Katy's Reviews > Refuge

Refuge by Carole Rummage
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's review
Aug 13, 2012

did not like it
Read in August, 2012

I feel really bad that I couldn't give this book a higher rating, but honestly, I would be lying if I said anything other than I did not like this book at all.

From the summary, I really had no clue what this book was going to be about, and I was curious to learn more about Gabe's "mysterious disease" and this "thrilling romance" that is "full of twists that will keep you guessing to the last page." However, after reading the first two chapters, I knew exactly what was going to happen. This story was beyond predictable - from Laney's situation and Gabe's illness to Matthew's role and everyone's fate at the end.

But what kept me from giving it the two-star "okay" rating was the writing, which was simple and non-engaging. And really, I can deal with a cliche, predictable story, but this book failed to capture my interest at all, and the story development actually annoyed me in a number of instances.

First of all, I don't have a big problem with instalove, but in this book, I really did not care for it. The immediate attraction was just glossed over, so I couldn't connect with the characters and why they were so drawn to each other, and then all of a sudden, they are obsessively thinking about each other. And to follow it with "And, the trouble is, if it were only my eyes that might be full of tears, that would be one thing, but she just lost her whole family. She doesn't need any more disasters in her life." While it was poetically beautiful, what kind of teenage boy talks like that? And "Dad, I don't know if I can live without her. I don't know if I even want to…" Pretty serious for someone who's been on one date and hasn't even kissed the girl yet.

And I did not like how this book was just so jammed packed with depressing things - the car accident, Sam being autistic, the Gabe's illness. Just when I thought, "Enough already," something else is thrown at me. It was almost as if Rummage was trying to reach for anything to pull at my heart strings. For me, it didn't really work because I was trying to hard to like the main storyline.

The thing that really bothered me was how the story unfolded, having already guessed where the story was going from the very beginning. It wasn't until near the very end that Laney discovered what was going on. Really? Come on now. To top it all off, it was the way she found out. It wasn't her catching Gabe in the middle of the act or that she had some traumatic event that forces her to confront him. No, she came to the realization on her own while sitting in her room.

Like I said, I don't mind reading a typical book in a certain genre (I don't want to ruin the story so I'll leave it at that). But for this book, it was just TOO predictable, which would have been fine had Rummage not try to drag out the big secret until near the end. The story had potential to be interesting enough. Unfortunately, I just thought the delivery was executed poorly.
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