A Castle in the Clouds – Kerstin Gier, Romy Fursland (translated by)

Castle in the CloudsFrom the publisher, “Witty and charming, this contemporary young adult novel follows a girl as she navigates secrets, romance, and danger in an aging grand hotel.  Way up in the Swiss mountains, there’s an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year’s Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways.  Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure—and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.  The holiday romance of Love Actually meets the playful mystery of Clue in this captivating novel for teens.”

The majority of the book is about the operations of a grand old luxury hotel nestled in the Swiss Alps.  We meet and quickly come to love Sophie, the young intern, and the multitude of hotel employees and guests.  Sophie is tasked with many jobs and during the festive winter holidays, assists in child care.  She is kind, cute, witty, and has a delightful sense of humor.  The wealthy guests arrive for the holidays and the possible crimes are introduced: burglary or kidnapping.  The story builds slowly but that’s just fine.  I could feel the hotel and get to know the characters.  The last part of the book is action-packed, moving quickly and invoking a few twists.  Best for readers who prefer a story that develops with richness, a story that may inadvertently cause a yearning for the Swiss Alps full of old character hotels.  Highly recommend.

eGalley review                                                      Publication date 1.28.20

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