Sunday 15 November 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Exposed by Suzana Thompson

Author: Suzana Thompson
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 3rd July 2018
Publisher: Shadowswept Publishing

Book Description:
My enemy had seen me naked. He was holding the proof right before my eyes, and my stomach lurched sickeningly.

"Seems like you had too much to drink last night," he remarked in that condescending tone he always used with me.

I looked up at him as he stood watching me from the doorway with his attitude of superiority. In that moment of weakness, I actually tried to plead with him. "Please. I've never done anything to you."

"Begging me on your knees. That's a good start."

Dread turned my clammy skin cold. Mason Sumner hated my guts, and he would have no compassion for me. This was bad. This was really, really bad.

Not intended for younger teens due to adult content. 

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I didn't have any expectations going into this, but I liked the cover, so I thought I'd give it a try. Exposed was my first experience listening to an audio-book. While I've seen audio-books over the years, I've never been tempted or contemplated listening to an audio-book before, but then I stumbled upon a site called StoryOrigin, which led me to discovering this book. After reading my first audio-book, I will say this. I'm definitely going to be making the shift to audio-books slowly and surely as it's much easier to get through books and a lot easier on my eyes. The only problem here is that I should have started my venture into audio-books with a different book, because Exposed could have easily turned me off audio-books as I did not like the narration nor did I enjoy the story much. This was not my cup of tea. Had I read the ebook, I dear say, I would not have made it to the end. At least now I know that if I can’t get through a book via ebook or print format, then I can grab the audio-book and get to the end that way I can give a more well-rounded review as I will have a better grasp of the story from start to finish.

Exposed introduces us to Ella, a seventeen-year-old student with a terrible role model for a mother and whose only friend turns on her for the one person who has made Ella's life a living hell over the past few years, Mason Sumner. Mason’s problem with Ella revolves around Ella’s mother who had an affair with his father a few years ago and happened to be the person present when his father died of a heart attack. Mason blames Ella’s mother for his father’s death and decides to take his frustration and anger out on Ella. No problem with that scenario. People deal with grief in their own way. What I did have a problem with, however, was the characters and their convictions. Mason hates Ella so much he decides to make her life a misery by forcing her to become his girlfriend? In no time at all, after reading her poems, Mason decides that maybe he had Ella wrong all along and maybe she wasn’t like her mother at all, who he deems to be a home-wrecker. Why he had this impression of Ella is beyond me because nowhere throughout the book is it described that Ella was anything of that nature. In fact, Mason had made sure she was ostracised from having an ordinary high school experience that she became quite the loner who never goes to parties and has never had a boyfriend. And Ella, well, for a guy who she blames for ruining her high school experience, she quickly flipped her switch from hating him to loving him, because of what reason exactly? He’s a good-looking guy? From what I saw, Mason was an over-controlling, pompous ass. There was nothing likeable about him. The characters’ actions and reasoning just didn’t make any logical sense.

The narration didn’t make it easier to get through the story. It came across a little over-dramatic. Ella came across a little younger than her actual age. Had I not know how old she was, I might have guessed she was around 14. There’s a difference with being inexperienced and immature, and she was portrayed as the latter. It’s not that the chemistry between Ella and Mason weren’t believable. I honestly believed they were sexually attracted to each other, but that was as far as their interaction went. The communication between them and their relationship as a whole was very monotone. They had nothing beyond sexual chemistry, so we didn’t get to explore many layers of their characters beyond their attraction and insecurities.

With the story behind Mason’s dad and Ella’s mother, I felt there was definitely potential to reach into these characters and pull out likeable traits and really focus on the dilemma they were faced with having this shared connection to a very traumatic event in both their lives, but I don’t think we really got to see who these characters really were, so it was hard to connect with them or even like them, to be honest. I won’t go into the other characters because I honestly cared less for them than I did about the main protagonists. I think the only character that didn’t actually annoy me was Alice. At least, she had some wise words for Ella regardless of whether or not Ella actually took note.

I can’t say I’d recommend this book, but I do know some people who would eat up the chemistry between Mason and Ella, so I guess there’s some steamy moments to look forward to. Unfortunately, this was not for me. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t enjoy it very much. 


Award: Bronze
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Source: StoryOrigin

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