Saturday 18 October 2014

BOOK REVIEW - Charming by Krystal Wade

Author: Krystal Wade
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: October 6th, 2014
Genre: YA Thriller

Book Description:
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great . . . as long as you don’t die.

Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.

Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.

Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.

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This book was a little disappointing, which is sad to say as it has so much potential to be a great read, and I believe the greatest letdown was the execution of the plot, which in effect had great impact on characterisation. We're introduced to Haley, whose life is far from ideal and all she longs for is acceptance and love from the one who hurts her the most. Haley's story is tragic and as much as I empathized with her situation, I felt no connection to her. Apart from Christine, Haley's best friend, I didn't feel much for any of the characters. That's not to say they were lacking in description. The author explained the characters well - a little too well, perhaps, which took away the characters' authority. I heard a lot about them. I knew very little about them. They didn't leave a lasting impression on me, I'm afraid.

I didn't feel any chemistry between Haley and Chris and it seemed as though she went from disliking him to warming to him in the blink of an eye. I didn't experience the progress of her changing emotions. I found the interaction between Haley and Chris's parents, particularly Chris's father to be weird and rather awkward. It seemed too forced, as Chris and Haley's relationship was coming off.

I found the first quarter of the book to be quite dragging. There was nothing propelling the story forward. It seemed as though nothing was happening for quite some time. At times it felt as though the characters were just waiting around, wondering when something was going to happen that would propel them to take action. There was sufficient motive to drive the story but no one behind the wheel.

The second quarter of the book picked up pace ever so slightly starting with the incident of Hayley's missing father and then the gruesome item left in the envelop in her kitchen with a threatening note attached. I thought the momentum would continue after this point but things seemed to simmer down again. Given the seriousness of Haley's current situation, I found it strange the way she went about her everyday life as normal, as though her world wasn't crumbling around her. She had a serious, critical matter on her hands. This would have been the time for her to drive the story and take action.

By the third quarter of the book, I knew I wasn't going to fully connect with the story the way I wanted to. It felt as though all the action and drive of the story was packed into the last few chapters, so it came off a little rushed. It was certainly more exciting than the earlier chapters, but, at this point in the story, I found myself not caring about the characters' fate. I lost interest.

The elements for a great story were all there but the way everything came together was a little less than convincing for my liking. Albeit this wasn't for me, I did like the themes portrayed, and I liked the fact that there's good material here for a great story.



Award: Bronze
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy via Xpresso Book Tours

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