Compulsion by Martina Boone is absolutely one of my favorite books of 2014. It’s a dark southern gothic with an amazing historic account that delves b...more Compulsion by Martina Boone is absolutely one of my favorite books of 2014. It’s a dark southern gothic with an amazing historic account that delves back into the 1600’s. Charmingly romantic and eerily creepy, and Yep, I can come up with many more superlatives because it was just that fantastic!
Compulsion centers on Barrie Watson, a very non-normal girl with a ‘compulsion’ to find things. Barrie cannot ignore this compulsion without significant physical discomfort. . “Finding things was the Watson gift. Barrie could find anything – had to find it, really – and the pressure that built in her head whenever she was near something lost had seemed stronger ever since her mother’s death” (Location 68). When Barrie loses her mother, Lula, she heads to Watson Island in the Deep South, to live with her Aunt Pru, her mother’s twin sister, at Watson’s Landing Plantation. Barrie has an immediate connection with Watson’s Landing and feels immediate tugs of loss from within the house and the surrounding woods.
Once at Watson’s Landing, Barrie meets Eight Beaufort and learns a bit about the Islands history along with the curse that has hounded the three founding families: The Watsons, Beaufort’s and Colesworth’s, since the mid-1600’s. The curse of The Fire Carrier, sound ominous, right? Well, it is! I won’t delve too far into it, it’s better if you read about it!
Barrie first sees the Fire Carrier that cursed the founding families her first night at Watson’s Landing, as she watched him light up the river with a ball of fire she at first thinks she’s jet-lagged or hallucinating but she eventually realizes what she’s seeing is real, although it’s terrifying to her, she’s also interested because she knows the Fire Carrier can reveal the answers she’s searching for. This starts Barrie and Eight on a journey that will lead them into deep peril and treachery. You must read the story to find out more!
I love, love, love, the characters in this book! They are rich, they are deep and they are so real! Barrie is flawed but loveable which makes her the most perfect of heroines. Eight Beaufort is equally awesome, what one would think is a perfect guy reveals that he, too, has his flaws. Together, they make a great couple. Their romance bloomed beautifully, it was sweet, charming and romantic. These two characters really complemented each other and were a joy to get to know. I cannot wait to read more about them. The secondary characters, Aunt Pru, Cassie Colesworth, Wyatt Colesworth, and Mark were all equally personable. They were people that I really truly either liked or deplored, pitied or feared, some I even cried for!
Compulsion is deeply atmospheric, it is written so beautifully and descriptively that it was easy to imagine myself at Watson’s Landing Plantation, from the heavy humid air to the sweet smell of the magnolias.
I am impatiently awaiting the next in The Heirs of Watson Island series!
This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.(less)
The 100 by Kass Morgan is a dystopian novel that I really enjoyed. It’s about a group of survivors that escaped earth after a devastating nuclear war...moreThe 100 by Kass Morgan is a dystopian novel that I really enjoyed. It’s about a group of survivors that escaped earth after a devastating nuclear war some 300 years ago. They now exist on a space station that is more like a city but resources are starting to run out. Important things like, say … air? So, the collective beings on the council decide to send 100 of the confined juveniles or what we would call juvenile delinquents to earth to see if it’s inhabitable. They think it is but they aren’t quite sure. The 100 follows four main characters, Clarke, Wells, Bellamy and Glass. The story is told in their perspective POV’s.
As the story progresses we learn more about each character and what led to them being on the ship that brought them to earth. I really like these characters! They are each likeable in their own way and the way they respond to the stressors is unique to each of their individual personalities. I liked seeing how they developed throughout the book in response to this new environment and new freedoms. They are all in the same situation but with such different outcomes. There is the requisite romance with an interesting love triangle, suspense, some thrills, some heartbreak … all in all, I’d say that The 100 successfully covers a wide range of topics that will appeal to most readers and it is written in a compelling manner.
