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Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in this spellbinding new trilogy.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 28, 2014

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About the author

Martina Boone

12 books1,990 followers
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She's the award-winning author of feel-good romances set in magical places, including COMPULSION and the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse and the Celtic Legends series starting with LAKE OF DESTINY.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 661 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Higgins.
Author 18 books7,950 followers
October 28, 2014
Utterly incredible. I am not kidding when I say I savored this one. It has a slow burn that is SO appropriate for the southern gothic setting. All of the magical elements and ghosts were beautifully done. The romance was positively swoony, and there are so many lovely, quotable moments. I was intrigued by the mystery and wanting to know more, more more - furiously flipping pages, but not wanting it to end.
I'm dying to see what happens in the next book!
Dying, Martina Boone! Do you hear me?!
SO lucky to have received an ARC of this one, because it's one of those books that reminded me what the heart of reading and storytelling is all about.
May 5, 2014
“You’re different.”

Different. And there it was.

All her life Barrie had been on the receiving end of different.

Even once she’d learned to disguise the Watson gift, she’d still been the daughter of a woman who stood at the window and glared at people on the street from behind a curtain. The goddaughter of the drag-queen who went to parent-teacher conferences dressed in vintage suits and designer shoes.

This book is 448 pages long, and this is what happens in it:

A girl moves to South Carolina after her mother's death. She finds out that there may be a family curse, and some family members may hate her for it. There is a mystery involving her mother. She falls into a Romeo & Juliet style of love with a boy. The end.

This book is 448 pages long.

It is simultaneously dull while being excruciatingly ludicrous. This book makes the characters of a soap opera like Passions seem reasonable in comparison, and mind you, Passions is a show with a dwarf, a witch, evil twins, amnesia, and a trip to The Wizard of Oz (I'm not kidding). The difference is that the plot of Passions is at least entertaining. This book's became a parody of itself. If it had not given to me as an ARC, I would not have finished it, and I would have abandoned it within the first 50 pages.

There is a multitude of problems. I'm not going to summarize the book because the plot is peppered with

- Bafflingly strange characters
- A vague Romeo-and-Juliet family feud thing
- Sprinkled with a dash of family curses, Native American magic and slave Voodoo from out of nowhere with no sense
- A story so full of telling-not-showing that I found myself going "What the HECK? How did she came to THAT conclusion?!" multiple times throughout the book

“Lula was the kind of mother who locked herself in her room and surfed online auctions for designer clothes no one would ever see her wear because she hadn’t left the house in seventeen years. The kind who didn’t let anyone, not even me, see her scars. Who didn’t tell her twin sister she was still alive. Who dropped dead of a heart attack when her best friend—her only friend—told her he was dying of cancer, so she wasn’t there for him the one time he really needed her.”

I'm not a cruel person, really, I'm not. I want to empathize with the main character, I want to feel something for them, but throwing the kitchen sink at the main character and giving her a past to rival any Greek tragedy is not the way to do it. Barrie's life is a parody of a tragedy. It got to the point where I just rolled my eyes, saying, what next? Are they going to give her a kitten and then have it be mutilated by a pack of wild wolves?

There is a way of making a character sympathetic without throwing the whole world at her in order to elicit sympathy. The main character in this book had a Tragic Past that is so much so that it ends up being a caricature of itself.

- A father who was hated by her mother, burned to death before she was even born

- A mother who hates her husband (and by extension, her daughter) so much that she names her after a "crooked street"
it was only Barrie’s first name, her real name—Lombard—that served as a reminder of Lula’s bitterness.
Lombard, after San Francisco’s crooked street, and in memory of Wade, Barrie’s crooked father
- A mother almost burned to death, running away to live as a horribly scarred recluse finally dropping dead of a heart attack

- A cross-dressing, red-lipstick-wearing, high-heel-sporting black drag queen godfather in the final stages of pancreatic cancer

- A Romeo-and-Juliet family curse

- A crazy aunt who's barely capable of doing anything without bursting into tears, much less run a tea house in a broken-down plantation home

- A crazy alcoholic uncle and cousin who's out to get her

In order for me to sympathize with a character, she has to be believable. She has to seem like a realistic character, with a believable past, and there is no such thing in this book. Her past and her present is a soap opera on the grand scale of mind-boggling lunacy.

The background: Chock full of holes. Let's focus on the biggest hole: Barrie's mother's death. This is what we know of it:

- Lula (the mother) escaped from a fire that left her horribly scarred and burned and in pain for the rest of her life

- She lets everyone thinks that she is dead, running away to San Francisco to give birth to, and eventually raise her daughter (Barrie)

Here's what I don't get:

- How the FUCK did a woman who has been burned so badly that she is beyond recognition manage to escape from a fire and fake her own death?

- How the FUCK did a woman who has been so damaged in a fire manage to get all the way to San Francisco, into a hospital, give birth to a daughter without anyone at the hospital questioning what the fuck happened to her?!

- How the FUCK did a woman who has been burned so badly in a fire without a husband, without friends, manage to heal up and find a friend (Mark) to take care of her

- How the FUCK did a woman who has been burned so badly in a fire, without knowing anyone, manage to establish a new identity in a new town with a new child?

- How the FUCK did a woman who has been burned so badly in a fire manage to find a place to live, pay the rent, buy designer clothes online, AND pay someone to take care of her and her child?

We eventually learn that she was given money by someone. It still doesn't make sense because:

- It can't have been a huge sum, because said person's family is broke, their home broken-down, their family fortune run dry

- It certainly can't be enough for Lula to live on in extravagance for two decades

Barrie: Is an incomplete character. Barrie (short for Lombard?!) For me, she has no personality, she has no motivation. I didn't understand her choices, her train of thoughts just make no sense:

- I don't know why she would choose to ship in a bunch of furniture all the way from San Francisco to South Carolina because the house in South Carolina had broken-down furniture. Wouldn't it be cheaper just to, you know, sell the furniture, get the freaking money, and buy some furniture IN SOUTH CAROLINA?

- I don't know why she would hate a boy for no freaking reason at all, and trust me, I KNOW WHEN I SHOULD HATE A BOY IN A YA PARANORMAL. I'm the freaking expert at hating stupid boys, and trust me when I say that there's nothing about Eight that I should hate. He's a pretentious little preppie, that's all.

