Rosie Clayton witnesses a mugging on her first night in London—and then the scene rewinds itself.
She finds herself standing in the same place again, with the mugging happening just like before, except this time a stranger steps in and stops it. There's no way the same incident can have two outcomes. Rosie thinks she’s losing her mind, until just a few days later, the stranger saves her.
The stranger, Albert, and his band of misfit crime-fighters, have the special ability to Pull, which allows them to rewind just enough time to undo a recent event. Someone is hunting Albert and his crew– and now that Rosie’s been seen with them, she’s a target too. Rosie is left with no choice but to trust Albert to keep her safe.
As Rosie learns more about this unbelievable ability and the people – if you can call them that – who want them dead, she discovers that the group’s desire for her blood might be more than mere coincidence. Each step into this magical side of London introduces Rosie to a family history that she never knew existed, and dangerous forces that could unravel her world in an instant.
Her family may be the reason they’re all being hunted—and she may be the only one who can figure out how to save them. Sure, between the lot of them, they have a few shots to get it right. The thing about Pulling, though, is you have to be alive to do it.
I live in Birmingham, Alabama, with my husband and our three daughters. By day, I am the Director of Content Marketing at a local marketing firm; by early morning or late evening (depending on the day), I am a freelance writer, editor, and author. I hold a special place in my heart for tidy spaces and quiet moments, and my favorite hobby is trying to figure out each episode of Murdoch Mysteries before my husband does.
You know what PULL reminds me of? The Mortal Instruments with a mixture of Doctor Who. Now I don't know about you, but those two together are all kinds of amazing. And because we're being honest, I have to say that I didn't expect to love Pull so much. Although I am a big fan of all things time travel AND London, only few books can make me fall in love with them.
I was hooked from the first chapter because Rosie is such an excellent narrator. Her voice isn't cliché. She is one of those YA heroines that you will like so much because.. Well, because you can't help it. I like the fact that she uses her head and doesn't easily go into boy crazy mode. She's caring, kind and funny. Totally book bff material. Another thing that I appreciated about Pull is that although supernatural things are happening, THE PARENTS ARE ALIVE. Oh goodness, how I appreciate that much. Let's admit it, lots of author either makes their main characters orphans or kills their parents eventually. I like that Anne Riley didn't go with the easy way because the parents play such a huge role in every story. Every character of Pull have their own trait that makes them different and everyone have a part in the story. Each characters are written very well and I can't wait to get to know more of them if ever the author decides to make a continuation.
One word to describe Pull: EXCITING. The excitement never ends! There are a lot of questions that needs to be answered and everything leads to another mystery that needs to be solved. What is the power? Who are the people who can go back in time? How is it all possible? I did get all my answers and Anne Riley didn't left me hanging but I would really love it if there's a second story about all of this. I feel like Rosies world is just waiting to be explored, there's so much more to learn and to meet.
The romance is very sweet and real! No instalove or any annoying thing that usually annoys me when it comes to the romance area of every story. Unlike the story's pacing, it took time for the characters to get to together. They're perfect for each other and they make me swoon!!!
I sure can't get enough of Pull. The only thought I have right after I finished reading Pull is that I WANT MORE. Anne Rileys writing is so terrific that I feel like I was just right beside Rosie and discovering London with her. Thrilling and addictive, Pull have all the potential to be the next big thing!!
Dear readers: If you are looking at this review, then you are looking at my book's page, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. I gave it five stars because I have spent four years pouring myself into this story, crafting it as well as I know how, and polishing it according to the wisdom of my amazing agent and editors. I'm honored to have even one person read it. If you decide to join Albert and Rosie on their journey, then I truly hope you enjoy the ride.
I don't want to discount Anne Riley as a writer, because clearly she has a gift with words, but that gift is simply not yet honed into talent in this book.
Let me say that Pull adds an interesting concept to the world of time-travel novels, and it lingers more along the lines of fantasy, with the demonic magic and evil villains, than it does science fiction. The plot was refreshingly unique, and also a curious and unexpected experience for me. Yet as much as I wanted this novel to sweep me off my feet, there were just too many flaws--some glaring and others subtle--that made it a challenge for me to overlook and thoroughly immerse myself in the story.
For starters, the writing is tedious. It's bogged down with verbose descriptives and cluttered with unnecessary and minor account by account details. On top of that, it is much too passive. Pull could have benefited from a great deal of editing, but honestly I don’t believe that would have been enough to turn this novel into something beyond subpar. This novel needed to be entirely shaken up and rewritten for it to have resonated more with me. The heavy handed writing, tremendous amount of plot convenience, the unbelievable scenarios, the melodramatic and swinging display emotions, the obliviousness of the characters. All of this needed to be reshaped and rewritten. Another big issue I had with the prose is the telling versus showing in it. Anne Riley never fully gave me the opportunity to invest emotionally in the events or the characters. She told me how to feel, instead of just allowing me to feel through skilled writing. So, yeah... no feels for this one. Pretty disappointing.
