Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

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Member Reviews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars—

I’ve never been quite as sold on V. E. Schwab as many fantasy fans. The synopses of her books rarely appeal to me.  I liked, but didn’t love listening to Addie LaRue as an audiobook. And in many ways, Gallant felt like much of the same. The protagonists are both lonely young women without any family ties, desperate for a sense of purpose and belonging. The villains are both shadowy figures with their own mysterious motivations for being so fixated on possessing the young female protagonists. Schwab’s writing style remains artfully atmospheric, as she describes her gothic horror setting in great detail (and length).

In other words, fans of Schwab will likely enjoy this shorter, less romantic, and less narratively complex (for the YA set) dose of her magic. For others, maybe skip it or opt for her adult writing. Gallant’s plot is very simple and not especially satisfying. Olivia Prior is left at an orphanage by her mother, with only a journal left to her, which suggests that her mother descended into madness, and a strict warning to never go to Gallant. And yet, a mysterious villain conspires to lure Olivia to the ominous house that she’ll discover is where her mother grew up. Olivia slowly learns more about her family’s history and the reasons they remained enthralled by Gallant for generations. 

Many thanks to HarperCollins/Greenwillow Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Gallant is unabashedly full of wonderful tropes and vibes, leaning in so hard to the Gothic mansion aesthetic that I could not help but be swept right along with it. It has strong Secret Garden vibes, but even more creepy, with dark illustrations woven throughout the story. It is a little light on actual plot -- the book is not long, and a lot of it is somewhat repetitive, but the atmosphere it evokes honestly makes up for it. Add in the sign language element, and I can safely say I adored this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Greenwillow Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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"Gallant" is a great Gothic story for Tween and Young Adult readers. While this is another great story by V.E. Schwab, Adults and Gothic fans should keep in mind this narrative blend both Gothic and horror with a tone light enough to not scare younger readers. Fans of V.E. Schwab will enjoy this book as much as her other ones. "Gallant" is for Tween/YA readers, and one can argue this book can be seen as an introduction to “modern gothic literature” for that age group.
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I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Olivia Prior has lived in an orphanage all her life, with no known family an virtually no friends amongst the throngs of abandoned girl. She has herself, an old notebook belonging to here mother, and her thoughts only, as she is unable to speak. One day, her life changes after she gets a letter from her long lost uncle, inviting her home to Gallant. There she meets a cousin she never knew, staff that remembered her mother from before, and learns her uncle is dead. At Gallant, she unravels her family’s secrets and why her mother left. 

Overall, this is a good read. It was really interesting to read a protagonist who cannot speak. Olivia is a capable and curious protagonist, and the story’s atmosphere itself is quite spooky and dark - I would say, a perfect fall read leading up to Halloween. However, in spite of the concept, story lacked depth; it took awhile for me to get into the story, and while it was strong in parts, it felt like there could’ve been more to this story. 

V.E Schwab’s lyrical prose shone through, and Olivia was a good protagonist at the end, but this story was just good: it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t entirely strong; it had such a great potential, but was very lacklustre.

Final score: 3 stars out of 5
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Gallant is a creepy gothic tale for younger readers. There are so many great elements in here— the dreary boarding house, the oppressive family mansion, the mysterious journals— and they're described so expressively I felt almost like I could walk into the page. The characters and plot felt lightweight in comparison, but I think that's a fair choice given the audience.
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I enjoy anything Schwab writes. This does not top her other books, in my opinion, but is definitely worth the read.
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I wasn’t able to transfer this book to my Kindle because it didn’t come in the proper format and I can’t read a book on my phone because it’s too hard on the eyes. Everyone else really seem to love it though! Definitely going to buy a paper copy and check it out!
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The vibes were definitely there, but this book was so so boring! This book took a very long time to get interesting and once it did, everything collapsed in a rush. Olivia was an interesting character, but I feel like even more could have been done with her.
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V. E. Schwab never lets me down.

Always incredible.
Always insipiding.
Always thought provoking and lyrical.

I will always recommend their books.
All time fav status- achieved
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Olivia has grown up in a dreary, grey orphanage surrounded by girls who can’t, and don’t try, to understand her. Yet it does not dampen her spirit or her longing to discover a place where she feels at home. A place where she can understand the journal her mother has left for her. And then, a mysterious letter arrives offering her this opportunity, even though it goes against the one instructions her mother left for her. Gallant takes me back to The Secret Garden, which I read over and over as a child. Yet has a much more gothic breath to it that fans of Crimson Peak will enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Gallant, and would also highly recommend the audio book version. Thank you to Netgalley and Greenwillow books for the arc.
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I, along with many of our library patrons are huge fans of Schwab. My personal favorite is her standalone "The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Schwab has a way of incorporating deep emotions with dark plots and themes that bring to life stories for different age groups. "Gallant" was no different. 

The story follows Oliva Prior who was abandoned as a small child at a girls school. She is mute and is surrounded by a cast of characters that she is unable to communicate with and who make little to no effort to communicate with her. Honestly, that alone is enough to make this a story packed with emotion, fear, and drama but Schwab doesn't stop there. Out of the blue, a mysterious uncle sends her a letter that will change her life as she knows it. 