- I don't know why she is so fucking incompetent at doing something simple like locating a freaking bottle of aspirin in her purse WHEN HER SPECIAL POWER IS LOCATING THINGS. Her powers are haphazard, largely useless, and unexplained since she can't even find her freaking phone when she loses it.

Barrie is completely faceless and nameless as a character to me. I cannot pick out any memorable quotes from her, because everything she says feels utterly banal and meaningless.

The love interest: I don't know why the main character hates him. I think his name, "Eight," is ridiculous (for Charles Beaufort the Eighth," being the 8th said holder of his actual family name--his father is Seven). He, like the main character, is completely lackluster in character, and devoid of personality.

The Paranormal: Random and nonsensical. Barrie's powers are hardly used, hardly mentioned, and largely useless. She has a skill for locating things, and most of the book doesn't even mention it.

There is the use of Cherokee and slave Voodoo in the book that feels completely random and out of place. It clashed with the setting, for some reason, on a Southern plantation setting, we have Cherokee Fire Carrier spirits and ghosts, and Voodoo plat-eyes. They are just there to make pretty pretty fires that attrack Barrie and pull her into the dark woods in the middle of the night; I didn't feel like they were a realistic and compelling element in the setting.

Mark’s room had always looked like the Moulin Rouge had thrown up, pink and black satin, a throwback to his drag show days when he’d been going to be the next RuPaul, the next José Sarria.
The most clichéd dying RuPaul crossdressing wannabe in the whole world. He may be dying, but his character makes me want to laugh because he is so outrageously portrayed.

What makes it worse is that the book mentioned this cliché.
People had always judged Mark. For being too gay, or not gay enough, or not transgender the way some expected.
And I may be one of those characters, because I felt like Mark was a caricature of a crossdressing black guy.

Please allow me to say that I am 100% for gay rights, and I believe that people should wear and do whatever makes them happy. This is not a complaint about a character who is different, this is an observation that the character did not feel real. I have friends who are gay. I have friends who are crossdresser (I give my clothes to one of them). I share a locker room with a guy who is transgender. I don't care about who you love, what you wear. My complaint about this book is that Mark's character felt like it was inserted in there for no reason at all, as a ploy to diversity that fell short.
His voice sounded pinched, the way it had the night of her first awards ceremony, when he’d worn Spanx to squeeze into a pink Chanel suit he’d accidentally bought too small on eBay.
Mark wears sky-high heels and red lipstick. He loves Lady Gaga. He has a cat named RuPaul. I'm all about diversity in books, and I'm the last person in the world to have a problem with a cross-dressing character, but the thing is that Mark is just too much. He felt like a caricature of a transvestite rather than someone real. The character of Mark felt out of place, outrageously so. I am sure that this book meant well, I am 100% positive that this book did not intend to mock the transvestite community in any way, but for me, Mark felt like a mockery of a person.

Overall: Not recommended. The book tries to sell itself to fans of the Beautiful Creatures series. I say, stick to that series and save yourself the trouble.

Quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof subject to change in the final edition.
Profile Image for Martina Boone.
Author 12 books1,990 followers
May 25, 2015
Compulsion evolved from an image of a ball of flames weaving through the woods at midnight and then being unspooled like yarn onto a river by someone unseen until the entire river burned with magical flame. I couldn't help obsessing about what that meant and why the ceremony had been repeated so long no one could remember when it first began. Who was doing it? What did it accomplish? Answering those questions, I fell in love with the three plantations where the story was set, and with the families who had to live with the magic, with their doomed and forbidden loves and friendships, their tragic murders, risk, sacrifice, dignity, and sometimes plain old silliness.

It's probably dorky to rate my own book, but I DO love this book, and if I didn't love it, I wouldn't be honoring the hours of hard work that the whole wonderful team behind this book poured into it. So let me take this opportunity to thank, once again, my beta readers, critique partners and agent, not to mention the whole INCREDIBLE team at Simon Pulse and Simon and Schuster. I also want to thank the fabulous authors who have said kind things about it and the readers who have loved it so far and joined the Compulsion street team. I hope more people will enjoy it and love the characters as much as I do!
Profile Image for Beth  (YA Books Central).
415 reviews115 followers
December 17, 2014
"Barrie shook her head. Now that she was here, she couldn't leave. Her aunt was undeniably strange,but Pru's features added up to familiarity, to family. And the house, while rundown was magnificent. It was Watson's landing. Lulu's history. Barrie's own history."

OK...Seriously...this book is I N C R E D I B L E. I saw reviews about this book on Goodreads and could not wait to get my hands on it. I literally read this book in three days and it took my breath away.

Compulsion is a compelling, emotional debut YA novel set in a Southern Gothic atmosphere and revolves around a young girl whose mother passes away and she is sent to live with her only surviving relative, her mother's sister Lulu in South Carolina. Barrie knows that her mother ran away years ago from her family home but does not know the reason why.

Barrie arrives at the plantation that is also known as Watson's Landing and immediately feels drawn to it. Watson's Landing is one of the first pieces of this amazing story that grabbed me immediately. I am from Alabama so I could immediately imagine the scenery and feel what Barrie was feeling when she first experiences the plantation. I could imagine the trees covered in moss and the river gurgling that surrounds the home. I felt as though I was right there with Barrie as she experienced Watson's Landing for the first time.

Barrie moves to South Carolina with little information about her history and her family so she immediately begins to investigate and learn about her family. She has heard the stories about Watson's Landing that say it is cursed but doesn't know the details surrounding the myth. She searches the plantation to see if she can uncover any truth to the stories and find out the real reason why her mother left so many years ago and never came back.

Barrie meets a young man named Eight and learns that he is also a part of the curse that surrounds Watson's Landing. Barrie has always known that she is gifted. She has a gift for finding things that are "lost". She feels drawn to items and is compelled to find the lost items. Little does Barrie know but Eight is also gifted and always seems to know what Barrie is thinking before she even speaks. Barrie and Eight begin to realize that they connected in a supernatural way and that the must work together to uncover the mystery that surrounds their families. I love Eight's character and his immediate need to protect Barrie and care for her. He always seems to be there just when she needs someone.