Yet Pull isn’t a bad novel. Sure, the execution suffered in my opinion, but there's definitely something here that kept me flipping the pages, and I would probably still recommend this to people in search for an interesting twist to time travel fiction. Furthermore, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another Anne Riley book. Her gift with words are obvious, and I think that with more experience she will bloom into a skilled and fluid author, and I do look forward to that.
Pull was a story that had an amazing premise (and stunning cover!) but ultimately fell a little flat for me. The first 150 pages moved quite slowly, with unlikeable characters and not a lot of time travelling detail going on. I will say that the second half did pick up quickly, was visually more exciting and saved me from DNF'ing. Rosie is from Nashville and arrives in London with her parents and brother who is falling onto the wrong side of the tracks. Rosie's Grandad Papa passes away but just before he dies, communicates some strange things that only Rosie can see and hear. What she learns about throughout the story is the art of 'Pull', the ability to travel back into the past but only by a couple of minutes.
I loved the London setting and learning about the origins of 'Pull', which was heavily demonstrated towards the end. I really wanted the story to move faster and focus more on the travelling back through time, rather than family issues.
I want to thank Spencer Hill Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
Sci-fi is always an intriguing genre for me. And the idea of this book, the ability to pull and pretty much turn back time so you can save lives, really hit the spot for me. After I read the blurb, I was looking forward to watching the story unfold.
I'll start by talking about the characters. I will say that at the beginning I really liked Rosie. I liked that she had a big focus on her family. The way she cared for her brother and how she responded to her parents. It was nice to see a teen who wasn't all about going against what the parents want. But this didn't last long. Rosie had a huge switch from being someone who seemed like she would be there for her family to someone who only thought about herself. Was it in the guise of trying to save someone she loved, sure, but the way she went about it was all wrong. I lost respect for her and my connection, which was there at the beginning of the book, fizzled out by about 30%. Albert was interesting, but way too mysterious, even after he wasn't supposed to be mysterious. I felt like I really didn't get to know him. Rosie hardly asked him the right questions and since the story is in first person it was the only way for us to see him. And their relationship, the attraction she almost desperately wants to feel just didn't seem genuine. She gets her heart broken and falls right into the arms of the first cute guy to come her way. Honestly, between these two they were both just boring and I didn't feel any empathy or "pull" towards them. I wasn't routing for them at all.
I rather liked the secondary characters. I thought the really leant a lot to the story. Isaac was determined to protect his friends and didn't trust Rosie. Why should he, she was an outsider after all. Casey, she was a bit off her rocker. Kind of a live bomb that was set to go off. And Dan, he seemed rather sweet and definitely had a soft spot for Rosie. Overall I actually think I saw more of their personalities than I did of Rosie and Albert who were the main characters. I didn't like Paul, her brother, at all. But I think that was the point. He was this nasty, brooding guy who had a lot of baggage that Rosie seems to want to take away from him. I appreciated that but even when it was supposed to work for the audience it failed to do so. And the parents, meh, I would have liked to see Rosie interact with them more. Plus, they were barely around and when they were they were always reprimanding her. Oh and even after she's punished or in trouble, it just gets dropped. If she sneaks out or goes against what they say, it's like it doesn't matter and there are no other consequences.
The plot was interesting, at first. I mean, who wouldn't want to change the course of things if they could. Especially when it would save lives. But there was really no world building with this story line. I didn't understand where the first Pull was performed or why or how it came about. Where was the history? Also, there are so few Servators (those who Pull) and yet they are able to be at the right place at the right time no matter what? Seemed too easy. I found certain scenes rather unrealistic. I know it's sci-fi, but there is a realism that comes with such a book. It's supposed to make us think things can actually happen the way they do. I didn't feel this. Add to that a bit of the paranormal and the author just lost me.
The romance, blech. I mean, Rosie is basically on the rebound. If the chapters with Roise and Albert together were supposed to show them getting to know each other, it missed the mark for me. And I didn't feel their connection at all. There was no building tension, no attraction that was spoken of for the most part. In the end, the way things play out, is totally unrealistic given how their relationship progresses (or doesn't progress as was the case).
There is a ton of telling in this book, rather than showing. This explains the lack of world building. The story takes place in London, but I don't feel like I'm in London at all. Having spent a bit of time there (my parents lived there for three years), I am actually familiar with where Rosie's grandparent's house is. Yet, I could not picture it through the author's descriptions. The same went for how the characters look, no idea. The lack of showing causes the pacing to be much to slow for my taste.