The story is full of dark twists and themes while not overstepping the boundaries that make it a book for its particular age group.

I highly recommend and look forward to adding it to my own personal shelves. I missed the archive date for this one, but luckily our library bought a copy a head of time and I was able to read it that way.
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A short and spooky read! 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

When I was in the 7th grade and wanted to get into horror, I immediately grabbed my parents copy of Stephen King's IT and read that.

I have to say I think this book would be a much better fit for a seventh grader LOL. 

I liked the book's plot, and enjoyed the storyline. V. E. Schwab has a definite way with words, and she uses them beautifully. It was a nice one-night read for me.

I also really enjoyed the journal-within-a-book plotline. it added a nice depth as you learned as the MC learned!

I think the one thing I can discount on this book is that it is almost TOO short. I wish it covered more about the MC! We learn what we need to know for the storyline...but I would have loved some more superfluous details.

while I received an ARC of this book in exchange for review, I also got the special edition of this from illumicrate, which was absolutely BEAUTIFUL
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I was super excited for this book, because V.E. Schwab. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my (admittedly) very high expectations. Olivia was incredibly interesting as a main character, as she is nonverbal and uses sign language to communicate. But many of the events that took place seemed to be very rushed and glossed over.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Children's for access to the ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Olivia Prior is mute, and living in a girl's school after being abandoned there by her mother when she was very small. She's lived her whole life at this school, surrounded by people who she can't communicate with and who refuse to communicate with her in a way that she can understand. A letter from a mysterious uncle sends her down a path that there is no return from.

This is a book I can see my students definitely enjoying based on the dark and intriguing plot. It was not my cup of tea, but it will be one that I add to our classroom library.
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I loved everything about this book. The atmosphere, the characters, the prose - absolutely everything. V.E. Schwab blows me away, yet again with Gallant.  And don't even get me started on the illustrations - they were such a perfect addition. All of the stars for Gallant.
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Books have a way of finding you when you are ready for them and this was one of those cases. I tried to pick up Gallant several times and I couldn't get passed more than a few pages - until now. And now I'm so glad I've read this book and lived in this world and met these characters. V.E. Schwab creates unique, haunting, fully formed worlds that I want to live in - and feel like I have. Gallant is no different. It's a story that feels so complete like it has existed and will continue to exist long after I close the book. 
"Home is a choice."
"I am so happy. I am so scared.
The two, it turns out, can walk together, hand in hand."
"Stay with me. Stay with me. Stay with me. I would write the words a thousand times if they'd be strong enough to hold you here"
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Schwab is one of those authors that I auto-order. Whatever she writes, I will read, and I know I will enjoy it. Since my research is focused on the role of place (especially the rural) in YA literature, I was particularly fascinated by the role of place and house and foliage in this book. It's something I continue to think about long after finishing the book. Schwab is a mater at character development, world building, and sucking the reader into the mysteries of both. I used to do a spooky unit every October, and if I was still in the classroom, this book would definitely be on the book menu from which students could select. I will definitely keep it in mind for my teacher education courses. Really loved it.
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This book was perfect for fans of creepy books with parallel worlds. It kept me tense and was just so good. I really liked the characters and the writing was excellent.
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Let me begin by breaking one of my own rules: I very rarely compare one book to another, but Gallant reminded me of the eerie, atmospheric melancholy and overwhelming familial love that Neil Gaiman brought us with The Graveyard Book, and knowing that V is a big fan of Gaiman's, I don't think they would mind me saying that any fan of The Graveyard Book NEEDS a copy of Gallant in their lives. (Except, honestly, I liked Gallant even more than TGB.) I adored the mixture of tragedy and homecoming, the helpful ghouls and sinister forces, and our lonely, lovable protagonist. Most of all, I loved the prose and how V let their poetic nature positively shine in this story. One of my copies of this book is absolutely full of page tabs to mark so many of the quotes that resonated with me.

I wanted Gallant to be a real place and wanted to visit it, to soak in its sad, eerie darkness. I loved the estate, the descriptions of it and its characters as well, and how broken and lonely they all were in their own ways. I also was so pleased by the fact that Olivia was mute and spoke in sign language, as that's something we so rarely see in stories (alongside the implication that she was ace and aro). Truly, all of these characters just meant so much to me and my heart ached for them all. I wanted to climb into the pages and protect these poor souls.

I wish I could review this book in a way that does it justice, but I simply can't because it's too close to my heart. V's writing has this way of sinking into my bones and holding me hostage a little more every time I read one of their works, and every single time I turn the final page in a V.E. Schwab title, I find myself in awe at the impact their writing has had on me. I love this book so much and I recommend it with my whole heart, and I know it's the kind of story that I'm going to re-visit time and time again in the future. Something about it feels timeless like that.
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Five stars and then some.  V.E. Schwab never ceases to disappoint and the wellspring of ideas she draws from is as deep as it is diverse.
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