So when Barrie first experiences the ancient spirit that cursed her family and lights the river on fire each night she is scared but also curious. She knows that somehow this spirit holds the key to the answers she is looking for. Barrie begins to ask questions and her questions draws the attention of enemies that want to harm both Eight and Barrie. This begins an incredible journey for Barrie and Eight and I was completely absorbed in each and every twist and turn...

"Not only was it strange to have anything lost at Watson's Landing, but also there was something strange about how and where things were lost. Why was the locked drawer the only pull of loss in the library?"

I just cannot explain how intense this book is. I literally could not put the book down. Each chapter had a new unexpected surprise. The characters are so wonderfully written and just grab you and take hold. Compulsion took me on an intense and emotional roller coaster ride. The southern charm and atmosphere of the book was the perfect setting to go along with the mysteries surrounding Watson's Landing.

I literally CANNOT wait to read the next book in the series! Fans of YA novels, swoony-worthy romance, and spell-binding mystery are absolutely going to fall in love with Compulsion.

Martina Boone is a phenomenal writer and Compulsion has been the first book in a while that when I was through reading it....I was literally IN AWE...I wanted more...I wanted more of the amazing characters, the setting, and the mystery. I cannot wait to see what the future has in hold for Barrie and Eight and what other dangers they are going to face in the future.....

**The quotes from this book have been taken from an Advanced Reading Copy and are subject to change when the final book is printed. Please refer to the final, finished copy for exact quotes!**
Profile Image for Alyssa | Swept Away By Books.
227 reviews420 followers
September 2, 2016
Martina Boone has set up what is sure to be an extremely intriguing trilogy with Compulsion. Within the first few pages, the reader is immersed in her gorgeous ability to create a setting as well as throwing us into a house full of dark family secrets.

One of my favourite parts of this book was the plantation, Watson's Landing. Set in South Carolina, the creeping spanish moss, meandering river, and acres of encroaching forest, the setting really comes alive for the reader. But the house itself becomes a character that draws you in and makes you want to curl up in the dusty corners and simply experience what it has to offer. From closed off wings with eerie vibes, to spirits who are methodically taking the house apart, to sprawling gardens that are always kept in mysteriously pristine conditions to a river lit with fire every night, I was completely enamoured with Watson's Landing. The house has so much to offer, and Barrie finds it impossible to resist the chance to dig up some of it's secrets.

What I wasn't expecting was the Native American mythology. It was such an intriguing surprise. It added an extra layer to the mystery, and created an amazing backstory for gifts (some would say curses) that the three founding families, The Watsons, The Beauforts and The Colesworths, have. What is so so unique about Compulsion are these gifts and I am so excited for everyone to read it because they are incredibly different and nothing I have ever seen in YA before. The generations old family feud stems from these curse and was creepy and fascinating and caused some people to do terrible things throughout the years.

Barrie herself was a little frustrating to me, but that's one of the things I loved about her. She grew up extremely sheltered by her mother, and it really shows in her naivete towards certain aspects of life. She really struggles with how she views people, and her opinions are flip flopping all over the place, but Martina stayed very true to a character who wouldn't know any better in certain situations. Her relationship with the dreamy Eight Beaufort was tension filled and as steamy as a Southern night and was just freaking adorable.

Boone's supporting characters were far from perfect but a blast to read. Aunt Pru has to be my favourite, and I am so excited to see and learn more about her in the upcoming books. Barrie's godfather Mark was brilliant and shone through the pages. But the most interesting of them all was Barrie's cousin on the Colesworth side, Cassie. There was just a little something off about her the whole time, and she was the perfect mix of sickly sweet with a menacing undertone.

Compulsion was a brilliant first instalment in what is going to be an eerie and fascinating story about an ages old family feud, goose bump inducing ghosts, mythology and a girl struggling to discover who she really is now that she finally has the chance, all in a beautiful setting that is brought to life through Martina's deliciously descriptive writing, with a sweet and steamy romance included.
Profile Image for Amanda.
233 reviews88 followers
August 31, 2016
Review by: Amanda at Of Spectacles and Books

Why I chose this book:
I had my eye on this back in March when I began seeing a few bloggers talk about it. The story, the setting, the Southern Gothic genre, everything just spoke to me and told me that I must read this book. I entered into every giveaway I saw, but to no avail. Luckily, I ended up being approved on Edelweiss, and I did a little happy dance in my room when I saw the email. And to tell you the truth, I was so happy that I got this book for free, but now I’m going to go out and buy the physical copy anyway once it releases. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4 things you need to know about this book:

So first off, I’m going to go all English major on you for a second and talk about her use of the Southern Gothic genre and its tropes, because I just love it so much!

1. Southern Gothic and the use of Gothic tropes.
I will begin by saying that Gothic and Southern Gothic are two of my favorite genres in classic literature, so of course I was lapping this up like a dehydrated dog in the summer time. If you don’t know, Gothic and Southern Gothic are the same yet slightly different. Gothic is represented in novels such as Frankenstein, Dracula, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc; Southern Gothic is basically the American version of those novels. They both carry darker and more malicious themes, but there’s a draw and an enticing suspense provided for the reader, which is the overarching theme of Gothic tale.

Martina Boone, used many Gothic/Southern Gothic tropes in her book, for which I was extremely grateful. She used tropes such as the decaying setting of Watson Island plantations, eccentric characters, the deterioration of southern aristocracy, darkness, superstition, madness and eerie, and of course a dash of witchcraft/occultism. These are all of your main tropes, and Boone used every single one of them, and it was seamless! You could tell she didn’t just use these tropes to fulfill the genre; she used them because it was a way of telling the story. And it was seamless in a way that brought a hint of magical realism to the book that I completely fell in love with.

2. Needless to say, this lady can write!
On top of her excellent use of the Southern Gothic genre, she writes extremely well. Her imagery is beautiful, and you get sucked right in to the pictures she paints with words. I felt the eeriness of the forest and the darkness in the evenings, I smelled the scent of moisture in the southern air, and I could feel the odd texture of the Spanish moss dripping off the trees. I was completely enveloped by this book from start to finish.

3. A teenager who knows who she is.
The main character, Barrie, is no stranger to loss and hardship. She is a character made of steel while still managing to balance on sky-high heels. I enjoyed the way Boone created her character. She was completely, 100% feminine with a love for shoes (which her godfather helped cultivate), and a sense of fashion that I don’t feel like you see in non-contemporary novels these days. Maybe it’s just the books that I read, but I don’t remember many characters that dress up instead of down.