Overall, I'm really disappointed in not liking this story. I really wanted to like it. I really wanted it to move and be full of action and twists, but that just wasn't there. It's really not a book I would recommend to sci-fi lovers, but that's just me. Perhaps you need to see for yourself?
Pull was an intriguing paranormal time travel tale. The book had me hooked right from the very start when I wanted to learn all of Rosie’s grandpa’s secrets!
What Fed My Addiction:
Family. This book had a really strong focus on family that you don’t see often in YA. Not everything was picture perfect (especially with Rosie’s relationship with her brother Paul), but the family dynamics did ring true. Rosie had a strong bond with her grandparents – I think that was probably the healthiest of the relationships. Her relationships with her parents was somewhat strained, partially due to the issues that her brother was having and everyone’s various ways of dealing with those. But, even though the relationships weren’t perfect. Rosie does lie to her parents (as teenagers often do), but the book never feels cut off from the family and those relationships and the guilt she feels over lying to them still feel central to the story.
Pulling. I loved the concept of being able to go back in time just a few minutes to fix something. Who wouldn’t want to do that every now and again! Of course, Rosie and the mysterious people she meets can’t just pull for the fun of it or because they don’t like the outcome of that conversation they just had. Pulling takes a huge amount of energy, so it has to be reserved for true emergencies. And since there are some big bads out to get Rosie, there are plenty of opportunities to use it!
Albert. When Rosie meets the mysterious Albert she knows that something is different about him. She also knows that something went haywire in her mind when her grandfather died – she just can’t believe what she thinks is happening! Albert ends up being her lifeline – the person who helps her make sense of it all and eventually becomes more. I LOVED that the romance in this book was nothing close to instalove. It felt real – like a couple truly starting out.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Bit slow in the middle. Not sure if it was just me, but the pacing felt a little bit off in the middle of the book. There was a period of time where Rosie was mostly trying to learn more about her ability and understand the people she was up against, and I started to feel like the book got a bit slow there. It picked WAY up at the end, though and gave us a spectacular finish!
If you’re a fan of paranormal tales, then you should definitely give this one a read! I loved that it was something different and that the character relationships took center stage. I give this book 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
When I first picked up this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I was worried that this book was going to be a typical YA book with insta-love, no parents, and other annoying cliches. I was so wrong. This book was nothing like that at all. This book was unique and totally worth the read. I honestly could not put the book down after the first few chapters. I became addicted, and there was no way I was going to stop reading so I could sleep.
The plot of this book was so exciting. I felt like there was never a dull moment. The non-stop action in this book left my heart racing numerous times. The beginning of the book was quite sad, which I didn't like. However, I understood that it was necessary for the plot.
Learning about the "pull" was just so interesting. I thought Riley did a great job weaving information about the "pull" in the book without it feeling like a info dump. I actually would still like to learn more about the "pull"!
Riley also did such a great job with the characters in this book. I thought the main character, Rosie, was phenomenal. She was caring, funny, and smart. I loved how she didn't put up with anyone trying to "protect" her from secrets. It was so nice to see her stand up for herself, but never be a bitch. I also liked the cast of side characters. Isaac, Dan, Casey, and Albert quickly became characters that I fell in love with. They were all so loyal to each other, and it was easy to see how much they cared about each other. I liked it whenever Rosie interacted with them. Riley did a great job at creating a diverse set of characters with their own unique personality.
Speaking of characters, I was so excited that Riley involved Rosie's family in this book. It was so nice to have a YA book where the family was actually around and played a roll in the book! The only person that annoyed me in Rosie's family was her brother. I understood that he was going through a really tough time, but I just wanted to shake him sometimes. That kind of took away from my enjoyment of the book at times. However, I am glad that by the end of the book, he seemed to have a change of heart.
The romance in this book was great. Albert was so swoon worthy. I seriously want my own Albert. He was funny, charming, adorable, and all around perfect. His scenes with Rosie were great. They had so much chemistry together, which lead to some great banter. What I loved about the romance between Albert and Rosie was that IT WASN'T INSTA LOVE. THANK YOU RILEY. THANK YOU!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was a fun and addictive read. I would highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone who is looking for a new YA fantasy to read.
4.5 / 5 Fangs
*This ebook was given to me in exchange for a honest review. *
When I first saw this book I wasn't convinced. The synopsis sounded promising, but I read to many bad books about time traveling and time-manipulating in the last few month.
I still requested it on NetGalley though.
And I have to say, I don't regret it. It took some pages to get used to the story, but Rosie's style of narrating was really catchy and in just a few pages I was sucked in.
