor!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie P (Because My Mother Read)

    Thank you to the publisher for the free advance copy to read. The Splendor is a glamorous hotel that fulfills the fantasies of all its guests through magical illusions. After a young woman’s sister returns from a stay at the hotel with their special bond dissolved she decides to visit it herself and figure out what really happened. Through a page turning plot this story explores the lines between reality and illusion, the facets of memory, and imperfections in relationships. This would be a great Thank you to the publisher for the free advance copy to read. The Splendor is a glamorous hotel that fulfills the fantasies of all its guests through magical illusions. After a young woman’s sister returns from a stay at the hotel with their special bond dissolved she decides to visit it herself and figure out what really happened. Through a page turning plot this story explores the lines between reality and illusion, the facets of memory, and imperfections in relationships. This would be a great choice for fans of Caraval by Stephanie Garber as they have a similar premise and feel. I would describe it as less twisty than Caraval, but more satisfying and profound. The level of mature content is very minor so this would be a great choice for teens wanting the reading level of young adult novels without the high content level.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tayler

    3.5 stars This definitely got me out of my reading slump and was so cute and wholesome.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Haley Campbell

    If you could have the experience of a lifetime – any experience of your choosing – what would it be? That’s exactly what you can expect from a visit to The Splendor, a magical hotel where your deepest desires are realized. But when Juliette’s sister returns from her trip completely different, Juliette knows she has to discover the dark secrets hidden at The Splendor. Shields creates a unique and intriguing magical system, weaving in elements of illusion, memories, and mystique. The story is told If you could have the experience of a lifetime – any experience of your choosing – what would it be? That’s exactly what you can expect from a visit to The Splendor, a magical hotel where your deepest desires are realized. But when Juliette’s sister returns from her trip completely different, Juliette knows she has to discover the dark secrets hidden at The Splendor. Shields creates a unique and intriguing magical system, weaving in elements of illusion, memories, and mystique. The story is told through dual perspectives: Henry, the illusionist and Juliette, the girl who plans to break through the illusions. Of course, these two come together and must navigate their relationship while they each try to pull one over on the other. The descriptions in this book are absolutely wonderful and it makes it easy to believe you are right there alongside Juliette and Henry in the most beautiful setting imaginable. Shields has a way with words that really pulls the reader into the emotions of Juliette and Henry and I found myself becoming quite attached. All of the twists, betrayals, and shocking reveals hit me a little harder than I’d like to admit, but it was absolutely fantastic. Some sections did seems to be a little repetitive and drag on longer than necessary, but overall, this story was quite enjoyable. It was easy to get swept up into the magic and the drama and get lost for a few hours in a magical world where anything could happen.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy Moreno

    This books was very VERY good. It promised an interesting concept and followed through with a rich, creative story that was interesting and vivid and all around awesome. I found myself cheering for the good guys, thinking very bad thoughts about the villains, and wondering who our heroine could trust when your own eyes can’t be trusted. I found myself constantly checking the page number on my kindle hoping that this book would never end and there was still more pages to devour. I adored this boo This books was very VERY good. It promised an interesting concept and followed through with a rich, creative story that was interesting and vivid and all around awesome. I found myself cheering for the good guys, thinking very bad thoughts about the villains, and wondering who our heroine could trust when your own eyes can’t be trusted. I found myself constantly checking the page number on my kindle hoping that this book would never end and there was still more pages to devour. I adored this book!!! I received an ARC from NetGalley, but my opinions are all mine.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin Haggerty

    This....was everything I never knew I needed. Two heartbroken and lost characters using dreams to escape reality... A hidden darkness camouflaged in beauty and light. This was so thoughtful and stunning how it was written. The amount of imagery in this book was insane and the descriptions.... *chefs kiss* My only qualm is that Juliette our heroine got a tad whiney here and there but.... she redeems herself. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. Such a unique magic system and plot. Ha This....was everything I never knew I needed. Two heartbroken and lost characters using dreams to escape reality... A hidden darkness camouflaged in beauty and light. This was so thoughtful and stunning how it was written. The amount of imagery in this book was insane and the descriptions.... *chefs kiss* My only qualm is that Juliette our heroine got a tad whiney here and there but.... she redeems herself. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. Such a unique magic system and plot. Hands down one of my faves for 2021. Breeana Shields does it again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    CR