Barrie is also a character that is stubborn and knows what she wants. She isn’t easily swayed by Eight’s handsome face, or the warnings of her Aunt Pru. If Barrie has her mind set on something, she will do it. It may not be the right choice, or the safest, but she is a character who belongs to herself. She makes decisions for her own sake and she is the one who decides her fate. A character like this is hard to come by these days.

4. A true account of a small town.
As a girl who grew up in the country just outside of a small town, I can attest that Boone’s account of a small town is 100% accurate. Everyone knows your name (and your grandparents’ name, and maybe even your great-great grandparents’ name), everyone can identify your truck -even if it is just because yours is the only one with a gun rack on the back, and yes, everyone knows when there’s a new girl in town. Believe me, all of this stuff spreads like wildfire and is completely accurate. Boone captures this so well that I secretly wonder if she actually is from a small southern town.

Final Thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book from cover to cover. The characters of Barrie and Eight were lovable, and I feel like readers can identify well with Barrie’s constant feeling of loss. This book touches on just how consuming a small town can be, and even more so for the towns that have magic lighting the rivers on fire and shadows lurking behind every corner. If you love anything remotely suspenseful, romantic, with just a dash of madness, this book is most definitely for you.

I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads.
Profile Image for Courtney Whisenant.
223 reviews48 followers
October 29, 2014
This book was incredible--the kind that sucks you in, consumes you until the very last page, and sticks with you long after you've finished reading. Set on an island near Charleston, the imagery was breathtaking. Spanish moss hanging from old oak trees, plantation homes, and the scent of jasmine in the air are just a few of the things I love about South Carolina. As a southerner myself, I related to the small town quirks, the southern drawl and family secrets hidden for generations. The magical realism even brought to mind old wives' tales I was told when I was growing up. The secrets uncovered and mysteries revealed made the story even more captivating. I loved it and will definitely read it again since I have to wait over a year for the next book. My favorite read so far this year!!!
Profile Image for Hafsah Faizal.
Author 12 books7,409 followers
May 6, 2014
We're not in Kansas anymore, readers. This book here's set smack dab in the south.

Living in Texas, and having lived in Florida and California, I know just how different the south is, compared to the rest of the country. So when I picked up COMPULSION, I expected to see real southern stuff.

And lemme tell ya, sugar, it delivers.

Martina Boone's debut into young-adult fiction is dazzling. Well-written, tense, and, simply put, fresh, COMPULSION is a great read.

Full review will be posted on IceyBooks closer to the release date.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,257 reviews8,679 followers
September 10, 2017
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Oh, lordy . . .

I've lived in North Carolina or Tennessee my whole life, and with the exception of one uncle who relocated to California, all of my family lives in the same general vicinity as well.

I'm S O U T H E R N.

So when I hear about a book that is supposedly S O U T H E R N, I get all excited (b/c narcissist who loves Southern-themed books), and I have to read it. Sometimes that works out for me . . .

And sometimes it doesn't.

I want to say up front page that the reasons this book didn't work well for me are personal preference issues, so unless we share the same quirks--a love of all things Fae and/or Native American and are S O U T H E R N--you'll probably like it a lot more than I did, b/c the premise is actually really cool.

Three second sons (Watson, Beaufort, and Colesworth) became privateers to make their fortunes, and having made said fortune go to South Carolina, seeking permission to settle. They receive it, but the land granted to Watson is haunted, so the three men stir up some swampy voodoo, the end result being Watson (and descendants) having the ability to find lost things, Beaufort (and descendants) having the ability to know what people want, and Colesworth (and descendants) being CURSED with . . . being less successful than the other two . . .?

Whatever the curse is, the Colesworths are very, very bitter.

Fast forward to the present and things get complicated. (*snorts*)

Lula Watson, our heroine's mother, has just died, revealing to Barrie (heroine), who has lived in California her whole life, with no knowledge of any relatives, that she does indeed have family, and that her aunt (her mother's TWIN sister) is now her guardian. Her aunt who also had no knowledge of Barrie's existence, b/c Lula was believed to have been killed in a fire 18 years ago.

Kind of convoluted, but it's YA, so it can get away with it.

What it couldn't get away with (for me) can be split into two parts:

Poor representation of Southern-isms.

1. FACT: every other person you meet in the South is NOT named Billy Joe or Beth Ann.
2. Southern women CAN have entire conversations without calling someone "sugar."
3. The truth is just the truth. It's not the "gospel" truth. Unless it's a Disney song . . .
4. "Higher than a treed raccoon." RACCOONS LIVE IN TREES.

And those are just representative of the kinds of things found on nearly every page. Yes, people from the South say strange things, but they MAKE SENSE, and are rarely just for embellishment. We talk  s - l - o - w.  If we added as many nonessential adjectives, metaphors, and similes as are implicated here, we'd never have time to do anything else. You aren't "stubborn as a cross-eyed mule," you're stubborn as a mule.  The end. GAH.

Weird mashup of belief systems/folklore.

As is common with anything set in the colonies, a slave is the gateway to all things witchy. But . . . the spirit the slave helps the men trap is the bizarre amalgamation of voodoo and Native American folklore.

It came across as some kind of medicine man, but here's the thing . . . Native American gods aren't very flashy. In all the stories I've heard (and admittedly, it's a hobby--I'm not an expert), they're either in animal form or they look just like any other person, but discerning people can feel that there's something different about them.

They don't wear big black feathered cloaks and set rivers on fire.

But that's exactly what the Fire Carrier does. And he's also the guardian of yunwi, which simultaneously sounds remarkably similar to the loa in voodoo and pissed-off brownies. Brownies as in the type of Fae that perform household tasks in exchange for . . . it varies, but the point is, if they don't feel appreciated, they start causing trouble.

I don't have a problem with mixing parts of various folklore traditions to create a new, unified whole. I've seen it done and done well. Maybe I had such an issue with it this time b/c of the three mythologies, two are my favorite, and one is my most detested. I don't know. Regardless, it felt . . . lazy. There were parts, but no unified whole. It was just this kind of . . . hodgepodge.