I really liked our two main characters, Rosie and Albert - though I really don't like the name Albert. I always have to think about an old man and not a hot, young teen.
Anyway, moving on.
Their romance was definitely not of the insta-love-type. THANK YOU, ANNE RILEY! It was quite a slow-burner and they were really cute.
When it comes to the side characters, I'm not so sure. I liked Albert's friend and sister, but I wasn't really a friend of Rosie's family. Especially her brother. That changed later, but for most of the book I wanted to smack him on the head with my Kindle for being so mean to Rosie.
The story overall was fun - sometimes a bit slow, but still fun. Also the humour was quite good.
Should Anne Riley ever decide to write a sequel to Pull - because let's be honest, it deserves one - I would love to read it!
Rosie's grandfather is very ill and she and her family travel from the United States to London to say goodbye. On her first night there she witnesses a brutal mugging. She feels something strange and all of a sudden time has been put back a few minutes and someone prevents the violent mugging from happening. Rosie wonders what she's seen and if it's real. She finds out more when the same thing is about to happen to her. She's intrigued by the guy who rescues her. His name is Albert and Rosie knows he'll be able to answer questions about her grandfather.
Albert has a special ability, something that's badly needed as a group of aggressive guys are attacking people both randomly and organized. Rosie is one of their targets, but she doesn't know why. She's doing everything she can to keep her brother safe, but he's made friends with the wrong people. Two of the muggers are trying to make him one of them. Will Rosie and Albert be able to prevent more tragedy from happening to Rosie's family?
Rosie's holiday in London isn't a happy one. First her grandfather passes away, then her boyfriend breaks up with her and her brother is in trouble. She's strong and determined to do everything she can to make things better. I liked that about her. Albert and his friends have interesting abilities and they're both caring and tough. The main characters are all interesting. I couldn't wait to find out more about the secrets Rosie's grandfather managed to keep from his family. Slowly Rosie's learning more about him and also about herself.
Pull has a spectacular finale and a sweet ending. It's an amazing story with a lot of action. There's an influx of criminal activity and Albert and his friends are trying to find out why. Pull is a book about a handy supernatural power that saves a lot of lives. There's a battle between good and evil. There are a lot of bad guys, but not that many good ones who can deal with them. The good guys have to be smart and they have to work hard, because people with their ability are rare. The idea of the abilities and the battle Rosie and Albert are fighting is great and the execution is really good. I liked this wonderful story very much.
I read the synopsis for PULL and was like "Ooh hello! A YA sci-fi, time travel book with a guy called Albert all set in Victorian London? Yes please!" Turns out names like Albert don't always equate to Victorian times. It's actually a contemporary sci-fi story. The book isn't really about time travel, more time manipulation...
I liked Rosie and appreciated her witty narrative. I did find her a little confusing at times but can't say more without spoiling anything. Albert is intriguing and mysterious. I liked their friendship. I did get a little annoyed about how controlling certain people are. I felt as though Rosie really needed the support after the headache that is her non supportive family.
Albert and his friends were a tight knit, bad ass group, who had a kind of shadowhunter-like vibe, but I didn't completely appreciate them in the same way I do with CC' stories.
It did take a while for the story to get going, but I found myself becoming more involved and invested as the plot developed. The pacing was a little off at times with a bit of an awkward feel, but I enjoyed the story and would like to know what happens next. I liked the sci-fi elements and the descriptions of 'pulling' really helped to explain the phenomena. As a Brit and latin student I appreciated all the British-isms and sneaky use of latin words.
3 - 3.5 Stars in my Sky!
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Good things about Pull: • Unlike a lot of YA books where the adults are M.I.A. because it’s convenient, here we really feel their absence. They’re our beloved dead, or overwhelmed with grief, or under intense job pressure, or they walked away from their own children. And almost all the adults are taken in by the very convincing lies our heroine feels guilty about telling. • The mid-teens little brother is withdrawn, explosive, grieving, angry, drunk, sneaky, and naïve – in all, wonderfully maddening. • The supernatural hints accumulate over the first half of the book, allowing the reader to earn their way behind the curtain along with our heroine. • There are real consequences for actions both human and supernatural. • There’s a whiz-bang thriller of a finale in which our heroine gets to use her new supernatural powers for a chance at a better ending while demonstrating her humanity along the way. • The bad guys get their just desserts.
Difficulties with Pull: • The flirting scenes are only so-so, and some of the teen romance feels like the awkward is overplayed. • Why oh why are there only five good guys in all of London, and the age distribution is one grandfather and four college-age adults? Logic dictates a middle generation that’s missing without explanation. • The good guys have little motivation to be or stay good – there’s no angel or god checking in, there are no rules against self-dealing, and some personal backstories are missing.
