Survival, YA Paranormal Romance by A.M. Hargrove
Published November 15th, 2011
Add it on Goodreads
“Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality.”
While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places.
Maddie is all alone in the world. She’s lost her mom and dad and has no other family. Instead of spending another lonely Christmas by herself, she chooses to go camping, where she’s attacked and hurt. Lucky for her she’s brought into the world of the Guardians, her rescuers. While healing, she starts falling for Rayn, the story’s hero, and he starts falling for her. But there’s more to this story than just young love. Their relationship isn’t meant to be, and they’ll have to fight if they want to be together.
The book is written in 4 parts and told from 3 separate points of view. I didn’t mind that structure so much, but sometimes the book was first person, and sometimes it was third person. That I found a bit distracting. I actually thought the whole writing style was a little distracting. I didn’t think that there were a lot of visual description used in the book. The sentences were concise, leaving much to my own imagination. And most of the description was told to us. I’m more of a fan of the show me instead of tell me philosophy. The way it was written made me disconnected from the story as a whole. Similarly, I couldn’t connect to the characters, and therefore didn’t feel like I was emotionally invested in their happiness.
I did like part 1 of the book. Maddie was strongest when escaping from her attacked. And Rayn was mysterious and exciting. By part four I thought Maddie had turned into one of those “I’m so clumsy and needing rescue all the time but all the boys still love me, tee-hee” kind of characters (that we find in other popular books which shall remain nameless). I know a lot of people totally go for those main characters (which is why that series is #1, ok, yes, I’m talking about Twilight) but I love my heroines strong and able to handle themselves. In the end I couldn’t root for her, and therefore the story just didn’t interest me.
My review is going to be based off the second edition of this book; the author provided me with a newer edition and therefore my review will reflect the changes made to the beginning of the story itself.
At first glance of the cover you wouldn’t know what journeys lie await but from the first chapter the author introduces you with “Real” conflict. The use of flashbacks in the beginning chapters really helped seduce the reader into the story and help them realize the back story of this strong yet a little fragile character. The plot was very well thought out, I felt that this book had a new take on the paranormal, I really liked the fact that it was different; there wasn’t the usual mundane conflict, there was new ideas and scenery depicted in this book. The action was evenly distributed; it wasn’t fast the entire book but instead gave the reader a sense of time and allowed us to gradually learn more about the characters and the story itself. The writing itself was new, I liked how she took use of the dialogue, I really could tell that she knew her characters. Just by the dialogue alone you could tell who was who; it’s so cool to be able to tell the characters apart just by dialogue alone. The characters themselves each had a distinct personality, each one was easily identified and full of life. There wasn’t one character I felt lacked something; each of them had their own values and flaws. Something else I found interesting and fun was the style of clothes the character wore, the author did such an amazing job describing new ideas on clothing that certain characters wore. She really had a sense of another world; a new line of items and ideas that had to be created to make the story more real; more plausible. The description itself was really good, it was just the right amount and I felt she did a great job describing the beautiful scenery and characters themselves. Each scene was created with precision and nothing went untouched. The structure of the writing itself like a said earlier is unique and I really enjoyed the use of different point of views, the author did a good job on allowing the reader to know who’s point of view we were in. I think without the different points of views, this story would have really liked a good angle and would leave the reader both confused and lacking a certain connection to the book. The element of romance was great, it wasn’t overpowering in the least, I didn’t feel that this book was just about the romance; it was about something much greater; a more deep and intelligent conflict. I also felt that the author was knowledgeable about where the story took place, all those trails she named and mountains really helped make the fabric of the characters world more real; more believable. It was definitely a fun and fast read for me.
I would recommend this book to any fantasy or paranormal addicts; it certainly screams the elements of them. I would also recommend this to readers who enjoy a good romance; this one is both comical and strong; I loved it. I wouldn’t however recommend this if you don’t enjoy a more native feel; this definitely had some connections between the two. Also I wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t enjoy romance though like I mentioned earlier it isn’t overpowering and isn’t the overall main focal point it is there and there is a big conflict going on. This book is one to take into consideration and the ending leaves you yearning for more; the cliffhanger definitely leaves you wanting the next book NOW. So if you’re going to read this book, I’d recommend reading it closer to the second books release which should be coming out later this month or early February. Overall I enjoyed the author’s style and ideas and can’t wait to explore more of these characters world.
Duration: February 17, 2012- February 24, 2012
Prize: Ebook copy of “Survival YA Paranormal Romance” by A.M. Hargrove
Winner will be chosen via random.org