The 100 is an enjoyable read and I’d highly recommend it. (less)
This Is Your Afterlife by Vanessa Barneveld is a super adorable and quick read. I love a good ghost story and I wasn’t disappointed. Kiera is 16 years...moreThis Is Your Afterlife by Vanessa Barneveld is a super adorable and quick read. I love a good ghost story and I wasn’t disappointed. Kiera is 16 years old and solving a murder mystery with her ex-best friend, Dan. Thing is, the murder victim, Jimmy, Dan’s brother, is helping!
What a good story! I really enjoyed the way everything unfolded – Dan and Kiera were best friends until Kiera confided she always had a bit of a crush on his more gregarious brother, Jimmy. After that, things were never quite the same. When Jimmy’s murdered, they come together to find the killer and old feelings are rekindled.
The characters are great, easily relatable, affable and real. This is something that I look for in a good book, characters that I can relate to and as I read the last page of This Is Your Afterlife, I felt like I had made new friends. This is always a good thing!
Grief and loss is an issue that I think the author really did justice to in this book, not only did Kiera lose Jimmy but she had recently lost her grandmother. Delving into this heartbreaking topic is difficult under any circumstance but Ms. Barneveld handled the topic beautifully.
Great romance, thriller, mystery and ghost story! I highly recommend This Is Your Afterlife by Vanessa Barneveld! (less)
Okay, so I’ve been on somewhat of a thriller/horror kick lately. The 100 Society by Carla Spradbery had the potential to be a great thriller but to me...more Okay, so I’ve been on somewhat of a thriller/horror kick lately. The 100 Society by Carla Spradbery had the potential to be a great thriller but to me, it was a bit sophomoric. I really, really wanted to like this book … I really did but I have a big problem with characters that just behave stupidly. Especially when the author initially portrays them as smart characters and I have to watch their intelligence level take a nose dive throughout the book.
The 100 Society is a group that begins at Clifton Academy, the essence is that they tag a series of locations – 100 locations to be specific - with their unique graffiti mark. This will gain them unrecognized fame and glory. It will also get them expelled from the academy if they’re caught. This is one of the biggest fears of the main character, Grace. Grace has a serious inferiority complex caused by her highly successful older brother, Jack and lack of attention from her surgeon father. So, it’s sort of a tug-a-war for me in the arena of ‘why in the heck is she doing this’? Why risk expulsion if your biggest fear is disapproval from your father? But … one character, Ed, makes a comment in the book that if they manage to tag all 100 locations, it will all but guarantee them a spot in the finest art schools. But that leads me to the question: If they can’t tell anyone, ever, how will the finest art schools know they did it? So, you see my dilemma here.
What started out as such a promising read quickly became a bore. Grace and her friends blatantly ignore billboard size signs that read, “Yep, I took out your buddy and you’re next!” and continue on blindly, all for possible street cred? I mean nobody’s going to know they did this and if anyone finds out, the best possible outcome is expulsion from school and parental disapproval? Let’s face it, if you get expelled from school, chances are that the ‘best art schools’ aren’t going to accept you anyways. I guess if there was more to gain from belonging to The 100 Society, I could get behind it. Give me a better reason for this, please! Something more to gain ... anything! This was my biggest problem with the book, there was no feasible reason behind the premise. I understand that an unknown artist did this years ago and said unknown artist who goes only by 'A' has made millions off his artwork but it still doesn't tie in to the story and here's why: 'A' made no money of his graffiti tag, 'A' is a fictitious character within a fictitious work, therefore lacking any real credential that he is even a real artist within the book and lastly, I think that this tidbit about 'A' was thrown in there just to justify and give some vague reason for the 'New' 100 Society to even exist because, Lord knows, I can't come up with a valid reason.
The characters were bland and boring, I held out a lot of hope for Trick, I thought he would be the shining star out of all of them. The handsome yet tattooed rebel who comes off cool and detached, but nope, he became as two dimensional as the rest of them. Grace, the main character, felt flat and forced, selfish and self-absorbed. I never felt the closeness that this group was supposed to have, in fact, their interactions felt like a group of strangers. I have more intimate conversations in the Wal-Mart check-out line.
I will give credit to some mildly thrilling moments but that’s about the best I can do. I was disappointed in this book. Not something I would recommend.
This ARC was provided by Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review. (less)