While not created as a first-in-a-series, Pull could easily be that. Our two main good characters end ready to depart his England for her America with their corrupted-soul-battling talents intact. Despite imperfect logic, this is a snappy read with genuine character growth and a supernatural plot driven by human loss written very, very large.
Pull by Anne Riley is a story about a girl, Rosie Clayton whose grandfather has the power to reverse time or “Pull”. After her grandfather's death some strange things have been happening. Like her witnessing a girl being kidnapped but the next second she's witnessing it again but with a different ending. A guy, Albert knew who Rosie's grandfather was and also knows how to pull. Albert saves Rosie's life by pulling after she gets stabbed. They become close after that and Rosies becomes more and more curious about pulling and believes she can pull too, which she does later on in the story. One thing I liked about the book was the idea of going back in time. One thing I didn't like was the relationships between characters like Rosie and Albert. I believe they could have had more cutesy scenes together. This book is really good for people who are into maybe time traveling and a bit of action. I recommend this book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
'Pull' is a thrilling young adult science fiction novel that will have readers devouring its pages and then leave them wanting more. The story follows Rosie - our main character - as she goes to London with her family. Her grandfather is dying and they've come to spend as much time with him as possible. Things take a tragic turn and Rosie's papa ends up dying moments after they first arrive. With her family already tearing itself apart, her grandfather's death might end up being their destruction. Needing some fresh air, Rosie takes a walk in the heath nearby - and witnesses a brutal mugging. When she tries to get help, a heavy pressure and strange sensations cause her to curl up on the ground - and when she opens her eyes - she's reliving the moments before the mugging. Only this time the ending is different and the girl is saved by a stranger who comes out of the shadows. Rosie's pretty sure she's lost her mind and starts trying to figure out exactly what happened that night. She uncovers a huge family secret that leads her to the stranger once again - only now they realize they have certain abilities in common - and there are very dangerous people coming after them. Rosie has a sneaking suspicion that her family is the reason this battle is being waged on Albert and his friends - and that the person these people want to get their hands on is most likely Rosie herself.
There's so much going on in this novel that I'm having a hard time trying to piece together a review that will make sense. The concept of "pulling" was absolutely fascinating and I loved learning as much as I could about it, along with the other information Rosie discovers along the way. The book mixes together so many different genres that you really can't just label it as science fiction - it's so much more than that. It weaves together a contemporary fiction story of Rosie's life with a huge fantasy/science fiction twist, and then proceeds to add in lots of action, suspense, adventure, mystery, and even a bit of romance. You would think that a novel containing all of these various genre aspects would be confusing or hard to read, but the complete opposite is true in this case. The entire writing style used - from the point of view to the world-building and even down to the small details included in the book - was nothing short of amazing. There's something about the author's writing - I can't quite describe it - but it draws you in almost immediately after beginning the book. The flow is so smooth and natural - even when there's chaos happening in the story. Another aspect of the writing that stood out to me was the use of the first person point of view - from Rosie's perspective. We get to know her on a very deep and personal level throughout the book - and you usually only get that level of connection with the first person POV. While you're reading the story, it feels like Rosie's right there telling you the story herself - or even like you're inside her world alongside her while it's all happening. It's really hard for me to find an author whose writing can have this type of effect on me - and when I do find one, I know that I've come across incredibly storytelling skills and massive talent.
The plot was fantastic in just about every way possible. Once I started the book, I was pulled inside Rosie's world - so the entire story felt like I was right there beside her, learning and experiencing it all. There have been lots of books about time travel, so it's hard to find something that sets itself apart from the rest. This novel has that "something." Like I said, I can't quite figure out how to describe it. It's just a mixture of so many components of the story and it's basically impossible to choose just a couple to focus on. I would love to get all of my thoughts about this book out during this review - but I haven't even broken the surface, and I've taken up a huge amount of space. For me, it's one of those special books that you rarely come upon - the ones that leave your mind spinning and your mouth hanging open for days after finishing it - and when you try to explain why it left such an impact on you, there just aren't words to describe it. It's bittersweet - an amazing experience but being unable to pinpoint exactly what made it so meaningful. I'll just try to summarize it all with a couple of sentences and hope that my extreme rambling will have you at least intrigued enough to pick it up. There's really nothing about this book I didn't like - which is incredibly rare for me anymore. The characters are well rounded, the world-building and setting were vivid and realistic, the plot was an amazing blend of several different genres, and the writing style was nothing short of mesmerizing. I honestly can't recommend this book highly enough! Do yourself a favor and read this book. NOW. I promise you won't be left disappointed.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Pull grabbed my attention for two big reasons: time traveling vigilantes and England. I can’t help myself, I’m so drawn to books with time travel and parallel universes. If those two things are present, it’s very likely I am going to be in. And I love all things London. If I can’t go there, the next best thing is a trip there via a book.
