ARC Review: A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier

If you are looking for a character-driven contemporary story with the feelings of boarding school, light romance, and a mystery that will have you suspicious of even yourself, A Castle in the Clouds is a book you won’t want to miss!

About the Book

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company  |  Release Date: January 28, 2020  |  Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery  |  Format: eBook  |  Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

A Castle in the Clouds coverA Castle in the Clouds 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.

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My Review

A Castle in the Clouds was an impulse download on Edelweiss because I’d been experiencing SFF burnout, and I am so glad that I picked this book up. It’s funny and smart with a dash of cute, and I adored my time reading it!

“Legend had it that the hotel was haunted, and I could well believe it.”

Originally released in German back in 2017, this US edition was translated by Romy Fursland and is a fast-paced and engaging read. Told in Sophie’s perspective, we follow her life as a new intern at a secluded old hotel in the Swiss mountains. She’s quit school and is embarking on her own, trying to find her path and hoping that this year-long post will provide some of that clarity.

While there is an overall plot that comes to develop, I’d say that the book largely is about Sophie’s day-to-day. Her tasks at the hotel, her budding friendships with the other staff members, the mysterious and dreamy guest, and the hotel owner’s son. It’s a character-driven story and love that all the characters feel like people.

But there’s more to the plot than romance and babysitting woes. There’s a mystery afoot and we know from the prologue of the book something is going to happen. I love books that start with a portion of the end and I love seeing what transpires to bring that ending about. All the twists and turns, I didn’t really know who to trust (which made for an anxious reading experience because I loved everyone). I saw a few of the twists coming because of really good plotting on the part of Gier, but did find myself surprised by a couple of them!

Overall, I found this to be a positively delightful read. The mystery component provides more depth to an already enjoyable contemporary romance, although I do wish there was a bit more of the paranormal stuff woven in. But I’d definitely recommend this book to fans of character-driven contemporaries and those who enjoy a good slow-burn.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. Quotations are taken from an unfinished proof and are subject to change upon final publication.

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Have you read A Castle in the Clouds yet, or is it on your TBR? Do you have any recommendations for similar books?

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

16 Comments

  1. Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    January 28, 2020 at 3:53 AM

    Great review, Kal! I love the author’s really old series, Precious Stones trilogy, but I haven’t got the chance to read her other books. This sounds like a perfect book for me to get back into her writing!

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 2:13 PM

      Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy this one! I haven’t read her other books but I definitely would be open to it as I really like her writing style.

  2. Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical

    January 28, 2020 at 9:30 AM

    I’m so happy you reviewed this, because I’ve owned it for about a year – it came out before it was released in English – and I’ve never been in the mood for it before. But I’m definitely going to be reading it after your review. I really like what you said about it being a fun contemporary and also offering a good mystery. Great review! 🙂

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 2:21 PM

      Oh my gosh, I am so happy that my review has motivated you to pick this up off your shelf! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

  3. Anika

    January 28, 2020 at 11:10 AM

    I like the sound of this! I like the idea of romance and mystery together, it sounds fun 🙂
    Awesome review!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 2:21 PM

      Thank you, Anika! The book was a lot of fun and just what I needed!

  4. Kayla @ Books and Blends

    January 28, 2020 at 5:44 PM

    I’m glad you took a chance and found a book that you enjoyed!

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 2:23 PM

      Me too! Sometimes it pays off to listen to the weird moods…

  5. Amber @ Books of Amber

    January 29, 2020 at 11:54 PM

    Boarding school! YAS. I’m currently in a fantasy burn out (fml), so this sounds perfect for that.

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 2:34 PM

      Yea I definitely needed this as a cleanse from SFF burnout and it did the trick for me! I hope you enjoy it if you decide to pick it up, Amber!

  6. Mere

    January 30, 2020 at 7:47 AM

    I’ve had this on my TBR and I do plan to get around to it…at some point! Great review! (And now, I still want to pick it up!)

    1. Kal

      February 17, 2020 at 2:51 PM

      Thank you and I hope you enjoy the book when you do pick it up, Mere!

  7. Haley

    February 4, 2020 at 7:30 AM

    Don’t you love when you find a little treasure like this after you’ve been reading so much of one genre? It sounds like such a pleasant read and I loved your review! Haha I may have to add this to my ever-burdening tbr

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:14 PM

      I do! This book truly hit me at just the right time, and it was such a fun read. Definitely recommended if you ever need a palate cleanse!

  8. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    February 5, 2020 at 8:57 AM

    Sounds like a fantastic read. Every time I see this title it reminds me of a trip I took to NH with my husband because we visited a placed called Castle in the Clouds while we were there! (Not a hotel, just some rich dude that built a mansion on top of a mountain lol)

    1. Kal

      February 20, 2020 at 3:19 PM

      Ohhhh I want to visit all the places called Castle in the Clouds because it just sounds super beautiful and secluded and where I want to hermit forever.

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