    I thought this one was going to be for me. But, sadly it just lacked depth and a soul. I didn't really mesh with the characters and the story just didn't pull me in. I thought this one was going to be for me. But, sadly it just lacked depth and a soul. I didn't really mesh with the characters and the story just didn't pull me in.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    Thanks to Edelweiss and the Publisher for a digital ARC. The atmosphere of The Splendor pulls you in to a new world. A world where you are a braver, more beautiful, smarter version of yourself. A world where you can choose your reality. This novel weaves a spell similar to that cast by the "Night Circus". Thanks to Edelweiss and the Publisher for a digital ARC. The atmosphere of The Splendor pulls you in to a new world. A world where you are a braver, more beautiful, smarter version of yourself. A world where you can choose your reality. This novel weaves a spell similar to that cast by the "Night Circus".

  29. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Singrey

    If you could get rid of your worst memories, would you? Juliette and her older sister Clare have always wanted to visit The Splendor. The magical hotel brims with decadence and luxury, promising to once in your life make your wildest dreams come true. Juliette dreams of it fulfilling the emptiness of growing up without parents at a children's home. When Juliette finally saves enough to send one of them, she chooses to send Clare, the older sister who loved her and made the children's home bearabl If you could get rid of your worst memories, would you? Juliette and her older sister Clare have always wanted to visit The Splendor. The magical hotel brims with decadence and luxury, promising to once in your life make your wildest dreams come true. Juliette dreams of it fulfilling the emptiness of growing up without parents at a children's home. When Juliette finally saves enough to send one of them, she chooses to send Clare, the older sister who loved her and made the children's home bearable. But then Clare comes back, and she doesn't want to be around Juliette anymore. Heartbroken, Juliette steals the rainy day fund she and Clare were saving to buy their own place and books herself a reservation at The Splendor to find out what took Clare away from her. The glitz of the The Splendor and its magical illusionists will draw you in as much as it does Juliette, until you find out that all that glitters is not gold. Imagine being the star of a masquerade ball, or being able to wish a dragon chariot race into existence. But someone has to pay the price of all that magic, and slowly but surely, The Splendor's sinister side is revealed. Juliette bonds with Henri, the foster son of the Splendor's owners and heir apparent. He blames himself for breaking her heart, since he's the reason Clare doesn't want anything to do with Juliette anymore. Henry removes unwanted memories, then reworks them for other people. He can take a perilous battle scene that's giving one person PTSD and change it into a heroic experience for someone who wants memories of saving the day. He can rework the shape of a person's life - at least in their memory. Henry sees himself as using his power for good, so learning of Juliette's pain shakes him. But the secrets of The Splendor go far deeper than either of them have dreamed, weaving a tapestry of lies around everyone associated with it. Henri and Juliette will have to work together if either of them will have a chance at escaping. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Review Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The Splendor is a hotel that offers a mix of "Fantasy Island" and Caravel, where patrons can have an immersive fantastical experience, living out their dreams and desires. Of course it's incredibly expensive, and somehow Clare got to go for a week... a week that changed her and made her distant and uninterested in being a sister to Juliette. Juliette, shocked and distressed, finds the money to spend a week there to find the answers to this mystery. Unlike an episode of "Fantasy Island", we get t The Splendor is a hotel that offers a mix of "Fantasy Island" and Caravel, where patrons can have an immersive fantastical experience, living out their dreams and desires. Of course it's incredibly expensive, and somehow Clare got to go for a week... a week that changed her and made her distant and uninterested in being a sister to Juliette. Juliette, shocked and distressed, finds the money to spend a week there to find the answers to this mystery. Unlike an episode of "Fantasy Island", we get to see the backstage aspects of The Splendor via Henri's life (he's the son of the owners and an illusionist responsible for some of the fantasies experienced). When the two team up, well, let's just say things get interesting. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.

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