So, I started Pull with these two things in my mind, but I got a lot more. I got Rosie, a girl just trying to make it through her life with a brother who has a lot of issues, a sick grandpa, and a dad who has anger management issues. Life for Rosie is not a bowl of cherries at all. This definitely screamed contemporary for the first few chapters.
But then, Rosie witnesses the mugging ‘unwind’ and everything sort of changes. She’s not sure what happened and tries to go on with her life. But she keeps seeing Albert, the guy who was there to stop the mugging.
The first half of the book is a slow build — we’re really focusing on the issues Rosie and her family are facing. The pace doesn’t pick up until she finally figures out why she is seeing strange things. The explanation of the “pull” was really interesting and not at all what I would expect from a time travel book. It’s almost like time rewinds for a few minutes. The concept was really fascinating, so naturally I wanted to know all the ins and outs of who pulls, why they were chosen, what this power is, etc. It really gets your brain going once you finally know more about it.
Once we get these answers, the action really seems to pick up. I found myself being pulled into the story (hehe, yes I love puns). I quickly began to like Rosie more and more as she dove into this mysterious world she never knew about. The action, the suspense — everything that happened once Rosie met Albert and really found out who she was and what she could do was just captivating. And even though the first part of the book takes awhile to get into, it definitely panned out in the second half of the book, lending to the plot in ways you couldn’t see coming until they were happening.
The book is a standalone, but had enough power for a series — there is definitely a lot the author can do with this world. Even so, I found myself entertained by the book. Once I really got into the story, I didn’t want it to end.
(Contains minor spoilers) I started reading fantasy a year or two ago when I was somehow blackmailed into reading and reviewing a fantasy novel and discovered I loved it. I’ve since been on a hit and miss journey trying to find out why some fantasy novels work for me and some don’t. The concept of Pull was definitely a concept that attracted me. I love the idea of the world being a normal place, but there being a secret world within our everyday lives where things work differently.
Pull started out too slow for me. There was a lot of background to get through until the reader finally arrives at the first night in the Heath where Rosie experiences her first Pull. Unfortunately, after this event, the reader doesn’t get an explanation of the Pull for a long time. The build-up, although written very well, was too slow for me. I keep urging my Kindle to hurry up. My Kindle didn’t listen. I thought a lot of aspects were too detailed, almost as if the writer was showing off her knowledge of London instead of giving the reader a tour of the city.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the story. I most certainly did. It just took me longer than normal to get into it and I have to confess that I probably would not have continued to read had I not promised to review the novel. That’s one of the great things about reviewing books (or being in a book club for that matter) – you force yourself to read books that you normally never would have even considered.
As a middle-aged woman who recently spent the holidays with her shockingly ineloquent teenaged family members, I feel I’m not impartial enough to review the characters in the novel. I’m just going to have to give it the good ‘ol college try. I couldn’t believe how eloquent Rosie, who narrated the novel was. She was incredibly insightful about her family. In my opinion too insightful for a 17-year-old but that may be the middle-aged woman talking. I also thought it implausible that the entire secret organization consisted of four teenagers living alone in a house in London. Had the group just been a few years older, I may have bought it. Or maybe an explanation for why there are no older members?
Considering the above, I think this novel is best read by teenagers or pre-teens who love the fantasy genre and maybe a bit enamored with London.
I did enjoy it quite a lot, it kept my attention throughout the whole book and I loved the plot, the two main characters were really great to read about as well, although I felt it lacked something for me, it was a lot different than any other time travel books that I've read.
Set in Blackheath in the southwest corner of London “Pull” an imaginative fantasy adventure opens as Rosie Clayton’s grandfather lies dying in the hospital. Suddenly feeling a pressure in her chest, a light flash, and hearing his voice telepathically, she’s told he has transferred his talent to her and to fight to keep it secret.
Upset already with the betrayal of her boyfriend while she’s away for the summer dealing with the ups and downs of her emotionally troubled brother, as well as a distraught father, stressed mother and brokenhearted grandmother, she goes for a walk on the heath witnessing a mugging only to have the scene suddenly rewind and the two assailants chased away by the bravery of a mysterious stranger.
The plot heats up when a blind date goes sour, and Rosie’s almost kidnapped on her way home, only to have the scene rewind and to meet Albert, one of the “misfit crime- fighters” who can “Pull”, rewinding time to defend the innocent against the evil of criminals, and the Mortiferi whose souls have been darkened by sorcery. Wanting to learn about the talent inherited from her grandfather, to join Albert and his Servator while protecting her brother from his rebellious ways and the villains he calls friends, Rosie must uncover the truth about her family and survive the danger stalking her.
