Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Charming by Krystal Wade

Hi all!

It's been months again, I'm ashamed...

Author: Krystal Wade
Title: Charming
Release date: 6th of October 2014
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Romance, Contemporary, Mystery, Horror
Pages: 228 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle


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.


Warning! Unpopular opinion alert!

It can happen that the details combined to create a story are an extremely intriguing blend, be it due to the ingredients including several of my favorite plot devices or other details, or simply because the combination is unusual, odd or original. Throwing together, among other aspects, Cinderella and a serial killer is something I was definitely anxious to get my hands on. But it also sometimes happens that while the concept is brilliant, the execution is lacking. This was, sadly, the case with the current book.

I adore Cinderella stories and anything that tries tell the timeless story with a fresh point of view or gets inspiration from it, but the idea isn't everything, yes, it's pretty essential for the bone structure of the book, but the meat aka character personalities, dialogue, etc, are at times even more crucial to get right for an enjoyable story than the starting point aka the idea. For this book, the stumble was mainly due to the characters, the main couple was simply not encageing, fleshed out and interesting enough. They pretty much embodied the original characters from the fairy tale, but I am personally past the time when I enjoy reading about a 2D Cinderella and her prince. I don't want the story line alone to be fresh, the content and characters have to be as well. Yes, Haley was self-sacrificing, kind, considerate and a survivor and, yes, Chris was charming, sweet and supportive, but I have to admit I was bored with the both of them. They did have flaws and made mistakes, but the damage was already done. Also, I can get quite annoyed with characters that act all cruel, careless and egoistical and the heroine, for whom this behavior is aimed at, always forgives them, finds excuses or simply tolerates it because of her goodness of heart or whatever other reasons. It might be fine in the original tale, since well, where would a young girl by herself really go off to with all the perils of her time threatening on every corner, but in todays time and age, there are other options, even if they might not seem the most easy, logical or acceptable. Being a masochist to spare someone, taking on more than by far is tolerable and not standing up for yourself is not really something I often wish to see in my heroines, at least in stories set during modern times, it's depressing. Amongst other characters, I have to admit, though, that I did find Haley's friend quite oddly fascinating. I would definitely be interested in reading about her some more.

Sadly, I also felt the romance needed more oompf. Haley and Chris were certainly adorable together, but it was simply too sugary sweet and I felt them lacking chemistry. I was left somewhat confused and didn't fully understand why Chris liked Haley so devotedly, I had a hard time picturing it and their feelings didn't come across realistic enough. I did, however, find myself more engaged in their relationship when they were having issues and Haley was hiding some crucial facts from Chris. At least there was some intrigue and action there, not only making pretty eyes at each other or Chris following Haley around and she trying to get him off her back.

I have to give the book credit though. I thought the murder mystery and the suspense surrounding it was masterfully created, even though, I had some logic and background questions up in the air regarding that. Plus, the villain wasn't obvious from the get go, whom I'm usually able to figure out quite early in the story. The eerie, scary and tense atmosphere was strongly noticeable and I was impressed with the thriller part of the book.


There were aspects to praise, but the most important parts in a story for me weren't really up to par on what I expected and would have hoped to read about. The potential was there, but I was, unfortunately, disappointed. 

2 stars!



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