BUT. Like I said, really cool premise, so seriously, if an exaggerated representation of Southern culture and/or combining elements of pre-existing and separate mythologies aren't a problem for you, give it a shot. I wouldn't recommend it for those of you who are already on the fence about YA, b/c this book is distinctly YA.
Profile Image for Lindsay Cummings.
Author 12 books5,133 followers
October 17, 2014
In a word, COMPULSION is delicious.

A beautifully written Southern Gothic, which, to me, is one of the toughest types of books to write. I wasn't sure what to think the first few pages of COMPULSION. I didn't know if it was just a contemporary about death and new places..until there was one single phrase mentioned. "The finding gift".

Barrie, our main character, has the ability to find lost things. A few pages in to COMPULSION, this gift is shown. And as soon as it is, the rest of the book falls into place. Based around old family feuds, curses and gifts, and a long-time deal with a ghost called The Fire Carrier, COMPULSION is a swoon-worthy, creepy at times, perfectly paced read.

When a book is over 400 pages, sometimes it can be a little scary diving in. But COMPULSION was so well done. Little by little, each chapter revealed just enough of the secrets of Watson Island to keep the reader wanting more. The romance was perfect. A slow burn, with a delicious male lead that is infuriating and sweet and sexy all at once.

By the time the book was finished, I realized it dealt with TONS of themes. Death, life, loss, loneliness, adventure, betrayal, discovery, and of course, love. It's not often that a book can nail all of the above, and yet COMPULSION nailed it.

I finished it at 2am, and when I was done, I immediately went to Goodreads and posted my 5 star rating. I CAN NOT WAIT for book two in this haunting series. Martina Boone is a rockstar gothic YA storyteller, and I am thrilled to have been able to read this one early.

Already ordered my finished hardcover copy for my personal shelves.
Profile Image for Erin Cashman.
Author 2 books81 followers
April 14, 2014
I started reading this book and was immediately caught up in the story. Compulsion has it all -- memorable and flawed characters, exquisite and evocative writing, a heady romance, a page turning mystery, and a protagonist that I cheered for from the very first page. I highly recommend this dazzling debut and can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy.
Profile Image for K.L. Hallam.
Author 7 books58 followers
July 7, 2014

After her shut-in mother’s death, teen-aged, Barrie Watson is free to seek out the family kept secret from her all her life. She arrives at Watson Landing, greeted by a live albino peacock, and discovers a family heritage of privateers, rice plantations, and an ancient curse.

The sense of place is the first thing that takes hold of you. The visual descriptions set you into the dreamy, hot and steamy southern charm of Charleston, South Carolina. Drawing you into a compelling world of oak and cypress woods, Spanish moss, and sprawling southern plantations. Where disturbed characters, unspoken family secrets, and a dark curse hooks you. You don’t want to leave Watson Landing, yourself.

Barrie can’t believe her eyes; Watson Landing is an exact replica of the home she grew up in with her mother, Lula, in San Francisco. Except for the shutters that hung drunkenly on the windows, in fact, the entire mansion is falling into ruin. Oddly, the lush, manicured gardens surrounding the house are not. Barrie can sense something. She feels the Watson gift communicating through her. Barrie wonders what she’s gotten herself into coming here.

We meet Aunt Pru, Lula’s twin, sitting on the steps of Watson Landing as if lost. There’s a deep sadness shadowing Pru. A deep-seated feeling of neglect tugs at you: the aging beauty that is Watson Landing, the fading, neglected beauty of Aunt Pru, all with their secrets. One of those secrets, Barry immediately finds out, has to do with her aunt’s neighbor, Seven Beaufort. When she shakes his son, Eight Beaufort’s hand, something inside her clicks, the air clears. As if this new world is opening up to her and every secret has its time. Every character has a story.

Marc’s an interesting character. You’ll like Marc. At first, I didn’t know who or what his part was, until the story blossomed. I found him real, and endearing. He’s the only support Barrie has had through life, until now. I won’t go on too much, because there is a bit of lead in with him and the events, and I’d rather you get the full pleasure of the build up.

I didn’t want to put this book down. Every time I had to do something, I carried it with me. There’s so much sadness, but there’s hope, and there’s family, and feuds, all rolled into a new world for Barrie Watson. If you love being swept away in gothic charm, you will be lulled into Compulsion. One of my favorite scenes has to do with fire, and ghosts, and an ancient curse. It’s a stunning visual scene. I still see it. It’s breathtaking.

This is the first book in Martina’s YA Southern Gothic trilogy, The Heirs of Watson Island, will be available from Simon Pulse Fall 2014. Recommended for readers 14 and up. Martina Boone tells me Pru (my favorite character) comes into her own in the second book. I can’t wait to read it!
Profile Image for Andye.Reads.
834 reviews411 followers
February 21, 2015
Where are more stars? I need them!!

At a Glance:

From beginning to end, Compulsion pulls you in, keeps you guessing, plays with your emotions and leaves you breathless with anticipation. I loved this book wholly and completely, and I can't wait to push it on everyone I know.

I was really nervous.

I actually met Martina before I knew she was an author, and since we are both YADCers (Young Adult DC), we've become friends. I get SUPER nervous about reading books of people I know personally. I mean, how do you say you don't like your friend's book? I just can't.

But this book is set in South Carolina! Which is my spirit state.

So I had to read it. My solution? I would read it in secret, and if I didn't like it, I would never tell anyone I had read it! Yeah, sneaky, I know!

Luckily, I had nothing to worry about.


It was more than awesome. It was glorious!!

The Beautiful Writing:

From the very beginning, Compulsion just clicked for me. I loved the writing so much. Martina did such a phenomenal job crafting every piece of this book. The setting, which is an Island in South Carolina, came to life for me. I lived in SC for five years (and vacationed there every summer since I was 5), and reading this made me feel like I was back there. Spanish moss on the old oaks, beautiful plantations, lowcountry cooking and Southern hospitality fill the pages. It was just perfect!

The Diverse and Interesting Characters:

The characters in Compulsion are so fantastically written. I loved that each of them had such a distinct and fully fleshed out voice. The main character, Barrie, was FREAKIN' AWESOME. I loved her so much. She was so snarky! I just wanted to be bff's with her! Don't even get me started on Eight, Charles Beaufort the 8th. I WANT ONE! Wait, I mean I want EIGHT! I like a lot of book-guys. Don't we all? But there was something about Eight that just pushed him right to the top of my list. He was such a Southern gentleman.