Fast-paced, the action never slows after Rosie sees a mugging and is introduced to Albert and his crime-fighters who use their power to “Pull”, changing the outcome of frightening events like the attempt to kidnap her, and a shooting in the pub where they meet. Mystery abounds as she not only searches for clues to her grandfather’s secret past, the muggings on the heath, but Albert’s history and his ability to turn back time.
Tension escalates as Rosie not only has to deal with her new talent, but the pain and heartache in her family after the loss of her grandfather, and with her brother’s downward spiral into drugs and alcohol after the crippling effect of his best friend’s injury in a car accident back home. Burdened with all the emotional upheaval, her anxiety over her breakup with her boyfriend Stephen is tempered after meeting the indomitable Albert who becomes her lifeline as frightening events swirl around her and he's determined to protect her at any cost. Mixing adventure, mystery and romance Anne Riley creates an exciting page-turner that holds you captivated as it progresses to a thrilling confrontation near the end.
Infusing the story with intensity and suspense are complex and compelling characters like Rosie Clayton the feisty, determined and impulsive seventeen-year-old who inherits a strange and intoxicating ability; her once tenderhearted brother Paul Clayton who’s now bitter, rude and insensitive; and the enigmatic eighteen-year-old Albert Shaw who’s brave, selfless and forgiving.
I thoroughly enjoyed “Pull”, a paranormal tale that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
I could've given it 5 stars but something about the concept of the Mortiferi and the Servatores are a bit off???? I've read about Nephilim and stuff but I don't know, maybe I just didn't feel the historical essence of this one. And Rosie became a little bit annoying towards the end. I thought she was rational, at some point she was, there was this scene when she was in danger and she was told to run away and she actually did run, compared to other MCs who thinks they're so brave that they wouldn't back down. Anyway, Casey reminds me of Isabel from TMI series, too, but that's okay, Isabel is more badass haha. I loved the book, I really do but somehow I can't connect with the characters, especially with Dan and Isaac, I wish there were more of them. The main characters, even Albert and Rosie seems so far away. I really like the plot and everything but I just thought it could be better.
I enjoyed this read. Although plotline was slightly small-scale I feel the writer did great job with character growth and development. Exciting enough to keep a younger readers interest yet intriguing enough for more advanced readers. Well written and smoothly executed. Overall; A new, creative and easy-to-follow twist on time travel/manipulation. It's definitely worth a peek!
COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!! Excellent story line, good character development, and full of intrigue. Love a Great Britain setting for a science fiction suspense/mystery story and this story doesn't disappoint! Definitely looking for more from this young author.
I LOVED this book! I love the fantasy aspect, the idea of someone from the southern U.S. exploring London throughout the adventures, the romance… it’s all so good! I only wish the author was able to continue the series, but it still ends in a good place!
I requested this book from NetGalley literally months ago (like, February or something?), and forgot all about it until I was working through all my ARCs while on a WiFi-less holiday in Yorkshire and decided to give it a go. Unlike a lot of the others I’d abandoned unfinished, it wasn’t because I’d started this one and got bored, but that I’d never got around to tackling it at all. As soon as I did, I was sorry I hadn’t got around to it sooner.
PULL may fall into a few YA tropes, because it features a mysteriously gifted group of people who save the protagonist shortly before revealing that she’s one of them, and by the way the main guy is really hot. However, it manages to subvert a few by avoiding instalust altogether (thank you) and making all and any romance gradual, as well as having the character’s prime motivation be her family. Moreover, the mysterious gift isn’t something I’ve come across before, because it’s the ability to manipulate time in order to save people by changing events.
It’s set in London, specifically Blackheath, which is an area I know reasonably well. The main character is American, but passingly familiar with the city having spent every summer there, so while it still comes across as a slightly touristy version of London, it’s not as annoying as it could be. I appreciate it when characters acknowledge that the everyday life of Londoners doesn't generally involve the Tower of London, for example. For the most part, the British characters are fairly convincing as Brits, although there were a few language things that bugged me.
(Example: “paid my tuition through graduation” This phrasing just didn’t sound British. “until” or even “through to” would be more natural; there were a couple of others that were similar. And at one point someone travelling from Blackheath to London Bridge had to change at Charing Cross, even though there's a train that goes directly and Charing Cross is actually further away... These are minor things, I know, but it’s a pet peeve.)
