Sep 6, 2011

Review: Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Title: Waterfall
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Publisher:  David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2.1.2011
Pages: 352
Genre: Historical, Time Travel, Contemporary
Series: Yes (River of Time #1)
Source: Purchased from

Rating: A+

Summary (from Goodreads):
In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

Time to divulge a little known, deep dark secret: It has always been my secret fantasy to time-travel back to medieval times. Seriously, I kid you not. Without even realizing it, Lisa Tawn Bergren tapped into one of my deepest desires, so is it any wonder I am head-over-heels in love with this series?

I was skeptical about reading a time travel book. I love time travel in movies, but in movies I don’t have to imagine the world twisting and melting into something new—the visual is provided for me. I wasn;t certain Bergren could pull it off without the story becoming hokey and laughable. But she did it in spades. I felt like I was taken back with Gabi and Lia.

Take away my geekish fantasies of being whisked to another time and place, this story is rife (See that? Using ‘old’ words) with fantastic characters and gripping action. The novel is told from Gabi’s point of view, and I cannot remember a heroine I have loved more. She is strong, but not so strong that she doesn’t have her moments of genuine breakdown over her situation. I also adored when Gabi used her knowledge of modern medicine to try and help some people. Again, another secret fantasy is to not only go back in time, but to wow them with my awesome “abilities” that we take for granted here (like cleaning a room to help someone with allergies or asthma).

Even though the story is told entirely from Gabi’s first person point-of-view, Lia is just as amazing. I only wish she could have been in more of the book. As for the male lead(s) Marcello and Luca are the reasons I need to build my own time machine or start excavating some tombs ASAP. I miss that age of chivalry and knights, of long dresses and honor.

I honestly cannot figure out why I waited so long to start this series. Thank goodness I bought the second book in the series, Cascade, at the same time. I already started it and am at chapter four. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go finish that book.

Buy: Amazon


  1. I've been eying this book for quite some time, but have been on the fence about reading it, primarily because the summary/blurb did absolutely nothing for me. Plus, I tend to be a bit leery when it comes to time travel stories. However, my mom actually recently read and loved the book and now your review has provided very positive feedback as, I think I might have to give this one a try after all.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Hannah, thanks for diving headfirst into the River of Time! So glad you gave it a chance, and you're so enjoying the trip. Cannot wait til I hear what you think of CASCADE and TORRENT! Woot!

  3. I just finished this and loved it as well!! Have to get my hands on Cascade!

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

  4. I love time travel and have read several excellent ones in the last month. Adding this one to my wishlist.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  5. The only other travel YA book I've read is Ruby Red and it was pretty good. I think I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this series :) Plus the author seems like such an awesome person!


  6. awesome review Time travle would be awesome for sure

  7. Good review! I love this book! I'm working Cascade and Torrent. :)

  8. Greetings:
    Like your "rife" review of this amazing
    sounding book. Going back with Gabi & Lia
    to the 14th century would be amazing.
    thanks for the review will look the book up.

  9. I love this book! And I really, really, really, really, really, really, (is that enough reallys?) want to read the rest of the series!


I hope you know that every time you comment, an angel gets its wings.

OK, not really, but thanks for popping by!