To quote my Goodreads Update:

Eight is twice the man Four is. I'm just sayin'. Simple math.

But it wasn't just the main characters who were awesome. Each character in this book became so real to me. I could actually name people who these characters could've been based on. They were so perfect. From Barrie's Aunt Pru, to her drag-queen "guardian" and even her infuriating relatives, I'm pretty sure I've met them all in real life. All the relationships were complex, constantly changing, growing, or evolving. It was just so well done.

The Cryptic Mysteries:

There are so many elements to this book. The strange gifts that the Watsons and Beauforts have and the Colesworth curse are fascinating. The mysteries surrounding how these things came to be, keep you turning the pages frantically, trying to find the answers. Why Barrie is being drawn to Watson Island? What is calling to her behind the locked doors of Watson Plantation? What is hidden in the Colesworth grounds? The end of this book had my heart racing, and I honestly kept forgetting to breathe. It was SO INTENSE! I had no idea what was going to happen, and let me just say, CLAUSTROPHOBIA!

The Consuming Romance:

I know what you really want to know, though. HOW WAS THE ROMANCE? Let me just say, it was so good I could hardly stand it! I read that it was insta-love, but that's not the case at all. Barrie and Eight are drawn to each other because of the "curse," but Barrie fights against that pull like a prize-fighter. She will not be controlled by anything but her own feelings, which she takes her sweet time figuring out. I mean if Eight was standing there in front of you, being all gorgeous and amazing and Eightish, what do you think you would do? I loved their relationship. I loved the banter between them, and the way that Eight protected and cared for Barrie, but was never afraid to tell her how completely infuriating she was being. Just. So. Good.

It's an All-Time Favorite:

As you have most likely guessed, this book has shot to the top of my all-time favorites list. There's rarely a book that I connect with as fully as I connected with this one. Rarely a book that I want to read over and over. This is that book, and I can't wait to share it with the world! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Profile Image for Lisa Green.
Author 13 books145 followers
April 19, 2014
This is a MUST READ. If I could give it a million stars, I would!

It's hard to express how much I loved this book. How Barrie came alive in the pages. How Martina brought the world itself to life. How she thread emotion, imagery, voice, and non-stop adrenaline into a complex story that will undoubtedly live forever with so many other YA classics. I can't wait to read more. I hope the story never ends.

I know Martina, and I would support her no matter what, but please believe I am telling you all the truth when I say that even if I'd never met her this would be my new favorite story.
Profile Image for Kristen Cansler.
282 reviews249 followers
January 2, 2015

The Good
The setting.
The setting is what originally sold me on Compulsion. I have a long standing love affair with the Carolina coastline, especially anywhere around Charleston. Martina Boone nailed it with her portrayal of the area. Her descriptions were so beautiful that I was swept up in the story in a heartbeat. I felt like I was back in the midst of Charleston (just without the awful humidity). From the small town drama to the southern twangs, Compulsion was everything great about the lower states!

The characters.
Yes, yes, and yes. I'll talk about Barrie and Eight in a moment. Right now I want to rave about the secondary characters in Compulsion. Mark was everything perfection. The way that Martina Boone showcased his relationship with Barrie made my heartache. He was her mother, father, and confidant. I loved him. Aunt Pru was also great! The author did an excellent job at showing the adjustment she's going through with all of the changes. Martina Boone did not ignore any detail in this book and for that, I'm so thankful!

Barrie and Eight. Eight and Barrie. Beight. Errie.
Whatever we're calling them, I love them. Eight was a bucket full of swoon. Seriously. I very rarely swoon over a character in a book. I've never got behind the whole book boyfriend craze. But Eight Beaufort? Sign me right up, y'all! The way that the relationship between Barrie and Eight develops is perfect. It's a slow burn with not even a little hint of insta-love. REJOICE, y'all.

Jeez. I loved this girl. She was put into an impossible situation, and I admired her so much. Her curiosity and resolve really sold me on her. She isn't fainting onto a couch. But she isn't charging into battle all willy nilly either. She was so authentic. Thank you for that, Martina!

Seriously. Compulsion was amazing. The thought and plot development in this book is incredible. Martina Boone is above all else, a story teller. And Compulsion was a story that I'm so glad that I got to read. All of the elements in this book come together in such a cohesive way. I don't know how anyone could pass up Compulsion. It's the perfect YA book for fall!

The Bad

The In-between

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
Profile Image for Savannah (Books With Bite).
1,399 reviews185 followers
November 2, 2014
So when I first got this book I thought it was more magic. It is, initially, but it has a lot of history which I loved. For me, a good back round to the story came make it or break it. And ya’ll, being a southern gal myself, I adored it.

Plot: One thing I really enjoyed is the whole southern atmosphere. I could literally see myself on the plantation, sipping on ice cold sweet tea and cornbread. I love the way the plot moved. It moved well, giving the reading bit by bit of the past. It made me feel like I was at the plantation. The pace of the story is great as well. I like that it had a deep history the went back generations. The mysterious of the curses and what they generation now is doing is very interesting to read.

Family/Friendship/Love: Like all southern brawls, this story is rooted with family drama. I love it! All families are fighting over something that happen years ago and it carries on to the next generation. I like that Barrie is really nice and trying to do her best to find out what happened in the past. Her willingness to set everything aside for others is amazing. I love how adventurous she is as well. She sets out to find something, man will she find it. Her love interest is a great southern guy who is not only charming but witty. The way their relationship unfolded (not an insta-love) with first being strangers, then friends, funny dates and of course finally love. Now that is how a romance is done!

Ending: I really love the ending of the story. It gave me the feel for more. There was so much drama packed in the last few chapters that my breathe was being taken away! I look forward to reading more. I hope that the author writes about the other families now that I’ve learn about this one. I’m interested in seeing what the other families lives have been. Especially the unrequited love between older people that was never given the chance.