I’ve read a few books recently where, despite being interested in the events I couldn’t engage with the characters because they didn’t have clear enough motivations or personalities. That wasn’t the case here – I actually felt more invested in Rosie and the others around her than I have in any characters for a while. Rosie (Rosemary is her full name) was very clearly motivated by her family, including a younger brother struggling with trauma-triggered addiction, and a recent bereavement. While part of her behaviour can be explained by curiosity about this mysterious world, she’s not the risk-taking illogical heroine that you find in a lot of books. She’s not timid, but she’s pretty sensible, which means when things went wrong the reader didn’t automatically think it was her fault. (You know those characters you just shout at? Yeah.)
I also enjoyed the writing because, while lacking the poetic descriptions that sometimes catch my attention, it felt natural and didn’t feel like a barrier between me and the story. There’s a fair bit of banter, but it’s not over the top or unrealistically hilarious, and feels like a genuine conversation. Here and there, Riley even manages to soften some of the more melodramatically fantastical statements by couching them in reality, which is always a feat with YA fantasy.
I guess mostly I just liked that it felt fresh, without being particularly unconventional. It proved that the YA urban fantasy genre isn’t oversaturated, because it’s still possible to write books that feel engaging and original without having to subvert every trope ever. This book turned just enough clichés on their head to be new, but stayed within conventional boundaries to produce an enjoyable, engaging read. And sometimes that’s what I want, you know? A standard YA fantasy that I can enjoy without being constantly irritated by love triangles, instalust, and foolish protagonists.
I’m embarrassed to have left it so many months to review this, but I’m also a little sad that I didn’t get around to supporting it when it was newer, because it deserves it. While I don’t think Pull breaks any major moulds, it’s a damn decent book nonetheless.
Also, an observation: I think it has the longest acknowledgements I've ever read.
This review will also be posted to my blog at some point in the near future.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
This book wasn't quite what I expected - from the lack of time-travel as seen in popular fiction to the villains. I struggled through the first 100 pages or so (my copy didn't have page numbers, so I'm ballparking here), and I was pretty much ready to give up. There was little time-travel elements at that point, it was mainly focusing on Rosie's brother's myriad of problems, and the family dealing with the loss of their grandfather. Which, frankly, while not particularly bad, was getting depressing and wasn't something for which I had signed up. But I checked to see if this was a series and seeing that it is a standalone prompted me to keep going. That, and it might not have the best writing, but it read pretty fast and kept you interested, after the action picked up a bit. And in the end, it was a pretty decent read.
Nothing amazing or anything, but I did enjoy reading it.
What a great cover PULL by Anne Riley has. And a pretty solid story base too! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy of this one :)
Clearly I liked this one, and I honestly did. The Drama, plot, twists and pacing were very nice and helped keep me glued to this one late into the night. I drew a LOT of similarities to The Mortal Instruments series though, maybe a few too many to make this story really shine the way it deserves to.
Rosie was a cool heroine. I loved that she cared so deeply about her family, especially her troubled little brother Paul. We don't get a lot of YA characters that are like that. It made her a stronger character in my opinion. I also loved when they were at her dying Grand father's side and he suddenly started talking in her head! Took me by surprise and had me dying to know how he did it and what his cryptic message meant. I also liked that her reaction to learning that people can "pull" (traveling back several minutes in time to prevent something bad). She freaked and thought she was going crazy and she didn't automatically believe an explanation that was forced upon her. She questioned it and it took the hero, Albert, Pulling to save her own life for her to grasp the concept. Yet even then she still didn't totally buy into it. Everything about her reaction was real and not like many many other YA books.
Now Albert. He was pretty cool and tough but not cave man about it. He also wasn't a chest beating Alpha which was a nice change of pace. It's hard to get a male hero that can be tough and badass but not obnoxious. I didn't like that he was reluctant to fully read Rosie in though. For liking her as much as he did I would have liked if he was more open without her having to make him tell her.
This brings me to our supporting character: Isaac, Casey and Dan--all like Rosie and Albert, able to "pull" through time. They were good supporters to the story and Isaac's dislike for Rosie helped add some more drama to the story (can we say Alec?)
Now, we can't have people with special abilities not have a name for themselves. These guys are called SERVATORS. The time puling aspect was cool and original but I didn't buy the group as a whole. I mean only 6 of them, in the whole world, really? I'm sure in the next book we will discover there are many more Servators, because that's the only way I can see this story surviving. The world building was lacking here. I liked that there was a real world feel but there was so much more that could have been explored and expanded upon.
Last thing, the romance. Rosie is a girl on the rebound when she fell for Albert. I think that forced feel to their relationship is what kept me from truly loving them. I did love them, but no where as much as I've loved other book couples.
All this said, PULL was a good read and I will certainly read the next book in this series! Assuming there is another coming, which I think there should be because of how the ending set it up. I really hope that when that comes we'll get a lot more answers and a slightly stronger world for these wonderful characters.