Overall, I really like this book. It felt like a wave of fresh air. If you love a good romance, with deep rooted history give this story a go. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more.
Profile Image for Lelia Nebeker.
124 reviews23 followers
March 9, 2015
This book was everything I didn't know I wanted! 'Compulsion' is a delicious Southern Gothic that's dripping with swoon and spook. The only thing more memorable than the sweeping Southern setting is Barrie herself, and the whole Watson Island cast. I fell in love with these characters so fast, it was like stumbling into quicksand. Throw in a haunted mansion, a family curse, a beautiful boy-next-door, and enough Southern food to make your mouth water, and you've got a powerhouse of a debut novel.
Profile Image for Chris Ledbetter.
Author 6 books239 followers
April 15, 2014
I had the wonderful pleasure of beta reading BEHOLDEN (as it was called before the name was changed to COMPULSION). It's totally immersive from a setting and culture standpoint. It's dripping in Southern Charm. The prose is engaging and evocative. The characters leap off the page like few other books I've read. When I finished reading, I immediately wanted to read it again. AND, I wanted so badly to go somewhere and just hang out with the characters. And finally, it crescendos to an edge-of-your-seat climax. Can't love this book enough.
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,839 reviews416 followers
November 14, 2014
(Originally posted at: http://misclisa.blogspot.com/2014/10/...) This is one of the awesome ARCs I got at BEA this past summer, and I also got to meet the author, I'll share that picture at the end! I have to say this was another story I really enjoyed. And honestly, it was a different story than most of them these days. While some might say there was a bit of "insta-love," I think it was definitely explained in a way that totally made it NOT "insta-love." I"m very ready for the story to go on, but as it says at the end of the ARC, I'll have to wait till next Fall.

The main character is Barrie Watson. And she is about to find out that her family is one of three families part of some ancient legacies/curses. Her mother has just passed away, and her godfather, Mark, has found out that he is also dying of cancer. So Barrie is moving back to live with an aunt she's never met, that she never even knew she had, so that Mark can go live in a home to be taken care of. Things get weird right away. Her aunt never shows up to pick her up from the airport. So Barrie takes a cab. She gets to this mansion, old and kind of run-down, and sees her aunt sitting on the front step. It seems her aunt sat down and lost all track of time. It seems her aunt might be a bit on the weird side. But the house seems to be as well. Then two members of one of the other two families stop by, and they go by Seven and Eight. Eight is Barrie's age, and of course very handsome. He seems to know all the right things to say. And it seems there may be something between Seven and Barri's aunt Pru. Barrie also finds out that the third family is the one that her father was from, and she has cousins. So of course, after growing up with her mother and leading a very sheltered life of no family, she is now adamant about meeting them. Eight agrees to take her, but everyone warns her that it won't be a good thing. You see the third family's legacy is more of a curse. In fact the whole town looks down on their family. But at first, her cousin Cassie just seems like someone Barrie is so glad to have for a friend.

She will soon find out that Cassie wants something from her. She wants to use Barrie's family legacy. They are able to find lost things. In fact when Barrie walks into a room she immediately will be drawn to things that have been lost, jewelry, letters, you name it. Cassie wants Barrie to find the treasure that her ancestors supposedly buried on their beach. You see all three of the families' ancestors were pirates, or privateers if you want to be nicer about it. There is a legend about the Native Americans in the town that Barrie will see come to life every night. While she has the legacy of finding things, and Cassie's family is cursed, Eight's family has a legacy as well. These legacies have become things they really feel the have to give into. Or compulsions. It gets so bad that when Barrie tries to leave the house she gets headaches. And while Cassie seems to be nice even though she wants something from Barrie, her father, Barrie's uncle, Wyatt, wants something as well. And he is a drunk, violent man, as well as a drug runner.

There are many things in the house pulling at Barrie to find them, as well as in the forest that her aunt has forbid her to go into. Barrie will find things that will clear up old mysteries in her family, some good, some bad, some dangerous. And she will fall in love, while also losing people she loves.

Such a good story! Even after I finished reading it, there would be times when my mind would kind of go back and think about the story, and want to know more, as well as even telling other people about it and comparing it to other stories. Definitely a great read, and like I said, I can't wait to read the next one! While it didn't end on a cliffhanger, there is definitely more for us to know with this story.
Profile Image for Becca Fowler (PivotBookTotes).
74 reviews127 followers
October 14, 2014
Dearest Compulsion, 

Oh, how I loved you. You were everything I hoped you would be and more!!! Plus, dat cover. So beautiful! (PSST PLEASE DONT CHANGE IT SIMON TEEN!!!) Seriously your cover is one of the most gorgeous covers I've seen this year, and that's saying something because there has been quite a few this year, Compulsion! I was a little nervous when I opened you, because I was scared I wouldn't like you, and I wanted to love you oh so much. Thank the lord I didn't have to worry too long. I was sucked into your southern charm right from the start!

Barrie, your MC, is quite the character. I adored her! She was so headstrong, and reminded me of myself with her stubbornness. (I am quite stubborn, btw) But she also had me giggling up a storm with her antics! I felt bad for how shitty her life seemed to be, but she just kept trucking on with her head held high, and soldiered through the heartache. I commend her strength. I'm not sure how well I would hold up going through losing my mother, and my best friend, and moving to a new very unusual place. Not to mention having a compulsion, seeing ghosts, and then this super swoony boy named Eight Beaufort popping into my life. Oh Eight. *le sigh* Such a southern gentleman! Truly fell for him right alongside Barrie. Some have said you have a tiny bit of insta-love in you, but I say, fear not, dear readers! It is not insta-love, but merely Barrie and Eight being drawn to each other because of their cursed ancestry, and come on, Barrie fights her feelings for the majority of your chapters, and in my opinion, that just doesn't add up with insta-love with me. 

Okay. So not only did I love your two main characters, Compulsion. I also loved your secondary characters. Aunt Pru and Mark felt like people I've known my entire life. Your author, Martina, has a way with not only words, but bringing each and every character to life- despite whether they are a main character or not. There were so many times I felt like I was in the room with Aunt Pru, Mark, Barrie, Eight...All of them. You were just real to me in so many ways, Compulsion.
Your setting was down-home southern gothic, which I loved, and don't see much of in the YA atmosphere anymore. I'm glad you were around to fill the void, because you did it beautifully. Not only your setting, but also page-turning suspense. I couldn't read you fast enough, because of all the mysteriousness and the need to know WTH was going on! Oh, and those ghosts? Brilliant.

I may or may not have a compulsion for reading you. (Psst I do) Now I have that "I Put a Spell on You" song stuck in my head, but seriously, you put a spell on me, Compulsion, and I'm dying to know what is next!!!! I mean, honestly. I shall be telling anyone and everyone about you, because you are a must-read of the year, Compulsion. You are the southern gothic that everyone has been pleading and waiting for. Filled with love, loss, revenge, secrets, spirits, curses, and more importantly, Eight Beaufort, what more could anyone want? You nailed it.

Feeling compelled to count down the hours until Persuasion (your sis/bro) releases,

Profile Image for Halston Seabolt.
146 reviews8 followers
November 3, 2015
I won this ARC from a giveaway on twitter! When I won this I immediately went and read the overview and couldn't wait to get it so I could start reading it! This book took off for me and didn't let me go until I finished. I really loved how simple and unique the gifts that Barrie and Eight have. They weren't tired out and I found myself thinking about how it would be to have their gifts. I also love Eight and Barrie's relationship. It reminds me of a relationship I have with a friend of mine. They argue all the time but neither can stay mad at the other for long. Especially with Eight's gift. Everything in this book kept me wanting more, and I can't wait for the next book even though this one has yet to come out lol Needless to say I really liked this book and will definitely be reading the next two.
Profile Image for Kimberley Little.
Author 10 books509 followers
December 31, 2014
Gorgeous Southern Gothic YA novel - the atmosphere! The plot! The character! The setting! Y'all are gonna LOVE this new trilogy!!! (Coming Fall 2014). Cannot WAIT to see cover art! Martina is an incredible new talent on the YA scene.
Profile Image for Kristi.
829 reviews198 followers
October 13, 2014

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.
Profile Image for S.P..
Author 15 books120 followers
November 7, 2014
If you love lush writing paired with superb storytelling, then Compulsion by Martina Boone is for you. You will live and breathe this story with Barrie and Eight. Martina creates atmosphere both spooky and vivid as she weaves Native folklore with African myths, as is true of the Lowcountry setting, that you'll start searching for your own Yunwi and staying up late to watch the Fire Carrier set the river on fire.

As a Southerner, this story reminded me a lot of the spooky tales my grandfather used to tell my dad and my dad told me, of strange lights that rose from a Native American gravemound and floated over the peanut field beside my great-grandfather's old farm house. Or of the voices speaking to my great-grandfather from natural springs and hollow logs, the "little spirits" telling him where to find old family treasure buried during the Civil War era. (Which I'm still looking for!)

But Martina Boone spices her traditional rural Southern setting with a very modern cast of young people..all wrapped up with a compelling romance. Who couldn't love a guy who knows what you want without asking? Now, that's a fantasy!
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
December 4, 2014
This was really good! I loved Eight (new book boyfriend!) and Barrie. I loved the mystery and the family curses and it was all set in a beautiful Southern Gothic environment. I can't wait to see what happens in book 2! Oh and if you've read the book you'll know what I'm talking about but I want to try one of those hot dogs with the blue cheese and that yummy sounding relish lol
Profile Image for Kasey.
1,152 reviews28 followers
August 12, 2014
*I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*
Compulsion blew me away, as I was reading it I kept thinking that it was way to good to be true. It wasn’t. Martina Boone created an amazing world, and had a great fully developed backstory with the Watson family, and even Barrie’s childhood was described wonderfully.

Barrie was a great character, there were times when she got a little to self-pitying for me, but she did have a rather unique childhood and mother figure. I felt terrible that her mother was so horrible, but as more of the Watson history was revealed I felt like I started to understand her mother better. I also enjoyed that we got to experience Barrie growing as a person, because she was always stifled by her invalid mother this was the first time for her to really get out and make mistakes. It helped that Barrie didn’t like feeling sorry for herself, so even though there were moments it annoyed me, it also annoyed her!

Boone created some wonderful secondary characters, who had their own flaws but also their good sides. Aunt Pru was a wonderful side character who also did an amazing amount of growing in this book, but she also had the most reason too. Eight was a great love interest, he was very annoying but also intriguing and it was easy to see why Barrie was so enthralled. Then there was Mark, and he was by far my most favorite side character. He was a gay drag queen from San Francisco, with a huge loving heart. I loved his addition into the book, and it made this book even more special to me.

The best part of this book though was the mystery that surrounded the Watson gift. It was so well written and thorough. There were no gaping plot holes or times when I thought the story contradicted itself. I truly enjoyed learning about the Watson, Beaufort, and Colesworth families.

Compulsion was incredibly well-done, and I loved every second of it. It seems like there will probably be a sequel and I will definitely be picking up anything this author writes. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, and I highly recommend it for any reader who loves a good mystery with a magical curse woven in, and great characters!

*This review was first posted to Moonlight Gleam Reviews http://moonlightgleam.com/2014/08/com...*
14 reviews1 follower
July 13, 2014
l read this twice. The world-building and family histories are really powerful. The more I read, the more I found to love in this book. Especially Barrie. She's not the normal perfect heroine I've seen in a lot of YAs lately, and she's a doer not a whiner. The various mysteries that are set up are paced really well, with clues on almost every page. The anticipation of thinking I'd figured out some of them out before Barrie was great, and then half the time I turned out to be only partly right. it's even better in the last third. The pace will practically kill you. Seriously, the mix of crazy, out-there characters, messed-up family histories, and the truth of what's really going on is brilliant.
Profile Image for Jada.
2 reviews
July 13, 2014
The characters are each real and unique. I want to live at Watson's Landing, and I swear, I can picture the whole place. I love how Barrie struggles to find out who she is and who she wants to be. She's strong in a way that feels believable and honest, struggling to learn about life for the first time after growing up not having a chance to experience much of anything. Eight is yummy. I also loved Mark and the little people. The scenes with the Fire Carrier were amazing. I started out thinking this was going to be a leisurely read, a nice gothic with a creepy setting and a mystery to unravel, but it was so much more!
Profile Image for Kate.
2,027 reviews78 followers
January 1, 2015
4 and 1/2 stars! I love Southern Gothic and magical realism, so this was a lovely blend. Review will be up sometime next week on my blog.
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